Our cars: Dacia Sandero - March

Article 1 of 14 See all
  • Dacia Sandero completes 12-month test
  • Is Britain's cheapest car worth the money?
  • Run by consumer reporter Matthew Burrow
  • Filming the Sandero's final video update. The interior stood up well to daily use

    Filming the Sandero's final video update. The interior stood up well to daily use

  • Cup holder in the Sandero gets so warm, it caused trouble for Matt's iPhone

    Cup holder in the Sandero gets so warm, it caused trouble for Matt's iPhone

  • Sandero and Sandero Stepway seem to be holding value well in the used car market

    Sandero and Sandero Stepway seem to be holding value well in the used car market

  • The Sandero now has another award to its name

    The Sandero now has another award to its name

  • Speed alert warning bongs aren't always accurate but get seriously noisy

    Speed alert warning bongs aren't always accurate but get seriously noisy

  • Dacia's tax disc comes at a cost for the first time, but it's only £30

    Dacia's tax disc comes at a cost for the first time, but it's only £30

  • Sat nav has been keeping Matthew from picking up speeding points

    Sat nav has been keeping Matthew from picking up speeding points

  • Sandero is being fuel tested this week

    Sandero is being fuel tested this week

  • Interior mirror is distracting and unnecessary

    Interior mirror is distracting and unnecessary

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Dacia Sandero 0.9 TCe Laureate

Week ending March 14

Overall mileage 8403

Read the full Dacia Sandero review

When the Sandero arrived on our fleet a year ago, it had just been launched as the cheapest car on sale in the UK, with prices starting at £5995. We wanted to see what you got for your money and if it could compete on quality.

Dacia expected most buyers to avoid the entry-level model, so we thought we’d test what people were actually going to drive. We went for the £8795 0.9 TCe in Laureate trim which comes with everything you could want. You get air-conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, front and rear electric windows, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel all as standard.

We added blue metallic paint and the £250 Media Nav infotainment system, which is both a bargain and a real highlight; the touch-screen is quick to respond and is extremely easy to use. We had no problems connecting our mobiles to it, but we did notice some cost-cutting: Dacia hasn’t changed the system for right-hand-drive cars, so when you are using the hands-free function, the audio from the phone comes out of the passenger door.

We opted for the 0.9-litre petrol engine, a new three-cylinder unit. It promised 54.3mpg, which we achieved on a couple of occasions, but we were hoping for better than the 38.3mpg we averaged.

One area where the Sandero trounces the competition is space. There's room for five and plenty of headroom. The seats were pretty flat, but I drove all over the country in it and didn’t have any problems with comfort. The boot was big too, even if we did have to use the key or pull a handle by the driver’s door to open it.

The cabin itself wasn’t the most exciting place to be but the plastics lasted well. There weren’t any scratches and everything looked the same as when the Sandero first arrived. That’s great for a car at this price.

Ultimately, price is the most attractive feature to most buyers. So do the figures for our car add up? In a word, no. It costs nearly £10k and for that money you can get some excellent nearly new cars on the used market which will be better to drive and as well equipped as ours.

If you are tempted by a Sandero, we’d suggest going for the cheaper 1.2 Ambiance model – you get most of the best bits of our car, including its surprising quality, at a much better price.

Matthew Burrow

Our cars: Dacia Sandero - February

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