For The Dacia Sandero offers outstanding value for money, a practical, roomy cabin and reasonable dynamics. The engines are strong, and the solid-feeling dash is simple to use.
Against Refinement is poor, the low speed ride is a touch lumpy and safety isn't what it should be.
The Dacia Sandero is not flawless, but it's a likeable car that offers more space and practicality than anything in the same price range. It demands compromises, but acceptable ones given the price.
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The range kicks off with a 1.2-litre petrol engine, which is perfectly adequate. The other petrol is a turbocharged three-cylinder 0.9, which is punchy but has an inconsistent power delivery. The diesel is muscular, too, but it’s too rough and noisy. Overall, the entry-level engine is our favourite, because it keeps things cheap – essential when buying a Sandero.
Choosing the entry-level trim is taking things a bit far, though; it’s too basic. You don’t even get central locking or a radio. Mid-spec Ambiance is the one, because it provides most of the essentials (remote locking, electric front windows, Bluetooth) at a reasonable price. Laureate trim provides air-conditioning, electric rear windows and cruise control, but costs a lot more.
Don't opt for the rugged-looking Stepway version under the illusion that it's got off-road potential. It does deliver a softer ride due to its raised ride height, but it's front-wheel drive just like the rest of the Sandero range.
The best Sandero in the range. This car delivers exactly what a budget car like the Sandero should.