What Car? says...
The Dacia Sandero Stepway isn’t a fiendish new exercise machine – it’s an SUV-themed small hatchback at a very competitive price.
It's based on the regular Dacia Sandero but gets a more heavily sculpted bonnet, roof rails, chunky plastic wheel arch extensions, an increased ride height and bumpers with integrated skidplates – all additions that are well suited to the urban jungle. There are just three trim levels to pick from, and no options apart from colour and a few dealer-fit accessories.
So does this bargain basement price bring any inherent compromises? Over the next few pages of this Dacia Sandero Stepway review, we’ll tell you how peppy it is, whether it’s geared for comfort or cornering, how practical it is, and whether it can compete with the best small cars.
If you decide that the Sandero Stepway – or any other new make and model – is the car for you, our free What Car? New Car Buying service gives you a hassle and haggle-free way to search for big savings, and has some of the best new Dacia deals.
The Sandero Stepway wasn’t rated in our 2021 What Car? Reliability Survey, but the closely related Dacia Sandero was the most reliable of 17 small cars listed, with a score of 100%. Dacia came a magnificent second overall out of 30 manufacturers – second only to Lexus. The Sandero Stepway is sold with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which can be upgraded for a fee to six years/100,000 miles. Read more here
No, and there are no plans to electrify the Sandero Stepway at the moment. Dacia’s strategy is to use proven older technology from Renault, with a focus on simplicity and keeping costs down. As such, it will launch its first hybrid car (a version of the Dacia Jogger) in 2023, and its sole electric model (the Dacia Spring) is not yet on sale in the UK. Read more here
There’s a variety of 1.0-litre petrol engines to choose from, but our pick is the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel. It’s the more powerful of the Bi-Fuel engines, and makes the Sandero Stepway quieter and smoother than the TCe 90. It can run on LPG if you choose, allowing you to save money at the flick of a switch when you top up. We recommend Comfort trim as the best balance of kit for the price. Read more here
Dacia’s Essential trim is aptly-named: you get only the most basic infotainment, without even a touchscreen to control it. Comfort trim and above adds an 8.0in colour touchscreen with built-in sat-nav, as well as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Overall, the system is adequate. It’s easy to get used to and reacts quickly to inputs. Read more here
Not particularly by today’s standards. The Sandero Stepway received a two stars out of five rating from Euro NCAP. It’s worth noting that it was tested under the latest, toughest-ever criteria, which include a heavy weighting for electronic driver aids that Dacia has taken a conscious decision not to offer to keep costs down. Read more here
There’s 328 litres of space below the Sandero Stepway’s parcel shelf. That’s enough for us to fit in six carry-on suitcases, which is more than any other small car we’ve tested, including the ultra-practical Honda Jazz. Just be warned that the boot opening is surrounded by exposed, painted metal, not tough plastic, and can be easily scratched. Read more here
The Sandero Stepway is a more rugged looking and higher-riding version of the Sandero hatchback. It has chunkier looks to match including a revised bumper design with skidplates, plastic wheelarch extensions, roof rails and a sculpted bonnet. Read more here
|RRP price range||£13,795 - £17,395|
|Number of trims (see all)||6|
|Number of engines (see all)||4|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||petrol, hybrid|
|MPG range across all versions||45.6 - 50.4|
|Available doors options||5|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£786 / £1,061|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£1,572 / £2,122|