Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
The more dramatic styling of the Sandero Stepway may add a few pounds to the UK’s cheapest new-car purchase, but it is still a very low-cost option and gets all the good bits from the standard Sandero, plus you get a slightly better ride along with those handy roof bars. Fuel economy is fractionally worse than in the hatchback because of the Stepway’s additional weight, but it’s unlikely to cost you much more in real-world driving conditions.
Choosing the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel version has the potential to save you money in the long run; its ability to run on LPG reduces its CO2 emissions by 11%. And, although it’s not as economical when using LPG as it is when running on petrol, the fact that LPG is so much cheaper at the pumps could mean big savings. And, with 1200 refuelling stations in the UK you stand a decent chance of being conveniently near one.
These Bi-Fuel versions cost very little more than a normal petrol Dacia, and over the course of 12,000 miles you will have earned that extra outlay back. Plus, there’s the benefit of having the combined range of two fuel tanks. So while the Bi-Fuel Sandero stands a good chance of getting from Brighton to Inverness in one hit, a Ford Fiesta Active might not even reach the border. Bear in mind, though, that LPG-powered cars face certain restrictions, such as not being allowed to use the channel tunnel.
Like the standard model, the Sandero Stepway should hold onto its value quite well. All Sanderos come with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, as well as a two-year paintwork guarantee and a six-year anti-corrosion policy. You can also pay to extend this for up to seven years for not a great deal of extra cash.
Entry-level Essential trim is pretty basic, with a height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio. Moving up to Comfort spec gets some welcome additions, mostly the 7.0in infotainment system we described earlier, along with cruise control and rear parking sensors. SE Twenty adds a reversing camera and some subtle cosmetic tweaks inside and out. We’d stick with Comfort trim because it’s the best value.
As a result, the Sandero managed only four stars (out of five) in its Euro NCAP safety tests, whereas the best small cars have five-star scores. Plus, the tests were carried out way back in 2013, under conditions that were less stringent than they are today. A closer look at the breakdown of its scores shows that rivals offer better crash safety for all occupants.
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