There are three simple but surprisingly well equipped trim options for the Dacia Sandero Stepway range. It does away with the sparsely kitted Access from the hatchback line-up, and kicks off with Essential, so even an entry-level Stepway gets air conditioning, a DAB radio, electric front windows and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as the standard roof bars that are unique to the Stepway. Manual rear windows are a nostalgic feature, though – you really do have to “wind your window down” at the McDonalds drive-through.
Step up to Comfort and you’ll find front and rear parking sensors, cruise control and a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav. The system is responsive, the graphics are clear and the menus are easy to get to grips with, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are also included. It pushes up the price, but this mid-range Sandero Stepway is still temptingly priced and offers the best balance of kit and cost. The special-edition Techroad adds a rear parking camera which is normally a £200 option.
However, in any Sandero, you are always aware that you're in a budget car. True, there are some flashes of chrome on the dashboard and the infotainment screen is set in a gloss-black fascia, but don’t expect much in the way of soft-touch materials or fancy detailing. What you will find is lots of hard, grey plastic, but at least everything feels solidly screwed together.
Despite having a height-adjustable seat as standard, it can be hard to fine-tune your driving position as the steering wheel only moves up and down (not in and out). The seat itself isn’t particularly comfortable, either, with quite a flat base and little bolster or lower back support.
That said, you get a good view of the road ahead, thanks to the Stepway’s raised height and more upright seating position. The windscreen pillars are thin so don’t obstruct the view, while the window line is kept at a sensible level to make pulling out at junctions and roundabouts that bit easier.