Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Technically, there’s only one engine available in the Dacia Sandero Stepway – a turbocharged, three-cylinder 1.0 litre petrol – but it can either be powered by petrol, or a combination of petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The petrol-only option, called the TCe 90, has 89bhp, and is the only engine of the two that can be had with the automatic gearbox. It has perfectly acceptable performance for the class, with a decent amount of punch from low engine speeds. It’s not the swiftest to reach motorway pace, but it’ll sit there all day long without fuss once you’re up there.
You’ll hear a bit more wind and road noise in the Sandero Stepway than in the Ford Fiesta Active and Volkswagen Polo but it cruises more quietly than similar-priced rivals including the MG 3 and Suzuki Ignis.
It’s also far more comfortable than the MG 3 and Ignis – as well as most other small cars – smoothing out rough roads impressively, especially at speed. Potholes and expansion joints do send a bit of a thwack through it, but not as noticeably as with similarly priced rivals. Indeed, you’d have to spend a fair chunk extra on a Skoda Kamiq or VW Polo for a better ride.
The soft suspension means handling isn’t the Dacia Sandero Stepway’s forte, though. There’s plenty of body lean in corners and it never feels particularly agile. Still, there's decent grip and the steering weights up in a reassuring manner when cornering, which inspires confidence. The Fiesta Active is more fun for keen drivers.