Dacia Sandero review

Category: Small car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol, hybrid
Available colours:
Dacia Sandero 2021 Infotainment with docked smartphone
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  • Dacia Sandero 2021 front tracking COTY
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  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Infotainment with docked smartphone
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rear 3/4 tracking
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Left static, hatchback open
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Boot with carry-on case
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  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Front seats
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rear seats
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rotary selectors
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Gearlever
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 front tracking COTY
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rear 3/4 tracking
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Dashboard
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rear seats
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Infotainment with docked smartphone
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rear 3/4 tracking
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Left static, hatchback open
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Boot with carry-on case
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Boot open
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Front seats close-up
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Front seats
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rear seats
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Rotary selectors
  • Dacia Sandero 2021 Gearlever
RRP £7,995What Car? Target Price from£7,870
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

We’ve already given the game away here, haven’t we? Yes, the Dacia Sandero is cheap. Indeed, it's the cheapest new car in Britain if you go for entry-level Access trim. Some people own lawnmowers that cost more. We'd recommend you go for top-spec Comfort trim (have a look at the equipment section to see why), but even then Sandero amazingly good value compared with equivalent versions of the Skoda Fabia, let alone the surprisingly pricey Ford Fiesta

So, is the Sandero expensive to run? Not at all. It'll lose you a lot less in depreciation over three years than its small car rivals and, because of that low sticker price, monthly repayments should be cheap for those buying on PCP finance.

The TCe 90 petrol we recommend can officially do more than 53mpg, and you should get around 45mpg in real-world driving. True, some of its rivals, including the Toyota Yaris, will better that, but you’ll need to do a silly number of miles to get a return on the extra investment. And don’t forget that the Sandero TCe 100 Bi-Fuel can run on LPG, which is a lot cheaper per litre than unleaded. Likewise, there are cars that emit less CO2, but the Sandero’s low list price keeps benefit-in-kind tax bills seriously affordable for company car drivers.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Access trim is ultra-cheap, but you get ugly black bumpers, steel wheels and no air conditioning. You even miss out on remote central locking, although automatic headlights and electric front windows are included.

Essential trim adds wheel trims, body-coloured bumpers, cruise control, remote central locking and air conditioning, so it's definitely worth the extra.

However, if you can, we'd recommended going for range-topping Comfort trim. It's still astonishing value but comes with a deep pool of extra kit, including electric rear windows, rain-sensing wipers and keyless entry. That's on top of the extra infotainment goodies and visibility aids we mentioned earlier.

Dacia Sandero 2021 Infotainment with docked smartphone

Reliability

Dacia didn’t do brilliantly in the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing mid-table in joint 14th place (out of 31 brands). Still, that was above Citroën, Ford, Seat and Volkswagen and a lot higher than MG and Vauxhall.

Every new Sandero comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which is par for the course in this class. Hyundai, Kia and Renault all provide longer warranties as standard.

Safety and security

We don’t yet know exactly how the Sandero will fare in the latest (and much tougher) Euro NCAP safety tests. Our insiders tell us it's likely to be decent but not class-leading, mainly because it isn't available with some of the latest driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control and self-steering.

However, every trim comes with automatic emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, six airbags, Isofix child seat mounts and e-Call emergency assistance. It's worth noting that if you go for entry-level Access trim, you'll get only two rear head restraints.

Overview

Often the verdict for a car costing this little would be ‘cheap but not great’. Not here, though, because the Sandero is a fine small car to spend time in and is actually above average in many, many areas. For practicality, it’s one of the best in the class. Entry-level Access trim is a bit too stripped out for most people, but the top-level Comfort trim with the TCe 90 engine is a great all-round package for very little outlay.

  • Amazingly good value
  • Lots of space for passengers and luggage
  • Comfortable ride
  • Not exactly thrilling to drive
  • Entry-level trim is very basic
  • There are quieter small cars

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