Costs & verdict
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
Dacia is keen to shout about the Sandero’s incredible entry-level price, because it’s by far the cheapest option in the small car class. All the engines are claimed to be economical and inexpensive to run, and, while the 1.0-litre promises the most miles to the gallon, the 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol is barely any less fuel-efficient.
Most buyers will be put off by decidedly spartan entry-level Access trim and will instead opt for one of the higher models. The Sandero loses a bit of its bargain appeal as you ascend the price list, but every model is still very good value compared with equivalent rivals.
When it comes time to sell, you may be impressed by just how much of its value the Dacia holds onto. In fact, the Sandero can beat many of its small car rivals when it comes to depreciation.
Equipment, options and extras
Unless you're interested in spending as little as possible on a new car, avoid entry-level Access trim. It takes basic to the extreme, missing out on air conditioning, central locking, a radio and even painted bumpers.
Mid-range Essential is much easier to live with. It’s still very keenly priced but has features such as air-con, remote locking, electric front windows, Bluetooth and DAB radio. If you'd rather a few more luxuries, though, Comfort might be more for you. It adds a touchscreen infotainment system and cruise control, although this pushes the price up considerably, so we’d stick with Essential trim. Electric rear windows and leather seats are on the options list.
Dacia recorded a respectable result in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, finishing 12th out of 31 manufacturers.
The Sandero itself finished a deeply impressive second overall in the small car class, with only the Honda Jazz proving more reliable. Every Sandero comes with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, a two-year paintwork guarantee and six-year anti-corrosion policy. It’s possible to extend your warranty to five years or seven years if you're prepared to pay extra. Breakdown assistance is provided as part of the warranty.
For a very small fee, you can add three years' worth of puncture and misfuelling cover, as well as cover for if you accidentally lock your keys inside the car.
Safety and security
All Sanderos come with a tyre pressure monitor, stability control and four airbags as standard, but this is the bare minimum you'd expect on any modern car. Forget about important modern safety aids, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and blindspot monitoring – these things aren't even available as options.
As a result, the Sandero managed only four stars (out of five) in its Euro NCAP crash test, whereas the best small cars have five-star scores. Security leaves a lot to be desired, with no alarm to deter thieves unless you get the dealer to fit one as an accessory.
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