Cost & verdict

Dacia Sandero review

Manufacturer price from:£6,995
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Dacia Sandero
Review continues below...
4 Jan 2017 00:00 | Last updated: 21 Aug 2018 10:24

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Dacia Sandero hatchback running costs

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 cost you little in the way of fuel, and while the diesel promises the most miles to the gallon (80.7mpg), even the 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol can manage a claimed 57.6mpg. We've yet to put the latest Sandero through our real-world True MPG test, however.

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 starts to look less attractive as the prices rise, but it's still very good value compared with equivalent rivals.

In percentage terms, the Sandero looks to hold onto its value well compared with other cars, but remember that because you don’t pay much for it in the first place, you won't end up with much cash in your pocket when you sell.

Dacia Sandero hatchback equipment

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 Ambiance probably makes the most sense. It’s still very keenly priced but gets features such as air-con, remote locking, electric front windows and Bluetooth. If you like your luxuries, though, Lauréate might be more for you. It adds a touchscreen infotainment system and cruise control, although this pushes the price up considerably. Electric rear windows and leather seats are on the options list.

Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero hatchback reliability

Dacia didn’t fare too well in our latest reliability survey, although the Sandero is made of parts that have been tried and tested in some Renault models.

All Sanderos come with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, as well as 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 accidently lock your keys inside the car.

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Dacia Sandero hatchback 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 and blindspot monitoring – these things aren't even available as options.

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.

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Verdict

Demands compromises, but acceptable ones given the price

  • Extremely cheap to buy
  • Surprisingly roomy
  • Economical engines
  • Nothing special to drive
  • Interior feels cheap
  • Entry-level trim gets very little kit
There are 5 trims available for the Sandero hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Access
Avoid this one unless you really can't push the budget any higher. It misses out on air-conditioning, central locking, a radio, and you don't even get painted bumpers....View trim
Fuel Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£6,918
Average Saving £77
View Trim
Essential
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£7,708
Average Saving £87
View Trim
Ambiance
This makes the most sense. It’s still sensibly priced but gets important features such as air-conditioning, a DAB radio, remote central locking, electric front windows and Bluetooth....View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£7,708
Average Saving £87
View Trim
Comfort
We are yet to try out this variant...View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£8,695
Average Saving £100
View Trim
Laureate
Laureate trim brings a touchscreen infotainment system, rear parking sensors and cruise control. It pushes up the price considerably, but this range-topping Sandero is still temptingly priced....View trim
Fuel Diesel, Petrol
What Car? Target Price from
£8,695
Average Saving £100
View Trim