What's the used Dacia Sandero hatchback like?
Small cars have been steadily getting more advanced, with additional technology being added to appeal to buyers who demand the latest gadgets. This push upmarket has meant that buyers, who simply want a no-frills, low-cost A to B car, have been forced to look elsewhere. Fortunately for these people, there is the Dacia Sandero.
The basic Access version does without many luxuries you would expect of a new car, including such modern novelties as a radio. Ambiance adds more of what you expect of a modern car, with the top-model being the Laureate, which is surprisingly plentiful on the used market, despite it not offering great value against rivals when it was new.
The 1.2-litre petrol is rather slow, but it is also an engine using old technology and is simply not as efficient as more modern units. It may surprise you by costing you more than you’d expect when the time comes time to tax it, too. A 1.0-litre petrol replaced this engine during the 2017 refresh. There is also a 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol and a 1.5-litre dCi diesel, but these are only available on higher spec cars.
However, getting a better equipped Sandero doesn’t fully disguise the interior quality, which feels as if it has come from a car two generations ago, or the limited amount of sound deadening material that has been used to try and quieten down both the sound of the mechanicals and road noise. The biggest leap that has been made with small cars is making them quieter and more suited to long journeys. With the Sandero, you will need to make sure you can live with it, or turn the radio up in an attempt to drown it out.
There are plus points. To start with, the Sandero is noticeably bigger inside than its rivals, thanks to its larger body. If you regularly car passengers, this might be the car for you. And if you want comfort, the Sandero has a softly sprung ride which copes with speed bumps, potholes and bridge expansion joints quite well. Dips and crests on faster roads send the suspension into a bit of a dither, but for the most part it is fine. The steering is vague, but it does at least weight up in a consistent manner when you turn into bends, although a Ford Fiesta trounces it here because it manages to be both fun and engaging to drive, but quite comfortable too.
The pursuit of a low purchase price when it was new has lead to some compromises here, which you will have to consider when you look at a Dacia Sandero as a used purchase. Still not sure? Read on, and hopefully the rest of our comprehensive buying guide will help you decide.