A revised version of the UK's cheapest new car - the Dacia Sandero – will go on sale in the UK early next year and, crucially, its headline-grabbing price tag of £5995 won't change.
The facelifted Sandero was first shown at October's Paris motor show alongside two of Dacia's other core models, the Sandero Stepway and Logan MCV. All three cars have been redesigned, and Dacia says it has aimed to give the range a "robust" look.
A new entry-level three-cylinder petrol engine, the 1.0-litre SCe 75, has been introduced to all three models. Compliant with Euro 6 regulations, it produces 74bhp and takes the total number of engines across the range to seven. Dacia claims it will offer a 10% improvement in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over the previous entry-level engine.
The Logan MCV and Sandero both sport a new front bumper design and chrome detailing on the air intake grille, while their rear bumpers have been revised to emphasise what Dacia describes as their ‘muscular’ stance.
On the Sandero Stepway, the front end has been revised to follow the design of the Duster SUV, with black bumper tones contrasting with chrome detailing. A chrome exhaust tailpipe has been added at the back.
All three models also get new LED running lights based on a pattern of three stacked rectangles, while the rear light clusters have been redesigned to a pattern based on three squares. The range of wheel trims and alloy wheels has also been updated.
The interiors have also had an overhaul, with satin-effect chrome finishes on the air vent surrounds, trim and centre console. A new four-spoke steering wheel has been installed, which on more expensive models has a soft feel finish. The Sandero Stepway now has chrome plated door handles on the inside, and the upholstery has new fabrics and patterns across the range.
Extra features available on the revised models include a reversing camera and Hill Start Assist. The window switches have been moved to the door panels following customer feedback, and on higher-end models, a retractable armrest has been fitted to the driver’s seat.
More storage space has been added to all cars, too, including a cubbyhole for a mobile phone, a tray on the side of the centre console and a bottle holder at the rear. A 12-volt power socket in the back is also new.
The updated Dacia Sandero is still priced from £5995 in the UK, making it the cheapest new car currently on sale. That low price is one of the Sandero's key selling points. Although the Sandero can cover most of the same bases as big-selling family hatchbacks, such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, its bargain price does demand compromises, and we've previously found its low-speed ride, engine refinement and interior equipment poor in comparison with these rivals.
We have found plenty to like about the Sandero, though, and at the 2016 What Car? Awards we named the 1.2 Ambiance model our best small car for under £12,000.
The Sandero Stepway, as its name suggests, is based on the Sandero, but it has more rugged styling, while the Logan MCV is a stretched estate version. Both cars have similarly low prices, with the Sandero Stepway and Logan MCV costing from £8795 and £6995 respectively. In each case, those prices make them some of the most affordable cars in the UK.
Got a motoring question? Our experts are standing by to help, just tweet us your question using #askwhatcar
For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here