Autotrader ad desktop

In partnership with Auto Trader

New Dacia Sandero vs used Ford Fiesta

The price of a new Dacia Sandero is one of its most compelling strengths, so what happens in a fight against a used Ford Fiesta that undercuts it?...

Dacia Sandero pictured driving from the side and Ford Fiesta pictured driving from the side

The contenders

NEW Dacia Sandero 1.0 TCe 90 Expression

List price £14,795
Target price £14,586

It may be one of Britain's cheapest new cars, but the Sandero doesn't deserve to be thrown in the bargain bin

USED Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost 140 ST-Line

Price new £20,440
Price today £13,000*

The Fiesta has long been an immensely popular used car, and we rate its driving experience very highly

*Price today is based on a 2020 model with average mileage and a full service history and is correct at the time of writing

Not too long ago, sub-£10,000 was enough to buy you a new set of wheels. Today, that kind of money is enough to buy you a new set of wheels, just not the rest of the car. That's right, nowadays it's spend five figures or no brand new car for you.  

Even so, the Dacia Sandero still looks like a bargain next to its small car competition. For example, you'll need upwards of £25,000 to pick up the cheapest Honda Jazz

Dacia Sandero front cornering

The Sandero has garnered a fair few fans (including us) since its release, with its unmatched affordability being a large factor in that. As a result, we're pitting it against a slightly cheaper alternative from the used market – a three-year-old used Ford Fiesta – to see how the Sandero holds up without its cost advantage helping it out.


Performance, ride, handling, refinement

In our hands, the Sandero's 90bhp 1.0-litre petrol engine helped it complete the 0-60mph sprint in 12.4sec. This is a respectable time, although not a stellar one: around town and on the motorway, the Sandero's engine is punchy enough to get by, though. 

The Fiesta we've brought along has a 138bhp 1.0-litre petrol under its bonnet. It managed 0-60mph in 9.0sec against our stopwatch and, perhaps needless to say, the Fiesta's engine feels more energetic in every situation you put it in.

Ford Fiesta front driving

Energetic is also how we'd describe the Fiesta's handling. Especially in regards to the ST-Line trim – which has sports suspension –  it's as good as small cars get. You'll find it sharp and agile in the corners, with darty steering and a satisfying manual gearshift. The Fiesta is fun to drive. 

The Sandero doesn't ignite any such fire. It handles neatly, sure, but it's much softer and more relaxed. In turn, the Sandero is the more comfortable option – the Fiesta isn't uncomfortable per se, but the ride is firmer and busier. 

The Fiesta is the quieter, more refined cruiser. On the motorway, the Sandero whips up quite a lot of wind noise, although fortunately road and engine noise are kept to a minimum.