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New Dacia Sandero vs used Volkswagen Polo: interiors

The Sandero is Britain's cheapest new car, and gives you a huge amount for your money, but would you be better off spending a similar amount on a three-year-old Polo?...

Dacia Sandero dashboard


Driving position, visibility, build quality

Both of these cars comes with a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and a steering wheel that can be moved in and out as well as up and down, so whatever your size, you shouldn't have any difficulty finding a comfortable driving position.

In addition, both offer good forward visibility. And while your over-the-shoulder view is more limited in the Dacia Sandero, due to its thicker rear pillars, the Comfort model that we're testing gets rear parking sensor and a rear-view camera as standard, whereas if you want these things on the VW Polo, you'll have to find one where the first owner ticked the necessary option boxes.

Volkswagen Polo dashboard

Interior quality, like refinement, is an area where budget models tend to fall down, but once again the Sandero surprises. Build quality feels solid, there's some tasteful fabric trim on the dashboard, and Comfort models even get chrome detailing and a ‘soft feel’ steering wheel, which does a good impression of leather. 

The Polo is plusher, with all versions getting a genuine leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearlever, and a soft-touch upper dash. However, it's a lot closer than you might think, with the plastics used lower down just as hard as those in the Sandero.

Infotainment systems

Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero touchscreen

Every Sandero has a DAB radio and Bluetooth, but you’ll need to opt for Comfort trim to get this 8.0in colour touchscreen screen with built-in sat-nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring. The screen is mounted helpfully high up on the dashboard and is tilted towards the driver, while Dacia’s operating system is easy to get used to and responds relatively quickly to inputs. We’d prefer proper shortcut buttons rather than touch-sensitive ones, but that's our only significant criticism.

Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen Polo touchscreen

The Polo has an 8.0in touchscreen with touch-sensitive shortcut buttons, too, but it's positioned lower down, meaning you have to take your eyes farther from the road to use it. Another drawback is that SE models did without built-in sat-nav, although you can use an app on your phone, thanks to the standard Apple and Android phone mirroring. Again, a DAB radio and Bluetooth are included, and the system is both responsive and user friendly.