Used Dacia Sandero (13-present) long term test review
The Dacia Sandero has long been a price-point winner in the What Car? new car awards, but is it a great second-hand purchase? We have four months to find out...
- The car - 2018 Dacia Sandero 0.9 TCe Comfort
- Run by - Max Adams - Used cars reporter
- Why it’s here - To find out if a ‘good value’ new car can be a great value used one.
- Needs to - Prove that it’s worth against other used small cars
Price when new £10,890 (including £1095 worth of options) Value on arrival £8990 Value now £8540 (trade price with no options) Miles on arrival 3395 Mileage now 4460 Official economy 45.6mpg (WLTP) Test economy 44.2mpg
17 May 2019 - the used Dacia Sandero joins our fleet
‘Spend a little, live a lot’. That’s the slogan of one of the fastest growing supermarket chains in the UK and it's one that Renault’s value sub-brand Dacia seems to be emulating. And it seems to be working, because not only has the Sandero taken a seventh consecutive win in the sub £12,000 small car category in the What Car? Awards, but Dacia has just celebrated its best first quarter sales results so far in the UK since it arrived on these shores back in 2013.
Reading further you find that, since that point about six years ago, more than 140,000 Dacias have been sold in the UK, so there are a fair few knocking around. In fact, there are more used Dacias for sale on one well-known classified ads site than far more established brands, such as Smart, Subaru, Alfa Romeo and Lexus. Quite a feat, in such a short space of time.
So it’s about time that the What Car? used desk looked into what running a used Dacia is like and, considering that the Sandero and closely related Sandero Stepway, make up the bulk of the brand's UK sales (some 47.4%, based on figures supplied by Dacia), we decided to get our hands on one.
The car we have is the posh one in the Sandero line-up, the top-spec Comfort with our favoured turbocharged 0.9-litre TCe petrol engine. Unlike a lot of examples out there, our car has a total of £1095 worth of options on it, so, at £10,945, ours was a pricey Sandero when new. Similar Comfort models can be found for between £8000-£9500 today, although ours would be closer to the latter given all the added extras.
You might be surprised to find that, despite there being a fair number of used Dacias on the second-hand market, Dacia doesn’t have an approved used scheme. I know I was taken aback while researching all the schemes presently offered in the UK, and thought that this was just an oversight on our part. So, I thought I’d have a chat with Callum Chamberlain – product and corporate relations manager for Dacia. He did suggest that they might look into one in the future, but for now, the brand is dealt with through the current Renault Approved Used programme. The benefits of said programme are pretty much par for the used car course, and quite a way behind the two-time award-winning scheme offered by Jaguar and Land Rover.
For now, though, let’s focus on the car itself. First impressions are that it's an easy car to drive and that it has a willing engine, once you've wound it up a bit. It's roomy, too: top-hat fanciers would be very impressed with the headroom you get in this car.
It does look quite smart with its metallic ‘Mercury’ paint (read silver, which cost the original owner a fairly steep £495) and 15in alloy wheels that were a £300 option when new. The £200 reversing camera uses the 7.0in touchscreen display fitted to all Comfort models, and works alongside the standard rear parking sensors to aid low-speed manoeuvres. It also has a highly practical emergency spare wheel that was a £150 option. The only thing missing on our car, according to Charlie Roper, Dacia press fleet and VIP relations manager, is the comfort pack, which brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel, electric rear windows and a front central armrest.
Over the next few months, we’ll look into not just what life with a Sandero is like, but whether Dacia ought to consider an approved used car scheme of its own. One thing is for certain, though, UK car buyers do like a bargain, so it’ll be interesting to check out whether a used Sandero makes as much sense as a new one does.
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