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Used Dacia Sandero (2013-present) long-term test review: report 3

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...

Used Dacia Sandero long term test
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Max Adams
28 Jun 2019 07:30

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 its worth against other used small cars


Price when new £10,890 (including £1095 worth of options) Value on arrival £8990 Value now £8413 (trade price with no options) Miles on arrival 3395 Mileage now 5181 Official economy 45.6mpg (WLTP) Test economy 41.2mpg


28 June 2019 – Sandero in the city

The Sandero is back from its brief spell away from me. It seems that a service and a reset were all that was needed to deal with the 'warning light malfunction' that I mentioned in the previous update. The issue hasn’t reappeared, so all seems well once again with our Dacia.

After I’ve gotten any car back from being serviced, I like to check the oil level. So, the first thing I did when the Sandero returned was to get under the bonnet, which is self-supported by a gas strut, by the way, and not the usual stick; usually you'd see such thoughtful touches only on more expensive cars such as the Audi A3.

Used Dacia Sandero long term test

The process of checking the oil is fairly straightforward. You wait around five to 10 minutes for the levels to settle after running the engine, remove the dipstick, wipe off the oil, replace, then remove again to get a level.

Unfortunately, the dipstick tube is actually curved at the top in a Sandero, and this means that you leave a layer of oil behind on the inside of the tube when you remove the stick initially. This then ends up back on the stick when you drag it back out and therefore can make it tricky to get an accurate indication of how much oil you have.

Used Dacia Sandero long term test

In other news, I took the Sandero into the City of London last week for an evening event. Since the Sandero is a Euro 6 petrol car, I didn’t have to pay for the ULEZ, so aside from some traffic, it seemed like a sensible thing to do. Besides, it was a ‘school night’ anyway and the trains running out to the sticks where I live become annoyingly infrequent at night.

On the whole, the car coped well with the cut and thrust of London traffic, but you can be caught out by the rather pronounced turbo lag at times when you need to merge into busy traffic. The steering is both heavy for a small car these days and quite slow, meaning a lot of arm twirling is required when making tight turns and to avoid buses. This isn’t normally an issue on my commute down the M3, so those who mostly stick to motorways and A-roads probably won’t notice this.

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