The Dacia Sandero has been causing a stir as one of the most affordable cars on sale in the UK. The Sandero range starts with a 1.2 litre petrol which is nippy around town but struggles at high speed. Elsewhere there’s a 0.9 three cylinder turbo which is better at speed but more expensive, and not as responsive around town.

The pick of the range is the diesel which is punchy and fuel-efficient. The ride isn't the smoothest though, and you can tell it’s been built to a budget. It feels unsettled, especially at low speeds and while it’s not uncomforatble, it's arguably not as good as some of its pricier rivals.

The cabin isn't the most refined place to be, with lots of engine noise in the petrol model and even more in the diesel – and the wind and road noise becomes tiresome at high speeds.

There is little to fault with the simple dash layout, though. While visibility is excellent, getting comfy might be tricky due to the limited seat height and steering adjustment. The Sandero does scores points for space, more than matching its main rivals for practicality. Headroom is generous and the rear seats fold 60/40.

Steer clear of the entry-level model. It may be cheap, but lacks even basics like central locking or a radio. 

So to sum up we love the Sandero for its affordability, its space and its roomy cabin. The downside though is its lumpy ride, limited equipment and its poor refinement – but in many ways the Sandero is in a class of its own.

Likes: Space, Practicality, Affordability

Dislikes: Equipment, Ride, Refinement

Adam Pilon


October 27, 2014