- Most affordable car in the UK at present
- More boot space than a Ford Fiesta
- Rivals are more fun to drive
- Standard kit is not substantial on any trim
- Diesel engine is noisy
Dacia's second-generation Sandero enters the UK market for the first time in the supermini’s history, and it is the cheapest car on sale in the UK (based on official list prices). Prices will start at just £5,995, rising to £9,795 for the top-of-the-range Laureate trim.
This new model replaces the current car after only four years on sale in Europe, and it will be aimed at the budget end of the market. Like the Dacia Duster 4x4 it will also be built in Romania but its main rivals will be Ford’s Fiesta, Vauxhall’s Corsa and the Kia Rio. Its ace up the sleeve, however, is its competitive price - designed to turn heads of those looking for a supermini that won't break the bank.
Dacia Sandero equipment
Just like the Dacia Duster there are three trim levels: Access, Ambiance and the top-of-the-range Laureate. The entry-level Access is fitted with airbags, ABS and power steering as standard but customers will have to live without alloy wheels, electric mirrors, any sort of audio system and aircon.
The mid-spec Ambiance gets a CD player, USB and aux-in jacks, Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows, body-coloured bumpers, front foglights and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, while the Sandero Laureate will receive alloys, cruise control, electric rear windows, heated electric door mirrors and a trip computer.
Three engines are available on the Sandero range. A 1.2-litre 74bhp petrol engine returns a claimed average fuel economy of 47.9mpg with CO2 emissions of 137g/km. A 0.9-litre 89bhp petrol engine has fuel economy of 54.3mpg on the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 120g/km and an 89bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine averages 74.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
The new Dacia Sandero gets a 320-litre boot with 60/40 split-fold rear seats, while a durable cabin and dashboard completes the layout. This trumps rivals including the Ford Fiesta that has a load space of 295 litres with the rear seats in place while the Kia Rio has a load space of 288 litres with the rear seats up.
The Sandero will arrive on forecourts in January 2013 and be sold from Renault dealerships. It blends value with a fairly decent driving car. With no frills the Sandero should attract buyers wanting to get from A to B in a straightforward and reliable manner. By undercutting it rivals this is the most affordable car in the UK which will worry established rivals like Ford and Vauxhall.
The three-cylinder model is the pick of the bunch in Laureate specification. It lacks the character of other three-cylinder engines but it does make sense if you are going to use the Sandero largely around town. Combined fuel economy is claimed at 54.3mpg while CO2 emissions are 116g/km.
Read the full Dacia Sandero review to see what this budget brand has to offer.