Road Test: Dacia Sandero Stepway (13 on) 1.5 dCi Laureate 5d

  • We test top-of-the-range Stepway as a company car
  • Loaded with equipment and good to drive too
  • Company car tax from just £29 per month

As a budget proposition, the Dacia Sandero Stepway makes a lot of sense for a company car driver. Not only is it cheap to tax, but you get a whole lot of car for your money.

We’ve been testing the crossover in top-of-the-range Laureate specification equipped with the 1.5-litre diesel engine, and although it represents the summit of the Stepway line-up, it’s still incredibly affordable.

Our car, including its optional extras, would cost a company car driver on the 20% pay scale just £30 in benefit-in-kind taxation every month. That’s thanks to a low P11d value of £11,325 and CO2 emissions of just 104g/km, which means BIK is payable at 16% once the 3% diesel surcharge is applied.

That is seriously cheap considering the amount of equipment on offer, but crucially, the Stepway drives well too.

The smooth 1.5-litre turbocharged diesel engine develops 90bhp and 220Nm of pulling power, which means 62mph is possible in 11.8 seconds and the top speed is 104mph. The engine is a little noisy, but it’s very effective too.

On the open road it’s easy enough to make progress, but over-taking does require a gear change to get into the car’s power band. The five-speed gearbox itself is a little woolly, but you soon learn to live with it.

Although it’s not the fastest thing on earth, the diesel engine does offer extremely competitive running costs. Thanks to a claimed average fuel economy of 70.6mpg, the theoretical range is 776 miles. Upon test we saw a shade over 50mpg, which means a range of 550 miles.

Handling is very good – there’s loads of grip on offer and although there’s a little bit of body roll it’s nothing too ridiculous. It’s a car you feel confident driving, thanks primarily to the high driving position. The Stepway is 40mm higher than the regular Sandero it’s based upon.

Although it may not look like it thanks to its chunky styling, the Stepway is actually front-wheel drive rather than four-wheel drive. This is one of the factors pushing running costs down; four-wheel drive systems sap power, thus harming fuel economy and increasing CO2 emissions.

In Laureate trim you get lots of equipment such as a touchscreen sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity, 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning and electric windows.

Our car also came with a selection of optional extras which push the tax cost up by just £1 per month – namely metallic paint and a European mapping upgrade for the sat nav system.

You can order the Sandero Stepway now. For the full review, click here.

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