Pricing for new Dacia Sandero and Stepway announced

  • Dacia's range gets new looks, running gear and tech
  • Is it the end of austerity for Britain's cheapest car?
  • Starting price for Sandero comes in at £7,995

Dacia Sandero (2020) front view

Pricing and spec details of the new Dacia Sandero and Stepway have been announced, and the good news is the entry-level model remains the cheapest new car in the UK at £7,995. It's available to pre-order now and goes on sale in February 2021.

The Sandero continues to offer a value package, but it's far more modern and well-equipped than the outgoing model. The entry-level Access model comes with LED headlights, front electric windows and a phone docking station. The mid-range Essential model (from £8,995) gains air-conditioning, cruise control and remote central locking, while the range-topping Comfort (from £11,995) gets electric rear windows and an 8.0-inch central touchscreen for its infotainment system.

The SUV-style Sandero Stepway is similarly updated and launched at the same time – pricing starts at £10,995.

Dacia Sandero Stepway (2020) front view

2021 Dacia Sandero details

Core to the new range from Dacia, the new Sandero is based on the technology that underpins the excellent new Renault Clio and Captur. This means Dacia buyers are getting the same core values as the more expensive marque, albeit with some changes in technlogy and trim to maintain that difference in cost and value.

Where the current Sandero was defined by the appliance-white, black-bumpered Access, the 2021 Sandero features touches like rear LED signature lighting, soft-touch materials on the dashboard, MediaNav infotainment with a clever integrated phone holder, and a modern dashboard architecture that looks straight out of the latest SUV rather than something suited to a light commercial vehicle.

The Access gets Media Control, which offers a bluetooth radio solution - a step up from a 'place to put a radio and speakers'. As well as a cradle to hold your smartphone while paried, it has two speakers and uses the 3.5-linch display in the main instrument panel. Hardware controls on the steering wheel are mapped to control the phone as well, for safety.

Media Display introduces an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and four speakers.

Finally Media Nav, the touchscreen infotainment is upgraded with six speakers and navigation built-in.

That's not all that marks the upmarket move from the Sandero. Optional equipment, potentially destined for higher trim levels or option packs in the UK, includes digital climate control, cruise control, speed limiter and hands-free keycard access and starting. Heated seats and a glass tilt-slide sunroof are among the firsts for Dacia offered on the 2021 Sandero, and all models get automatic headlights.

Dacia Sandero Stepway (2020) interior

What powers the new Sandero?

The engine range in the new Sandero is similar to what came before, and it's been confirmed that the hybrid system offered in similar Renaults won't be an option. Where Dacia wants to reduce running costs and emissions, you'll find LPG is a core part of the Sandero strategy.

There's a selection of three three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engines:

>> SCe 65, which isn't available on the Stepway. Without a turbocharger, and offered with a five-speed manual gearbox only.

>> TCe 90. Turbocharged, and offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox, or a CVT automatic gearbox.

>> TCe 100 Bi-Fuel. The most powerful Sandero engine is also likely to be the least expensive to run, as Eco-G is Dacia's new Bi-Fuel - LPG or petrol - technology. It will only be offered with a manual six-speed gearbox.

How much of the Sandero's body is new?

All of it! Because it's moving to a new platform there's no old Sandero here - the suspension is new, the wheelbase is longer for greater comfort, the way the body is assembled is new, improving crash performance and refinement. New LED lights (standard on all models) mark a mature look that's more purposeful than before, and arguably has a cleaner style than the similarly-sized Clio.

Fabric-wrapped dashboard elements, new seats, electric power steering and details such as an electric boot release all point to the Sandero's growth into a highly competitive 4,088mm-long five-seater supermini without the caveat of budget.

Boot space for the Sandero comes in at a highly competitive 328 litres, and rear passenger space has been increased with an additional 42mm of legroom. Drivers get a height-adjustable seat with a wider range of adjustments for seat and wheel than before, improving both comfort and safety.

What about the Sandero Stepway?

Dacia Sandero and Stepway (2020)

Always tempting, the Sandero Stepway offers more ground clearance (174mm), extra body cladding and a general off-road attitude that slots neatly below the Duster as a 'lifestyle' choice.

Much of the Stepway is the same as the Sandero it's based on, but there are some new features. Alongside a more adventurous approach to interior design, giving the Stepway a special feel through the use of orange accents, there's a clever modular roof rack system. Using a key to unlock the mechanism, you can rotate the standard roof rails by 90 degrees to form an 80kg capacity roof rack.

Body-colour skid plates and unique alloy wheels or trims complete the Stepways transformation into a vehicle that, frankly, can probably handle most of the terrain you'd consider an SUV for in the UK.

What this means for you

The new Sandero and Stepway's value pricing remain in place. If you're eager to get the new model, you can pre-order a car for £99 and you get free servicing thrown in, which usually costs £399. The new Sandero and Stepway promise much more involving driving, greater refinement and objectively, sharper, more contemporary looks inside and out than the old one.

If you live somewhere that it's easy to get LPG, give the Bi-Fuel model serious consideration too. You're still burning fuel, but LPG emissions are cleaner than petrol or diesel, and considerably cheaper at the pump.

If you are not too bothered about having the latest model, now's the time to go after a run-out version of the outgoing Sandero if you want to pick up a bargain, particularly if you're looking at the more affordable specifications in the first place.

Further reading

>> The best new car deals
>> Car leasing with no deposit
>> Pricing and specs revealed for new Renault hybrid models

Dacia Sandero (2020) rear view