Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2
  • Very spacious and space-efficient
  • Big footwells up front
  • Boxy boot with no wasted space

Being a super-sized supermini pays off. At 4,088mm long, the Sandero is about 40mm longer than the Ford Fiesta or Renault Clio - but still 200mm shorter than a Golf or Focus. It's also 50mm wider than a Clio, but the difference in cabin width feels much greater.

A less visually aerodynamic shape than rivals means the Sandero gets the most out of that relatively small footprint, with efficient use of space throughout and large, wide-opening doors for rear passengers, complemented by big windows for great visibility.

Part of the feeling of space is down to the relatively spartan interior appointments. There are fewer covered-and-trimmed cubbyholes and boxes than in more expensive rivals, and the area between the front seats is left relatively clear - though there's a pair of low cupholders and a handbrake, there's no space wasted making an armrest box - instead, there's an armrest on the seat on higher-spec Sanderos.

You could dismiss this as 'cost cutting' and you'd be right, but it's worth noting that minimalist interior design is becoming trendy, with electric car designers looking to emphasis flat floors and weight saving - the Sandero's following the same ethos.

As a result of the boxy, big-windowed design the Sandero is very well suited to urban environments (the steel wheels are another bonus if you find yourself trapped between a bus and a hard kerb). It's easy to judge where the car is on the road, helped by a high driving position and unobtrusive dashboard, and big mirrors make it easy to park even if you don't have the sensors and reversing camera of the higher-specification models

You've got two places to stow your phone, but on the Comfort model the dash-mounted holder is a bit of a mixed bag. Placing the phone in the driver's line of sight with a short connecting cable is logical and uncluttered, but the placement of the holder between dashboard and infotainment screen leaves little room for modern, larger handsets. Maybe the ethos of simplicity will extend to you swapping back to a Nokia 3310 from that plus-sized iPhone.

Luggage space

As a thoroughly sensible car, the Sandero puts luggage space over 'sporty styling' and the back is nearly vertical below the parcel shelf. Not all Sanderos have a false boot floor, either, so the official 328 litre volume may not be taking into account the 78 litres 'under' the floor.

In other markets, the Sandero is described as having a 410-litre boot, and our rough size comparisons suggest that's a more accurate measure - it swallows a lawnmower box with the seats unlatched but upright - and that only just fits in a typical 450-490-litre SUV's boot.

Regardless of how the volume is measured for specifications, it's a big, unimpeded space, even with the LPG system. You'll want the false floor if you fold the seats regularly, though, as that's the only way to get a flat and long load space.

When fitted, the false floor carves out a large and usefully deep hidden space ideal for coats, tools, emergency supplies or valuables that you don't need to access often.

If you do choose a TCe 100 Bi-fuel, the LPG fuel tank takes up the space normally occupied by a spare wheel, but there are no other changes - making it an extremely practical conversion, though you do end up with the tyre repair/emergency kit to stow somewhere (maybe under a false floor).

The boot is the one area where the Sandero shows some obvious cost cutting - there's no trim over the loading lip (you can get thick protective film to prevent scratches, or an accessory 'Flexcover' that unrolls to protect the bumper and boot lip or the folded seats) and the Access model lacks a split-folding rear seat.

Safety

  • Two-star rating reflects Euro NCAP's higher standards
  • Reasonable amount of safety kit
  • Rear seats feature two Isofix points

Thanks to the amount of available technology unlocked by moving to an all-new platform, the Sandero has a greater focus on safety equipment than its predecessor.

All Sanderos feature Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) that operates between 4 and 106mph. If there’s a risk of a collision, audible and visual warnings are activated. Brake force can be applied if not enough action – or none at all – is taken by the driver to slow down.

Despite that upgrade, Euro NCAP's standards have been significantly toughened-up since the last Sandero - and many of the Sandero's current rivals - were tested, meaning the 2021 model has to hit high benchmarks for a good score.

With just two stars, you might consider that it failed, but because of those changing standards we still consider the Sandero's safety acceptable when compared with rivals designed - and tested - before 2017. We consider the Sandero to be a safe car overall, but one which lacks the driver assistance technology of more expensive alternatives

The differences in Euro NCAP standards year on year are significant here - if you're favouring a car tested in 2015/16 because it has a higher star rating, the Sandero's crash protection is likely to be equal or better.

Other safety features include:

Basic equipment

The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the Dacia Sandero Hatchback.

  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • ABS
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Driver`s airbag
  • Folding rear seats
  • Front electric windows
  • Isofix child seat anchor points
  • PAS
  • Passenger`s airbag
  • Remote locking
  • Side airbags
  • Steel wheels
  • Steering wheel rake adjustment
  • Steering wheel reach adjustment

Equipment by trim level

To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:

Equipment included on some trim levels
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Cruise control
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav

Access equipment

Access standard equipment
Same as basic equipment
Access optional equipment
None available

Comfort equipment

Comfort standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Cruise control
  • Electric mirrors
  • Front fog lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
  • Parking sensors
  • Rear electric windows
  • Sat Nav
Comfort optional equipment
None available

Essential equipment

Essential standard equipment
  • Air conditioning
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Cruise control
  • Height adjustable drivers seat
Essential optional equipment
None available

Euro NCAP Rating – 2 stars

The Dacia Sandero Hatchback was tested by Euro NCAP in 2021 and was awarded a 2 star overall rating. This overall rating is calculated from the following individual ratings:

2 star rating
Test 2021
Individual safety ratings
Adult Occupant: 70%
Child Occupant: 72%
Vulnerable Road Users: 41%
Safety Assist: 42%

Euro NCAP provides motoring consumers with a realistic and independent assessment of the safety performance of some of the most popular cars sold in Europe. The safety ratings are determined from a series of vehicle tests, designed and carried out by Euro NCAP. These tests represent, in a simplified way, important real life accident scenarios that could result in injured or killed car occupants or other road users.