Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 6.0 - 8.1 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 39.7 - 53.3 mpg
  • TCe 100 Bi-fuel is cheapest to run - on LPG
  • Economical petrol engines
  • Bi-fuel instead of hybrid, and no-diesel either

There's no sense making Britain's most affordable new car cost a fortune to run, so the Sandero's petrol engines are all reasonably economical. Under the latest  'real-world' WLTP testing, the least economical is the TCe 90 automatic, followed by the TCe 100.

Somewhat predictably the SCe 65 has the best official figures, but with five speeds and much slower performance it is unlikely to deliver savings in real-world use.

However, the TCe 100 runs on LPG as well as petrol, and that combination has the lowest economy of all in mpg. If you're familiar with LPG, you'll be used to a 20-25% drop in economy, which is offset by a roughly 40% drop in pence per litre at the pump.

The Sandero's LPG installation is optimised for performance, too - hence the TCe 100 gaining power and torque, yet offering lower CO2 figures.

Figures for fuel economy and CO2 emissions are as follows under the latest WLTP regime:

  • TCe 90hp: 53.3mpg, 120g/km
  • SCe 65hp: 53.3mpg, 121g/km
  • TCe 90hp auto: 48.7mpg, 132g/km
  • TCe 100hp Bi-fuel (on petrol): 52.3mpg, 123g/km
  • TCe 100hp Bi-fuel (on LPG): 39.8mpg, 109g/km

Somewhat unsurprisingly the automatic produces the most CO2. The TCe 100 is by far the cleanest - and, amusingly, when it's at its most powerful and running on LPG. At just 109g/km it highlights the benefits of the alternative fuel rather well, but performs less well on petrol than the pure TCe 90.

Despite the green credentials of LPG, the Bi-fuel models attract a higher Benefit-in kind (BIK) tax rate than the TCe 90.

Given the relatively low P11D value of the car, the additional BIK payment will be offset by the fuel savings for higher-mileage users - and it's still worth considering if you're offered a company car and don't do many miles, if you have access to LPG stations nearby.

With both tanks full the Sandero can travel 800 miles without a fill-up, and in most regards the two fuels are equally easy to live with.

Most - but for British drivers our chunky bayonet LPG fillers present a challenge with the position of the fuel flap,clockwise-threaded adaptor and pressurised fuel. It takes a few tries to get the knack of filling and detaching after topping up the tank.

Reliability

  • All-new car powered by existing well-proven engines
  • Lots of shared technology with other Renaults
  • Dacia has a reasonable reliability record

Yes, the Dacia Sandero is all-new, but it's based on existing platforms and systems. The 1.0-litre TCe engine has been available in various Renaults and Dacias for a couple of years, including with the LPG-based Bi-fuel system, and the SCe is a simple, light and unstressed unit.

Dacia achieves a slightly above avarage rating in the JD Power Vehicle Dependency Survey. Scoring 114 problems per 100 vehicles reported - compared with an industry average of 119 - beats parent company Renault's score of 122.

Physical controls rather than reliance on touchscreens or 'touch sensitive' buttons, mechanical parts that are easy to get to, and robust, well assembled interior trim indicate a long-lived car that should be reliable for a long time, and easy and cheap to repair when age and use catches up with it. Some components may be more expensive than you might expect though, as the Sandero becomes more sophisticated - particularly the LED lighting.

One area the Sandero will have an edge over other cars you may consider is in the LPG system. As it is a fully integrated liquid injection system it should prove considerably more reliable than an aftermarket conversion.

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £155
Insurance group 3 - 11
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