Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0
  • Stepway interior feels somewhat retro…
  • … but not necessarily in a good way
  • Robust and well-built

Old Renault buttons and switches don’t ever really die – they enjoy a new life peppering the cabins of Dacia models, and the Sandero Stepway is no exception.

That’s not necessarily to say customers will be troubled by this, especially those who are familiar with Renault in the first place. It’s also a reasonable indication that everything will work as intended.

However, there’s a total absence of design flair in here, which is a shame when some cheap cars – such as the Volkswagen Up – prove that cheap doesn’t need to be boring. You’ll find little but a vast expanse of grey plastic in here, and even the smart tartan upholstery on the Techroad models can’t lift it.

There are also a couple of rather baffling design decisions. Buy a model before the most recent 2019 facelift, and you’ll find cruise controls splattered all about the cabin. The radio controls remain on a weird stalk behind the steering wheel, and we’d rather like to know which of Renault’s designers decided to put the infotainment system’s USB port and aux input above the screen, so plugging anything in will see its cables hang over the screen, obstructing it from view.

As far as equipment goes, the Stepway does without the very basic ‘Access’ trim you get on the regular Sandero. Instead, the range kicks off with ‘Essential’ which features a basic, non-touchscreen radio with DAB and Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, electric front windows and remote central locking.

Comfort models gain a touchscreen infotainment system, rear parking sensors and cruise control, while Techroad models feature a parking camera and bespoke upholstery.

Comfort

  • High-riding suspension is comfy enough
  • Seats are flat and lack support
  • Rough-road suspension deals well with major potholes

Dacia's cars are built tough enough to deal with unmade roads and dirt tracks, which makes them somewhat perfect for the more pockmarked stretches of British tarmac, and you won’t have any qualms about taking the Sandero Stepway through potholes or over speed bumps.

The ride’s soft edge extends to the thick, pillowy seats, but what these enjoy in plushness they lack in bolstering. Long journeys in the Sandero Stepway are liable to leave you with an aching back, while fast cornering will see you thrown about due to the lack of bolstering.