Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

VerdictShould you buy a Dacia Sandero Stepway?

You could, but we don’t see much point in it. If you want a small off-roader, then there are better options available for not much more money – such as the SsangYong Korando, MG ZS or even Dacia’s own Duster.

If you merely want a super-cheap hatchback with lots of room, there’s nothing the Sandero Stepway has that its smaller, cheaper Sandero sibling doesn’t offer.

Yes, the Sandero Stepway is more stylish than its sister car – it’s marginally easier to get into and out of and it probably won’t attract quite as many sneers in the company car park. But if image is an issue, you’re very unlikely to be buying a Dacia – not when two or three-year old examples of more premium brands are available for the same money.

There’s a certain simple charm to Dacia’s products and that’s embodied in the Stepway, though not as much as in the simpler Duster or Sandero. It feels well-built rather than plush, and should prove reliable – with few electronic gizmos to go wrong.

In reality, even despite the super-low price, the Sandero Stepway falls short of the mark for refinement, driving manners, safety, style and performance. We think there are better options available.