DA­CIA UP­GRADES ITS BUD­GET SANDERO HATCH­BACK FOR 2017

The Sandero has been famed as a ro­bust, bud­get hatch­back, but now there’s a new one. An­drew Evans tests it out...

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page - BY AN­DREW EVANS

WHAT’S NEW?

Along­side a lightly re­worked ex­te­rior facelift, the new Sandero brings with it a new en­gine. This three-cylin­der unit, known as the SCE 75, be­comes the en­try point to the Da­cia range at £5,995 in ba­sic Ac­cess trim, but is also avail­able in the far more pop­u­lar Am­biance spec­i­fi­ca­tion, as well as the Lau­re­ate range-top­ping model we tested – al­though this lat­ter com­bi­na­tion won’t be com­ing to the UK.

LOOKS AND IM­AGE

Da­cia isn’t a par­tic­u­larly stir­ring brand. De­spite some free and partly tongue-incheek ad­ver­tis­ing for the Sandero on the world’s most pop­u­lar mo­tor­ing tele­vi­sion show, ul­ti­mately it’s a lit­tle-known Ro­ma­nian brand that builds cars based on older Re­nault plat­forms (this one used to be a Clio) and sells them cheaply on a no-frills prom­ise.

It’s en­dear­ing to an ex­tent and the brand has its ad­mir­ers and fans, but it’s not go­ing to make many car en­thu­si­asts take too much no­tice – for now.

SPACE AND PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY

The Sandero is a roomy car. It’s a B-seg­ment hatch­back, sit­ting in the same class as the Ford Fi­esta and Vaux­hall Corsa, but with a 320L boot – ex­pand­ing to 1,200L with the rear seats down – it’s the roomi­est ve­hi­cle in the sec­tor.

There’s de­cent space in the cabin too, so it comes with some pretty solid fam­ily cre­den­tials and even the EURONCAP rat­ing (at 4 stars) is a de­cent ef­fort that ri­vals many in the sec­tor.

BE­HIND THE WHEEL

There are few things to grum­ble about in the Sandero’s driv­ing man­ners if you tem­per your ex­pec­ta­tions some­what. The older Clio un­der­pin­nings ac­tu­ally do trans­late to some mod­icum of han­dling per­for­mance, but it’s a lit­tle out­dated and while you can coax a lit­tle fun out of it, dis­tinctly av­er­age.

It’s largely fo­cused on the com­fort of the drive and it scores rea­son­ably well, even on some dis­mal roads out in the Croa­t­ian hills. The size – and cam­eras in this Lau­re­ate spec­i­fi­ca­tion – mean it’s a dod­dle around town, too.

VALUE FOR MONEY

The Sandero ticks one box for value

right away: it’s the cheap­est car you can buy in the UK. How­ever, in the very cheap­est Ac­cess trim, it’s almost a false econ­omy, as there’s so lit­tle equip­ment that it draws too much at­ten­tion to the car’s short­com­ings and de­tracts from the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Am­biance buy­ers get air con­di­tion­ing, DAB ra­dio, Blue­tooth for your phone and Aux and USB in­puts, and for £6,995 that’s a pretty solid equip­ment list.

WHO WOULD BUY ONE?

The Sandero is very much a car for those who are bud­get­ing for two or three-year old ex­am­ples of more ex­pen­sive hatch­backs but still want all of the ben­e­fits of a new car.

“THE SANDERO IS A ROOMY CAR. IT’S A B-SEG­MENT HATCH­BACK, SIT­TING IN THE SAME CLASS AS THE FORD FI­ESTA AND VAUX­HALL CORSA, BUT WITH A 320L BOOT – EX­PAND­ING TO 1,200L WITH THE REAR SEATS DOWN – IT’S THE ROOMI­EST VE­HI­CLE IN THE SEC­TOR.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.