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The im­proved Dacia Sandero Stepway is in­ex­pen­sive but doesn't look it.

It's a su­per­mini that's been jacked up a bit to give a cross­over look and seems to press all the right but­tons for buy­ers who don't want big out­lay but re­quire big value.

The en­try-level 88bhp 1.2-litre petrol en­gine will prob­a­bly be more than enough for most peo­ple and it's a sweet lit­tle mo­tor, the three cylin­ders mak­ing a char­ac­ter­ful sound and driv­ing the front wheels via a five-speed man­ual gear­box.

The 1.2-litre petrol en­gine is re­spectably quick but it'll still re­turn rea­son­able fuel econ­omy.

It's a much more in­ter­est­ing and, cru­cially, ex­pen­sive-look­ing car than the ba­sic Sandero hatch and al­though it's essentially a 4x4-styled su­per­mini it's still a ve­hi­cle that will find a ready mar­ket here in the UK.

With its 40mm raised ride height, it will not only ap­peal to those look­ing for some­thing a bit beefy-look­ing to drive in town, but older buy­ers might well ap­pre­ci­ate not hav­ing to sit so far down into the ve­hi­cle.

The Stepway is a case study in how to do bud­get cars very well in­deed.

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