What is it?
The Dacia Sandero remains Britain’s cheapest car even after a £1000 price hike last year to £6995, but almost nobody buys that UN-spec version. When did you ever see a plain white Sandero with black bumpers?
That’s because even those at the very bottom end of the new car buying market are looking for a few creature comforts. The headline-grabber of the latest round of subtle revisions to the Sandero range is this new Comfort model, a range-topper that can be had with the optimum petrol engine, and all for less than £10,000.
Your £9795 gets you the kind of toys that most other car makers were using to promote small cars a decade ago, such as air conditioning, electric front windows and a trip computer, before active safety systems and ever fancier infotainment and connectivity features found favour.
The engine tested here is a Renault-sourced 0.9-litre triple in its 89bhp/103lb ft state of tune, hooked up to a five-speed manual gearbox. Also on offer is a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre triple with 72bhp and what has become an endangered species in small cars: a diesel unit, in this case a 94bhp turbocharged four-pot.