The modern mainstream compact hatchback has inherited a great deal of sophistication over the past decade. And by the more rarefied standards against which we measure most of them now – excepting its prodigious practicality – the basic Dacia Sandero comes up short.

But even on things such as refinement, specification and economy, this car gives you more than you're paying for. Many buyers, of course, will look not to the likes of the Kia Rio and Chevrolet Aveo for context, but to the Sandero's nearest competition on price that includes

Opting for a mid-spec Sandero delivers a far more appealing package, but ramps up the price