From £7,8457
The Sandero Stepway is anything but budget motoring, and is a genuinely tempting offer

Our Verdict

Dacia Sandero Stepway

Sandero-based crossover offers greater value for money than its sibling, provided you're not going for a spartan entry-level model

What is it?

The Dacia Sandero Stepway Ambiance dCi 90 is the entry-level diesel-powered version of this jacked-up, body-cladded supermini.

Unlike the rest of the Dacia range, there is no base, UN-spec Access model to be had – although anyone disappointed by that news can console themselves in the knowledge that Glacier White remains the base colour.

Pretty naff stickers aside, it is a car with decent kerb appeal despite its relatively modest changes from the Dacia Sandero supermini. In essence, these are a ride height raised by 40mm and the addition of some body cladding and wheelarch extensions.

And for a car costing £9585 (in this form, with options including metallic paint – it can be had from £8995 with this diesel and £7995 with the petrol), that in itself is pretty remarkable.

What's it like?

As well as looking right, the Dacia Sandero Stepway goes well, too. The handling is accurate and responsive. The body movements are well controlled despite the increase in height, and the ride is pleasingly fluent, the increased wheel travel offering definite benefits. 

The diesel engine is decent, too. Performance is nothing to write home about at 11.8sec to 62mph, but it offers good throttle response, sufficient in-gear urge and only becomes vocal if you stretch it beyond 3500rpm. It’s cheap to run as well, with 105g/km of CO2 keeping VED down and fuel economy hitting just over 50mpg on our test.

The cabin is pretty good, if perhaps a bit sparse, but there’s no scrimping on standard kit. The Stepway isn’t available in the basic Access spec of other Dacias, meaning even this entry Ambience model – which we test here for the first time - comes with all the essentials (minus, some may argue, a spare wheel).

Should I buy one?

Our praise for this car is genuine, albeit tempered against the tempting asking price. It is not perfect by any means, but nor is this hair-shirt motoring.

All in, the Dacia Sandero Stepway looks extremely good value when compared to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 3008 or Renault Captur, which are around the same size at least. 

The makers of all three of those rivals may claim, with some justification, there is likely to be little crossover of buyers: the price point, available space and kit lists will provide ammunition to their arguments.

But on this evidence a Stepway buyer is likely to be no less satisfied with their purchase.

Dacia Sandero Stepway Ambiance dCi 90

Price £8995; 0-62mph 11.8sec; Top Speed 103mph; Economy 70.6mpg (combined); CO2 105g/km; Kerb weight 1083kg; Engine 4 cyls, 1461cc, turbodiesel; Power 89bhp at 3750rpm; Torque 162lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox 5-speed manual.

Join the debate

Comments
15

31 July 2013

Like to see how they got to 60 in 11.8 seconds with a 5 speed box and 90 bhp when the Renault Scenic XMOD took a full second longer has a 6 speed gearbox (like to think 1-5 gears are slightly lower) and 18bhp more!

I long for the day of proper cars tests!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

31 July 2013

xxxx wrote:

Like to see how they got to 60 in 11.8 seconds with a 5 speed box and 90 bhp when the Renault Scenic XMOD took a full second longer has a 6 speed gearbox (like to think 1-5 gears are slightly lower) and 18bhp more!

I long for the day of proper cars tests!

hmm let's have a think. Not exactly a challenging conundrum is it? Could it be the Renault is heavier perhaps? or has different gearing? just a thought Wink

Next!

31 July 2013

xxxx wrote:

Like to see how they got to 60 in 11.8 seconds with a 5 speed box and 90 bhp when the Renault Scenic XMOD took a full second longer has a 6 speed gearbox (like to think 1-5 gears are slightly lower) and 18bhp more!

I long for the day of proper cars tests!

The Scenic is a size-class above this and weighs 350kg+ more, no great mystery.


31 July 2013

bomb wrote:

xxxx wrote:

Like to see how they got to 60 in 11.8 seconds with a 5 speed box and 90 bhp when the Renault Scenic XMOD took a full second longer has a 6 speed gearbox (like to think 1-5 gears are slightly lower) and 18bhp more!

I long for the day of proper cars tests!

The Scenic is a size-class above this and weighs 350kg+ more, no great mystery.

How about a fiesta with 95bhp taking over 13 seconds! The answer is don't always believe manufactured figures, therefore I still long for a proper road test!

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

1 August 2013

xxxx wrote:

How about a fiesta with 95bhp taking over 13 seconds! The answer is don't always believe manufactured figures, therefore I still long for a proper road test!

That would be the Fiesta ECOnetic (which takes 12.9 seconds 0-62) with longer gearing for enhanced economy. The non-ECOnetic takes 11.7 seconds.

Again, no great mystery! You seem desparate for a conspiracy.


31 July 2013

The Koreans rattled the established car manufacturers and brought affordable motoring to the masses ... If this is the European fight back, then I welcome the battle if it means that Britain atsrts getting cars at realistic (as opposed to grossly over-inflated) prices ...

31 July 2013

The Sandero seems like a perfectly good car for the money. If you want brand new motoring at a reasonable asking price, this answers a lot of questions.

The only issue is with buyers who might be equally happy going for nearly new cars, but with more desirable badges/higher ability at similar prices.

31 July 2013

Overdrive wrote:

The Sandero seems like a perfectly good car for the money. If you want brand new motoring at a reasonable asking price, this answers a lot of questions. The only issue is with buyers who might be equally happy going for nearly new cars, but with more desirable badges/higher ability at similar prices.

The real issue with the Sandero is when you start adding options and moving up the trim levels. At £6k it's probably a great car but when you're spending nearly £10k (which is easy on any car) it's basic nature will show up against rivals.

I'm sure this car will be a bargain on the used market in 3 years time.

31 July 2013

odd to read about this the same day as the Renault Zoe. 2 cars, both Clios underneath. The Dacia seems so much more sensible. costing only 60% as much, and without the battery rental cost either (which could pay for nearly all your diesel i suspect).

31 July 2013

It sounds like it drives acceptably; given the price that’s a plus. The interior looks a bit basic but that’s all a part of the charm I suppose, though I do think that electric window switch placement will irritate.   

 

Outside, I think it looks really good from the front (for what it is) but the side profile doesn’t work for me. Those door shut-lines are too curvy and don’t match the chunky, angular nose.

 

My biggest issue with this car is the crash performance; a 4star NCAP rating these days is pretty tragic (even if the Jaguar XF scores similarly). From the video it looks like they have skimped on proper curtain airbags and just used a side airbag with a head extension (as VAG do on their base model cars these days). I don’t like the way the A pillar gives way in the front impact either, that used to be common but less so these days.  

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals