What is it?
Nobody dreams of owning a Dacia. Even the marque’s marketing people know that.
Their research tells them most buyers with £12,000 to £15,000 to blow on a simple, reliable and robust car currently have a second-hand Volkswagen Golf in their mind’s eye, not a showroom-fresh Dacia.
But they also believe that their new Sandero and Sandero Stepway models – which have just migrated to the lighter, extremely versatile CMF-B platform introduced by the latest Renault Clio – can change the minds of value-focused buyers.
They have good evidence: the just-launched Mk3 Sanderos are far more capable than their predecessors; beat pricier and bigger-name superminis for kit and even refinement; are nowadays built to the same standard as Renault-badged cars; and carry a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty.
The standard Sandero hatchback has already given a good account of itself here (and collected the coveted What Car? Car of the Year Award on the way). The Sandero Stepway, a crossover take on the same car, has an elevated ride height, body cladding to make it look more ‘outdoorsy’ and a set of extremely clever roof bars that reconfigure in seconds into the handiest of racks.