Coming in at £13,895 (£14,605 after options), our range-topping Prestige-spec Stepway isn’t quite the best example of just how affordable the Sandero can be.

Sure, it gets niceties such as built-in satellite navigation, a rear-view camera, front and rear parking sensors and proper alloy wheels as standard, but the entry-level Stepway Essential isn’t completely bare. The £11,495 model still gets air conditioning, a smartphone holder, USB connectivity, DAB radio and remote central locking as standard. Provided you’ve got a generous enough data plan for your mobile, that’s arguably all you need.

The cut-price Sandero is set to hold a higher percentage of its original value than both the Skoda Fabia and Hyundai i10

The regular Sandero is even cheaper, with the basic Access model priced from £7995 (though you don’t get air conditioning); and the better-equipped Essential and Comfort models starting at £8995 and £11,595 respectively.

How do they do it so cheaply? By leaving some things off, which includes the camera that would help the Sandero’s emergency braking system see cyclists and pedestrians, and not just cars (as its radar system sees). The way Euro NCAP now scores things, that means the Sandero achieves just two stars as a safety rating.

Whether that bothers you or not is ultimately your call. In terms of passive safety, the Sandero scored 70% for adult occupant protection and 72% for child occupant protection, both four-star results.

NCAP highlighted the absence of a forward-facing camera on the Sandero, but if its price means people choose one over a poorly maintained six-year-old car that doesn’t stop very well and won’t have any kind of emergency braking system, the Dacia will look after its own occupants and other road users better than that alternative.

As for fuel consumption, we averaged 45mpg during our time with the car, which translates to a theoretical range of just under 500 miles on a tank of petrol. Touring economy was 54.1mpg, which makes for a maximum theoretical range of 595 miles.

What Car? New car buyer marketplace - Dacia Sandero Stepway

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