Dacia Sandero (2013) Review
Dacia Sandero (2013) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 2–12
On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure
Yes, it’s flawed in terms of its interior quality, its refinement and its level of luxury and safety equipment, but it’s good at plenty of other stuff, and at such incredibly low prices, there can be no complaints. It’s bigger and roomier than most rival cars costing many thousands more, it’s reasonably comfortable, and it has an honest, no-nonsense charm that makes it incredibly likeable.
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With the seemingly countless amount of makes and models on offer these days, there aren’t all that many cars that have a unique selling point.
And even with those that do, what that selling point is usually takes plenty of explaining, and it’s usually only a technicality that nobody really cared about in the first place. Examples? Hmm, let us see.
Well, we remember Mercedes boasting that the first A45 AMG had the most powerful four-cylinder engine of all time, and Audi boasting that the latest A8 limousine was the first car capable of Level Three autonomous driving, although currently, that level of autonomy is not actually legal to use anywhere in the world. Seriously, who cares?
The Dacia Sandero, meanwhile, has a true USP, and it’s one that even kindergarten kids will find it easy to understand. The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale.
And again, we’re not talking fine margins. With prices starting at £6995, the Dacia Sandero supermini costs at least £2500 less than any rival, and that includes city cars from the class below that are considerably smaller. And yet, compared with other superminis, most of which cost several thousand more again, the Sandero is also bigger and roomer, with a bigger boot. The sheer value-for-money that this car represents is scarcely believable.
But how can Dacia - owned by Renault - flog this car for so little and still turn a profit? Well, a number of reasons. The mechanics on which it’s based are the same as those from the Renault Clio of several years ago, so they’re basic, cheap and very little had to be spent on research and development. There are also some clear signs of cost-cutting all over the car.
The interior is plasticky and unappealingly finished, on-road refinement is pretty poor and the amount of luxury and safety kit you get on most models is very low: entry-level Access models don’t even have a radio for heaven’s sake.
However, you might well be surprised at the number of things that the Sandero does pretty well. Not only is it cheap and practical, but it’s also easy and reasonably comfortable to drive, it’s easy to see out of, the engines are (just about) perky enough and do a decent job on economy.
The car also looks the part (provided you avoid the entry-level version, that is). For a car this cheap, that’s not a bad list of virtues.
Perhaps even more appealingly, though, the Sandero’s unabashed no-frills approach to motoring gives the car an honest, humble, no-nonsense character that certain buyers find incredibly appealing. This is a very likeable, very charming car, and one that just about anyone will be able to afford. How’s that for a USP?