Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013) Review
Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013) At A Glance
Insurance Groups are between 7–11
On average it achieves 80% of the official MPG figure
The Dacia Sandero Stepway is the slightly more upmarket version of Britain’s cheapest car. Upmarket in the sense that it comes with more features as standard, plus a raised ride height and beefier styling over the standard Dacia Sandero. It pitches the supermini against compact crossovers such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, along with jacked-up small cars like the Suzuki Ignis and Fiat Panda City Cross. Standard kit includes 16-inch alloy wheels, a DAB digital radio, air-conditioning, remote central locking and electric front windows. Not exactly lavish, but if you’re after more equipment, you can upgrade from Essential to Comfort or SE Twenty trim.
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The Dacia Sandero Stepway is a car without rivals. Too big to be a city car, too small to be a family hatchback, and not boxy enough to be a compact SUV. Does this make it a bit of an oddball? Maybe, but there’s a reason why this is Dacia’s best-selling car in the UK.
As the name suggests, the Stepway is based on the standard Dacia Sandero. The raised ride height, body cladding, chunkier tyres and roof rails give it to the look of a small SUV without the running costs you’d associate with a 4x4. Let’s face it, few people actually venture off-road, so the Sandero Stepway is no less relevant than the raft of SUV tribute acts on sale today.
Its chief competitor is the regular Dacia Sandero. Place the cheapest Sandero alongside the most expensive Sandero Stepway and you’ll see a price of difference of around £5,000. Not quite the bargain you may have seen in the adverts, but even the top-spec Sandero Stepway is comfortably cheaper than an entry-level Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa.
So what’s the catch? Well, there isn’t one. If you’re not fussed about a premium badge, soft-touch materials and the latest technology, the Dacia Sandero Stepway makes a great deal of sense. Whether you’re paying cash or financing your car via a PCP deal, few cars are as affordable as the Sandero Stepway. Just don’t expect a discount from your local Dacia dealer.
There are three trim levels on offer in 2020: Essential, Comfort and SE Twenty. Because there’s no Access model – Dacia’s headline-grabbing basic trim – all versions come with a reasonable amount of standard equipment.
This includes 16-inch alloy wheels, black wheelarch extensions, raised ride height, roof rails, tinted windows, two Isofix points, DAB digital radio, air-conditioning and Bluetooth.
The Comfort trim offers the best value for money. This mid-range model features a seven-inch touchscreen media system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, steering column-mounted audio controls, rear parking sensors, cruise control and a leather gear knob. The flagship SE Twenty trim boasts a suite of cosmetic upgrades, electric rear windows and a rear parking camera.
As for engines, you can select from a lethargic SCe 75 1.0-litre petrol engine, a punchy and efficient TCe 90 turbocharged petrol unit, or a TCe 100 Bi-Fuel. New for 2020, the Bi-Fuel pairs a petrol engine with an LPG conversion to deliver lower running costs and a combined range of around 600 miles.
There’s no denying that the Dacia Sandero Stepway is showing its age. Launched in 2013, the car lacks the latest safety and connectivity technology we take for granted in 2020. Having said that, a facelift in 2017 keeps things current and there’s no denying this is an incredibly cheap car to buy and run.