Review: Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013)
Chunkier Sandero with raised suspension. Offers good value for money.
No air conditioning on Ambiance model. Not a 4x4. Diesel 105g/km CO2 so not VED free.
Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013): At A Glance
- New prices start from £8,395, brokers can source from £8,255
- Contract hire deals from £134.57 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 7–11
- On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure
The Sandero Stepway is the butched up, more purposefully styled version of Dacia’s bargain small car. Its looks are more or less just for show, but that doesn’t detract from the excellent value offered. However, as with the regular Sandero it’s important to think hard about which model you want in order to get the very best value for money.
The Stepway rides 40mm higher than a Sandero hatch and features a front and rear skid plate, wider wheel arches finished in black and a set of roof bars. While the Sandero hatchback range has three trim levels the Stepway has two – Ambience and Laureate – priced from £7995 and rising to just shy of £11,000.
The entry-level Ambience represents good value and features body-coloured bumpers and alloy wheels - but if you want your Stepway in any colour other than white you’ll have to pay extra, same goes for air-conditioning. You won’t need to spend on much else, though – Bluetooth, aux and USB-in and steering-wheel mounted audio controls are all standard.
Dacia offers two engines – a 0.9-litre TCE petrol and a 1.5-litre dCi diesel, both of which produce 90PS and are linked to a five-speed manual transmission. Both are decent performers and offer respectable economy figures, but the diesel offers a £20 annual VED versus £105 a year for the petrol.
The Dacia Sandero Stepway was improved for 2017 at no increases in prices and this road test gives you all the details: Dacia Sandero 90TCe 2017 Road Test
What does a Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013) cost?
Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013): What's It Like Inside?
The cabin of the Stepway is pretty much the same as the cabin in a regular Sandero – but that’s fine. It’s obvious from the moment you climb in that it’s meant to be a budget car, with little design flair. Nonetheless it’s well screwed together, with solid-feeling materials that look up to withstanding a lifetime of use.
It’s clear where some of the savings are made – the switches for the electric windows, for example, are mounted in the centre stack rather than on the doors and the audio head unit on Ambience models feels and looks dated, though it is perfectly functional and easy to use.
The driving position offers a good view of the road and is comfortable and upright, but long distance drivers will quickly notice the lack of a footrest next to the clutch. Aside from that there are no real problems to report – visibility is fine and the seats are supportive enough, with plenty of headroom and space.
Even rear-seat passengers will fit – which is excellent when you consider the rivals sold for the same price as the Sandero Stepway – typically city cars like the Citroen C1. There’s also a perfectly useable boot that’d swallow up a family shop or enough gear for a trip away.
Even the entry-level Stepway ‘Ambience’ has a good amount of equipment including Bluetooth, USB-connectivity and aux-in for music and electric windows. It does miss out on air-conditioning, though. Moving up to Laureate trim costs a bit more but gets a good amount of gear including a touch screen with sat-nav and the all-important air conditioning.
Standard equipment from launch:
Ambience models come with ABS, traction control, 16-inch alloy wheels, 60/40 folding rear seat, steering wheel mounted audio controls, audio system with USB/Aux-in, front foglights, electric front windows.
Laureate trim adds: Leather steering wheel and gearstick covers, cruise control, speed limiter, parking sensors, MediaNav sat-nav, heated door mirrors, electric rear windows.
Child seats that fit a Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013) like to drive?
Both of the engines offered by Dacia produce 90PS – there’s a 1.5-litre diesel and a 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol. The former offers the best performance for those who cover a lot of distance on country lanes, A-roads and motorways, with a good amount of torque and good in-gear performance. It’s also excellent value – most similarly sized diesel cars are far more expensive to buy.
The 0.9 TCE petrol engine shouldn’t be overlooked, though. It’s generally quiet and refined unless pushed hard and for low-speed use in town it’s probably a smarter buy than the diesel. Regardless of which engine you choose you get a five-speed manual gearbox that’s fairly smooth and precise.
Renault fits its 0.9-litre engine to the latest Clio – but in that car it has stop/start, something absent from the Sandero Stepway. The result is acceptable but unremarkable fuel economy of 52.3mpg on the combined cycle, with emissions of 124g/km. The diesel manages a more impressive 70.6mpg with emissions of 105g/km, which makes for cheaper tax discs at £20 per year.
Riding 40mm higher than the regular Sandero gives the Stepway a more commanding driving position coupled with pleasing ride comfort. The suspension manages to absorb all but the worst potholes with ease - although it does mike a bit of a din while it’s going it, thunking and clunking across broken roads.
The downside to the comfortable ride is a noticeable amount of body roll when cornering hard – though with steering tuned for lightness and ease-of-use rather than sports car feel and feedback there’s little chance you’ll be attacking country lanes with any real pace.
While the Sandero Stepway looks pretty chunky and capable it isn’t available with any form of all-wheel drive – although most crossovers sold, regardless of manufacturer, are two-wheel drive so that’s nothing out of the ordinary. Besides, the Dacia Duster is available with all-wheel drive and isn’t exactly expensive.
|0.9 TCe||50–55 mpg||11.1–12.4 s||115–127 g/km|
|1.0 SCe||55 mpg||11.1 s||117 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 90||74 mpg||11.7–11.8 s||98–105 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 95||72 mpg||12.3 s||98–123 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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Will a Dacia Sandero Stepway 1.5 dCi tow a 750kg micro caravan?
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