Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013) Review

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Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you don’t fancy something like a Nissan Juke or Renault Captur but your budget won’t stretch beyond the price of a new city car, the Sandero Stepway should be on your shortlist.

+Space and practicality of a small hatchback for the price of a tiny city car, low prices and cheap PCP deals make this one of the most affordable cars.

-No air conditioning on Ambiance model, the standard Sandero does pretty much the same thing for a lower price, interior lacks quality.

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.

Looking for a Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

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.

Ask Honest John

Should I buy a Dacia Sandero Stepway?
"As a driving instructor based in semi-rural Kent, I'm considering the Dacia Stepway 2021 as my new tuition vehicle. I'd appreciate your thoughts. "
Excellent car: light controls and superb visibility make it easy to drive and the Stepway's raised ride height is ideal for craggy rural roads. Aside from the higher suspension and slightly more rugged looks, it's identical to the standard Sandero that you can read about here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/dacia/sandero-2021/
Answered by Russell Campbell
I don't drive long distances but I do a lot of miles. Should I avoid diesel?
"I currently have a 2015 Dacia Sandero Stepway 1.5 diesel. I'm looking to change it this year. I don't drive long enough distances to warrant the diesel, but I do cover a lot of miles each year. The salesperson advised me they can't get diesel models so I should look at the petrol models. The problem is they are 0.9 or 1.0-litre engines. I'm concerned that they won't be up to long journeys. Am I right or is the salesperson correct? I wanted an independent answer. Thanks. "
The dealer is correct, diesel engines are not suitable for low-mileages. The DPF will clog up and leave you with a lengthy list of expensive problems that may not be covered by the manufacturer's warranty. The 0.9 TCE is a very good petrol engine and will easily cope with the weight of the Sandero Stepway. It’s generally quiet and refined. It’s the smarter buy than the diesel for short trips.
Answered by Dan Powell
Will a Dacia Sandero Stepway 1.5 dCi tow a 750kg micro caravan?
"Will a Dacia Sandero Stepway 1.5 dCi tow a 750kg caravan?"
Should tow that very easily.
Answered by Honest John
Need a rugged family hatchback - any recommendations?
"I'm looking to purchase a used Golf/Focus sized hatchback. I live in the lake district and drive up a lot of mountain passes and winding country lanes (about 20k per year). In one of your previous answers, you said that the old Fabias were built in the Czech Republic for 'tougher driving conditions' compared to the Spanish built Polo/Ibizas. (www.honestjohn.co.uk/askhj/answer/71079/can-i-fit-polo-wheels-to-my-fabia-) Are there any mid-sized hatchbacks that are currently built to a more 'rugged' standard than other cars? It must last for a long time, but be decent to drive and give reasonable MPG?"
One tactic would be to go for a Dacia Sandero Stepway that's already jacked up a bit and on sensible tyres and is so much cheaper it doesn't have to last as long. Built for Romanian conditions. Or go the whole hog and get a Duster.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Dacia Sandero Stepway (2013) cost?