Dacia Sandero Stepway Review 2024

Dacia Sandero Stepway At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Dacia Sandero Stepway is a high-riding hatchback with a hint of SUV styling. With bargain prices and a spacious interior, it’s big on value for money.

+SUV styling looks great. Plenty of interior space. Comfortable ride. Very affordable prices.

-Regular Dacia Sandero is even cheaper to buy. Not particularly refined inside. Below-par Euro NCAP safety rating.

SUV-styled hatchbacks like the Dacia Sandero Stepway are something of a niche option, adding extra ride height and bespoke body cladding to a conventional supermini. Rivals such as the Honda Jazz Crosstar and outgoing Ford Fiesta Active are the closest rivals, with the Suzuki Ignis and Fiat Panda both similar in their approach.

The Dacia Sandero has established itself as one of the best value-for-money options in the new car market, delivering plenty of space for not a great deal of cash.

Opting for the Dacia Sandero Stepway brings the same benefits, but adds extra ground clearance and some rugged, SUV-inspired styling features.

Before we get too far in our Dacia Sandero Stepway review, it’s important to note that it is not really an off-roader. Yes, it might have an extra 41mm of ground clearance compared to a regular Dacia Sandero, but you will not be venturing far on rough terrain.

Instead, there is skid plate-effect underbody cladding, plus extra black plastic trim and standard roof rails.

It certainly leaves the Dacia Sandero Stepway looking the part, and the increased ride height allows you to traverse bumpy rural tracks without much fuss.

For most, simply dealing with the UK’s crumbling road network will feel easier, thanks to a suspension set-up designed to absorb the worst bumps and ruts.

On the downside, this translates into a lot of body roll, and a car that is not particularly engaging to drive.

The Dacia Sandero Stepway generates plenty of grip, but it is not a vehicle that makes tackling corners something you’d do for fun.

The same is true of the engine options, which place their focus upon efficiency instead of performance. There is only a single 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine, but it can be fuelled by petrol or LPG.

The latter might seem like a throwback to the early 2000s, but it can certainly make the Dacia Sandero Stepway even cheaper to run.

Choosing the ECO-G Bi-Fuel version means drivers can switch between petrol and LPG as they desire. Running on LPG does mean reduced fuel economy, but the cheaper price per litre still makes for a major cost saving.

Although the Dacia Sandero Stepway has increased in price over time, it still represents a genuine bargain. Prices for the entry-level Essential start at just over £15,000. For comparison, a Honda Jazz Crosstar costs from £28,000, while a Ford Fiesta Active will set you back £22,550.

Even the cheapest Dacia Sandero Stepway comes with equipment such as air conditioning and LED headlights as standard, while the interior is more spacious than those of more expensive superminis.

Where the Dacia Sandero Stepway becomes a harder sell is when you consider its Euro NCAP safety rating. It scores just two stars out of five, which looks poor when almost every new car seems to achieve at least four stars.

The important thing to remember is the basic vehicle underneath scores well for occupant protection, but the Dacia Sandero Stepway goes without some of the electronic safety equipment required to earn it a top rating.

Ultimately, the Dacia Sandero Stepway is all about value for money, along with a roomy interior and low running costs. No, it is not the most refined vehicle to drive, and its handling is far from inspiring.

Perhaps its biggest challenge comes from the regular Dacia Sandero, which does almost everything its SUV-styled cousin can do, but for less money.

What does a Dacia Sandero Stepway cost?