When it comes to executive class, business saloons it’s long been a fight between the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6. The BMW’s traditionally been the choice for drivers, but it’s also an economy champion.
Why buy a used car, asks Dacia; the Sandero is pitched at those who might consider a new one usually out of reach. It’s mostly old Renault tech, but it’s proven and inexpensive and a very honest proposition indeed.
What is it?
A supermini, priced like a city car, which means on a metal-to-Euro ratio it makes sense. Dacia is Renault’s budget spin-off, and it has captured the imagination of many Europeans who like their transport uncomplicated and inexpensive. So the Sandero borrows lots of bits from Renaults of old, but that’s no bad thing. To buy anything the same size and price new isn’t possible, its starting price sub-€10,000 (just), though for the cheapest running costs you’ll need the more expensive dCi 90 model.
What is it like?
The old ‘you could buy a used…’ argument is applicable to any new car, not just Dacias. The Sandero is basically an honest, no-nonsense supermini. No, it’ll not set your heart racing with desire, nor will it be as fun to drive as many of its same-size, more expensive alternatives, but its solidly built and inoffensively styled. To drive it’s unsurprisingly ordinary then, the entry-level 1.2-litre engine not as efficient as its 90hp diesel and petrol alternatives, so we’d stretch to one of them.
Carzone verdict: 3.5/5
The Sandero is a rational choice, though not one that comes with any real compromises; indeed, if you’re cash-strapped and need a new car that’s bigger than a city car then it’s your only choice. And, significantly, it’s not a bad one, its honesty and simplicity actually quite refreshing. Start fiddling around with the specifications and you can reach entry-level supermini money though, so do your homework before buying as there may be discounts on offer from other brands.