- Spacious interior
- Great value for money
- Low running costs
- Dull cabin design
- Not the most refined ride
- Badge snobbery
Spacious supermini is the cheapest car currently on sale
The Dacia Sandero is a supermini that values practicality and value above all else. First introduced in 2012, the Sandero is currently the cheapest new car on sale in the UK. Renault-owned Dacia has been hugely successful in Europe, and is now a key player in Britain as well. The Sandero competes with the likes of the Volkswagen Polo and the Ford Fiesta in a crowded supermini market, but no car in the class offers such a tight package for such a cheap price. It’s not as stylish as its rivals, nor is it as refined, but if you’re looking for a cheap, solid, reliable hatchback, and you’re not a badge snob, you should take a serious look at the Dacia Sandero.
Practical, spacious, and generously equipped
The interior of the Sandero isn’t one of the most striking designs, but it is one of the most practical. It’s simple layout and spacious boot are sure to be attractive to a lot of buyers, whilst top-spec models offer plenty of kit.
The dashboard design of the Sandero is clean, simple, but perhaps a little dull. It’s not going to win any design awards, but controls are well-placed, reasonably well-damped, and easy to use, so transitioning to a Sandero from your old car won’t be a hassle. Material quality is robust, rather than refined, with hard, solid plastics being used in the majority of the cabin. It’s certainly not luxurious, but it definitely feels like it’s built to last.
One area in which the Sandero excels is in its storage space. The 320 litre boot capacity is one of the biggest in the supermini class, and much bigger than the Ford Fiesta (276 litres), and the Volkswagen Polo (280 litres). It even compares well with the class above, as it has more storage capacity than the Ford Focus (317 litres). There’s plenty of room for a big family shop, or even a compact buggy, which makes the Sandero a great option for small families.
Equipment levels in the Sandero depend entirely on which spec you choose to go for. The entry-level Access trim doesn’t come with much kit, but an upgrade to the range-topping Laureate spec comes with everything you need. Sanderos in this guise come with electric windows, cruise control, and air-con, which is pretty impressive when you consider that even this top-spec model is cheaper than rivals’ entry-level trims.
All in all, the inside of the Sandero is a pretty impressive package. It’s certainly not the classiest interior in the supermini class, but if you need a car that is robust, spacious, and simple, then the Sandero will tick all of your boxes.
Simple, retro driving experience
The Dacia Sandero is a car in which its handling reflects its looks. The Sandero is safe, secure, and sensible, though it’s not an awful lot of fun behind the wheel. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of grip through the corners, and the steering is light enough at lower speeds for the Sandero to be an impressive car in the city. Get the Sandero out of town however, and things aren’t quite as impressive, as there’s a fair bit of body roll, and the steering becomes a little vague when at speed.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement is reasonable in the Sandero, though it can become a little bit bumpy at lower speeds, especially on bigger wheels. The old-school chassis and suspension system deals with most roads pretty well, though loose surfaces and speed bumps jolt through into the cabin. At speed things are a little better, though road and wind noise do become a bit of an issue, so you’ll have to turn the radio up if you’re doing a lot of motorway miles regularly.
Gearbox options in the Sandero come in one guise. No matter which model you choose to go for, you’re going to get a five-speed manual transmission. It’s reasonable effective, though it’s not as sharp as the one you’d find in a Ford Fiesta, nor as pleasing as the Volkswagen Polo’s. Automatic drivers aren’t catered for, but superminis aren’t especially suited to auto gearboxes anyhow.
Two solid petrols, and one super-efficient diesel
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Sandero, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. The two petrols in the range are reasonably impressive, though the diesel offers the best balance of power, efficiency, and green credentials.
If it’s power that you want from your Sandero, you’re probably going to be a little disappointed with the engines on offer in the range. The most powerful option is the petrol-powered 0.9 litre TCe engine, which produces 90bhp, and pulls from 0-62mph in 11.1 seconds. It’s not the fastest supermini on sale, but it’s enough bite for day-to-day driving, and it performs reasonably well out of town as well.
Eco-friendly buyers will want to take a close look at the diesel-powered 1.5 dCi engine, as it produces just 99g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s not only great for the environment, it’s also road-tax exempt. No Sandero is particularly bad for the ecosystem, though the 1.2 litre petrol is by far and away the worst (130g/km). The 1.5 diesel engine is probably the best option for money-savers as well, as it can achieve up to an impressive 74.3mpg, though the 0.9 litre petrol is also pretty decent, with up to 57.7mpg on offer.
Whichever engine you choose to go for, you’re going to get a reasonably efficient, green supermini. The diesel and the 0.9 litre petrol models are undoubtedly the pick of the bunch, as the 1.2 litre petrol is the slowest, the dirtiest, and the least economical.
Disappointing NCAP results, but decent standard safety kit
Unlike some cars in its class, the Dacia Sandero failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 80% in adult safety, 79% in child safety, and 57% in pedestrian safety, the Sandero is pretty average for a supermini. This is pretty impressive when you consider how much cheaper it is than its rivals. You’ll also get four airbags, stability control, emergency brake assist, and a tyre-pressure monitor as standard- remarkable for a car that costs so little.
Exceptional value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Dacia Sandero is not only the cheapest car to buy in the UK, it also represents excellent value for money day-to-day. Costs vary from model to model, but generally speaking fuel efficiency is impressive throughout the range, whilst CO2 emissions are relatively low for the class. Diesel models offer the best value on paper, though the 0.9 litre petrol may work out cheaper if you predominantly drive in the city.
Insurance groups for the Sandero again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 2 for the entry-level 1.2 Access, and climb up towards 12 if you’re tempted by the range-topping 1.5 dCI Laureate Prime. Whichever model you choose to go for, you’re probably going to be paying less than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Dacia Sandero, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Dacia Sandero is one of the most sensible cars that money can buy. Not only is it the cheapest car on the market, it’s also practical, reliable, spacious, and cheap to run. It’s not a supermini that is going to melt hearts, but it’s certainly a car that’s going to keep you, and your wallet happy.
Buying a used Dacia Sandero online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Dacia Sandero for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Sandero. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Dacia Sandero online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Dacia? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Dacia Sandero, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Sandero, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Dacia to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.