This is my second Sandero; my previous one was the 1.2 Ambiance; whilst it gave no issues at all in my ownership, I found the engine to be too underpowered for my liking. The 1.2 engine is the Renault D4F unit, which is a great engine, but it's a 15 year old design and it shows; very unrefined and noisy; good round town, but not fun at 70mph on a motorway.
So I traded it in for this new one with a 0.9 turbo unit and it's a real gem of an engine. Being the 2017 model, a few things have been improved; the interior quality has been upgraded, air con comes as standard, and the headlights have been upgraded to LED ones.
So whats it like to drive? Well basically the Sandero runs on the old Clio platform, which isn't a bad thing as the Clio was a good car to drive. Dacia have jacked the suspension up, which makes the car ride very smooth over our rough UK roads. However this isn't a car that likes to be pushed round corners, with quite a bit of body roll. Normal drivers won't be put off by this, as at every day speeds the handling is adequate. The steering is nicely weighted and the brakes are sharp.
The engine is the big selling point of this car. It has been developed in conjunction with the Renault F1 team. It's a 900cc 3 cylinder turbo. It pulls very well with the turbo kicking it at around 2000 RPM; you can really hear it spooling up as well, which sounds pretty cool. Power is rated at 90bhp, which is astonishing for such a small engine. It has stop start and an eco button which cuts power to the turbo to save fuel when town driving. Reliability should be good as the cams are chain driven. Fuel economy for mine has been in the region of 40-45 MPG, which sounds bad, but my engine is still tight; I should see mid 50s once it's properly run in.
Equipment on my model as standard isn't a lot, but it's enough for most. Ambiance spec comes with electric front windows, Bluetooth DAB radio, air conditioning, remote locking, power steering, eco mode/stop start, and LED daytime running lights.
And how much does this cost? Just £7500 for a brand new car. Road tax was £30 on these, but thanks to our great government it's now £140 a year like all other cars. Dealers have been fantastic with both my purchases and I recommend anyone thinking about a Dacia to go and test drive a few; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.