2017 Dacia Sandero Ambiance 0.9 TCE from UK and Ireland


For the price it's a no brainer


Nothing to date.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2017

2016 Dacia Sandero Ambience 1.5 turbo diesel from Cyprus


Live with some compromises and you'll find this a great buy


Small paint defect on the bumper the dealer repaired.

Auto start stop engine off system failed twice. The car still drove OK. Dealer reset it on the first occasion. 2nd occasion it fixed itself after 100km.

Bonnet had little vertical movement; been adjusted but still has very small vertical play.

General Comments:

Auto start stop system is hit and miss.

Electric window buttons are on the central console rather than the doors.

No release button on boot lid; only a key or lever which is inside the car. It is possible to lock the keys in the boot. Also when closing the boot one handed, be careful as the catch is sharp.

No electric door mirrors, and worse is no blind spot assistance.

Biggest annoyance is washer system; if traveling below 90 km per hr, use the windscreen washer and the side window gets covered in streams of water. This impairs greatly the vision of the driver's wing mirror.

Can't switch off the day light headlight system. Other drivers think I'm a rental car and jump out in front of me, and they look surprised when I'm not so slow.

Good full economy, 58 to 60 miles per gallon. No chance of the manufacturer's suggested 75. I've even tried 60 miles per hour for 200 mile trip on deserted motorway here with no stops, and I only managed 62 MPG with economy mode on. I've done 15000 km in 9 months.

Live with the compromises and you'll find this car great value for money.

If Dacia improve some of the small issues, this car would be fantastic.

Very good space inside; bigger than my old Clio.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th October, 2016