2021 Dacia Sandero: prices, specifications, performance and economy

The new Dacia Sandero supermini is now on sale – and it retains its predecessor’s title as the UK’s most affordable new car

James Allen
Feb 28, 2021

By and large, new cars nowadays tend to be more efficient and come with more advanced equipment than their predecessors - though the knock-on effect of these fuel-saving and convenience features is they’re often much more expensive, too. Proof comes with the new Dacia Sandero, with prices for the latest model starting at £7,995 - a leap of £1,000 over the previous car. That's a huge jump of around 15% - a big leap for a car so cheap.

That low price does mean that the new Sandero picks up where its predecessor left off as being the most affordable new car on sale in the UK, however. In this entry-level guise, the Dacia isn’t the most well-equipped supermini on the market, though the kit list is pretty good considering it costs about the same as a nearly new city car - even the most basic cars now come with LED headlights, front electric windows and an autonomous emergency braking driver assist system.

Higher specification models exchange some of their price advantage for more advanced kit, like a touchscreen media system, cruise control and keyless entry. However, these plusher Dacia Sandero models are still competitively priced against like-for-like versions of similarly-sized rivals, such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo.

While the exterior and interior have been given a big overhaul, the Sandero is fairly similar under the skin to the old one. As before, there are two petrol engines to choose from - a 65hp 1.0-litre three-cylinder for cheaper versions and a much more potent turbocharged 0.9-litre with 90hp - in addition to a 'Bi-Fuel' version of the 0.9-litre engine that can run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). As LPG is typically around half the price of petrol, using this fuel should help slash your running costs.

USED DACIA SANDERO BUYERS' GUIDE

The new Sandero isn’t much larger than the one it replaces. However, this does at least mean taller passengers shouldn't be left wanting for head and leg room in the Dacia, as this is still a big car for the money. Likewise, the modest eight litre increase in boot capacity to 320 litres means the Sandero’s luggage volume is pretty decent, given the car’s size.

Quick facts

  • Prices start from £7,995
  • Petrol and LPG-compatible engine options
  • SUV-style Stepway version also available
  • Up to 320 litres of luggage volume
  • More equipment as standard
  • On sale now

2021 Dacia Sandero fuel economy and performance

A pair of petrol engines are offered on the new Dacia Sandero., and they’re very similar to the ones that were available in the previous car. There’s a 1.0-litre three-cylinder with 65hp and 95Nm of torque, and a turbocharged 0.9-litre three-cylinder with 90hp and 160Nm.

The less powerful of the two should be fine if you’ll be doing shorter journeys or will spend most of your driving time in towns and cities at low speeds, though the extra power and low engine speed muscle of the 0.9-litre petrol option will be very handy if you plan on taking the Sandero out on faster roads like motorways.

In addition to the petrol engines, Dacia also offers a 100hp, 160Nm 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder ‘Bi-Fuel’ option, which is able to run on both petrol and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The big appeal of LPG is that it’s much more affordable than petrol - though many Sandero Bi-Fuel owners will likely fill their car up with ordinary petrol much of the time, as LPG pumps are still a relatively rare sight on UK fuel station forecourts.

As standard, all three engine options are fitted with a manual gearbox (with five gears on 65hp cars and six gears for the rest of the range). An automatic is also offered, but it’s only available on range-topping Comfort models that are fitted with the 90hp engine.

2021 Dacia Sandero specifications and in-car tech

The new Dacia Sandero is closely related underneath to the current Renault Clio, which means it comes with a lot more tech and creature comforts than the old car. Entry-level Access models come as standard with electric front windows, LED headlights and a complement of six airbags - though, as with the previous Sandero, you’ll need to go for the mid-range Essential trim in order to have air-conditioning and a built-in radio.

Essential models also come with cruise control, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a basic multimedia system that you can connect your phone to via Bluetooth. By far the plushest of the three trim levels is the top-of-the-range Comfort spec, which adds keyless entry, automatic windscreen wipers, a reversing camera and an eight-inch touchscreen media system to the kit list. All of this extra tech does make the Comfort model a fair bit pricier than the rest of the Sandero range, though.

The new Dacia Sandero is a little bit taller than the previous version, which means this supermini should have good-for-a-small-car amounts of room inside for passengers. Dacia has also increased the Sandero’s luggage volume by eight litres to 320 litres, which means it has a bigger boot than the Ford Fiesta (292 litres) but a smaller one than the particularly large VW Polo one (352 litres).

2021 Dacia Sandero Stepway

In addition to the standard version, Dacia also offers its new supermini as a Sandero Stepway model. Most of the changes over the standard Sandero are cosmetic, such as the black bodywork cladding around the bumper and wheel arches that gives the car a chunkier, off-roader style look.

The Sandero Stepway is also a bit taller, thanks to its 41mm increase in ride height - and while this doesn’t magically transform the car into a capable off-roader, the extra suspension travel should make the Stepway a teeny bit more comfortable than a standard Sandero on rough and bumpy roads.

All three of the standard Sandero’s engine options are offered on this Stepway model. Equipment levels are broadly the same on the Sandero Stepway as they are on the regular version, albeit with a few exceptions. Firstly, there’s no Access trim on the Sandero Stepway, so the entry-level model is Essential trim. The Sandero Stepway also comes with a plush Prestige trim option, which builds upon the Comfort specification with features like 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats and a blind-spot monitoring safety assist.

2021 Dacia Sandero prices

The Dacia Sandero range starts from £7,995 for the entry-level Access versions. Mid-range Essential models will set you back at least £8,995, and the range-topping Comfort spec is dearer still at £11,595. There’s a slight premium if you go for the Sandero Stepway - prices for this model range from £10,995 to £13,395.

 

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