Dacia Sandero And Sandero Stepway: Simple But Mature

Since Dacia’s rebirth in 2004, the Sandero has been Renault’s Romanian subsidiary’s most popular car. Today the popular model is ready for its third generation. Will it be a commercial success again?

Dacia’s recipe for success is easy to explain. Proven Renault technology, sensible equipment, and therefore attractive prices. Thus, since its rebirth in 2004, the Romanian subsidiary of Renault has been able to boast of several successful models. Like the Duster, the compact and talented SUV, and the Sandero.

The B-segment compact turned out to be Dacia’s most popular model. Since the first Sandero in 2007, 2.1 million copies have been sold. The Sandero thus represents 32% of all Dacias sold. Over 1.3 million of these cars are Stepways, the more adventurous version of the Sandero.

  • New base
  • No hybrid yet
  • Light feet
  • Price
  • Conclusion

New base

Today, the Sandero is in its third generation. Dacia’s expectations are high and this new version of the Renault parent company is therefore not equipped with the best platform for nothing. It is based on the CMF-B platform of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. In other words: the basis of the Renault Clio and Captur, and the Nissan Juke.

A new structure that makes the Sandero more rigid and safer in the event of a collision, also taking advantage of additional safety features. You shouldn’t expect lane-keeping assistance either, but a blind-spot warning is making its appearance for the first time. A revolution for the Romanian brand.

In any case, the new base is also felt inside: this new Sandero has a fresh and modern appearance, and in the more expensive versions you get a vertical infotainment screen with touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The basic versions come with a smartphone holder and an app, although this combination did not work perfectly in our test.

The new Sandero is also much more confident. It benefits from wider tracks and, at 4.09 meters, it is a little longer than before. We also see a Y-shaped light signature in the headlights and taillights, more muscular sidewalls, and a different roofline.

The Sandero Stepway gets the same treatment as before, with other bumpers, the plastic around the wheel arches, roof rails, and increased overall height. But she also uses tighter and sharper lines and thus becomes more mature.

No hybrid yet

The new platform does not yet introduce hybrid or electric technology under the hood. The Sandero therefore still uses conventional gasoline engines, while diesel has been shelved. Instead, Dacia is introducing an Eco-G version, a 100 hp 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine running on gasoline and LPG. 

The rest of the engine line-up consists of the SCe 65, a naturally aspirated 67 hp 1.0 3-cylinder, and the TCe 90, which produces 91 hp with a turbo. The gear changes are done manually, or on the TCe 90, as an option, via a continuously variable transmission.

Light feet

When we first met this CVT gearbox turned out to work pleasantly and smoothly in city traffic. “Our” Sandero Stepway with TCe 90 is not a sprint champion (0-100 km / h takes no less than 14.2 seconds) but she knows how to do it with its continuously variable transmission Buy used car in Kenaya and fast pace.

On the highway, it becomes more difficult, especially when overtaking. If you spend a lot of time on the tarmac at high speeds, you better look for a manual transmission version.

A brief introduction to the “classic” Sandero with a manual gearbox and the TCe 90 shows its more enthusiastic side. Shifting yourself also seems to be a bit more economical and cleaner:

it saves half a liter per 100 km and more than 10 g / km of CO2. Either way, the TCe 90 with a manual gearbox is a nice combination: lively and energetic, with a tone that is only really present when under load.

In terms of handling, the new Dacia Sandero is also more mature than its predecessor. The wider tracks, in particular, provide greater stability. Driving behavior is therefore reassuring and safe, while comfort does not hide its French influence: on bumpy and rough roads, the suspension knows exactly how to behave.


The attack price of less than $ 9,000 obviously attracts attention, but this might not be the version you want. After all, you only get the atmospheric, sluggish Ste 65, in the basic Access version.

The most interesting version is undoubtedly the Comfort version, with electrically adjustable mirrors – yes, the basic versions still do it manually – air conditioning, touchscreen, electric windows, and rain sensor. You then pay a little over 12,000 euros for the appropriate TCe 90. This is also the starting price of the Sandero Stepway.


The new base allows this Dacia Sandero to take another leap forward. This third-generation is, therefore, a little more mature, without however denying its “homecoming”. It is true that hybrid technology or extended driving aids are not yet present, but a glance at the price list will quickly make you forget all that …


Margot Martinez

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