New Sandero won’t bust your bank account
IF you put your nose up at taking an Easyjet flight then the latest car to arrive in the UK might not be quite the one for you.
But if you’re looking to buy a new car for less money than you would hand over for a second-hand one then the newcomer could be right up your street.
The Dacia Sandero, at £5,995, is the cheapest car in the UK but don’t be put off by that tag.
It might not have the interior quality of far more expensive five-door hatchbacks but I discovered it was well put together and wouldn’t be too hard to live with – especially at such a bargain price.
Dacia was Romania’s national vehicle manufacturer but was bought by Renault in 1999 so the new model benefits from the same new three-cylinder 0.9-litre TCe 90 engine fitted in the new Clio as well as its 1.2 16v petrol and top-selling DCi 1.5 diesel unit.
There is a choice of three trim levels – Access, Ambiance and Laureate.
Adam Wood, Dacia’s UK product manager, told me that the Laureate was proving to be the big pull for early buyers with 56 per cent of orders, Ambience 37 per cent and Access 7 per cent.
He also added there was a real buzz around the brand long before its new models went on sale in the UK in January, thanks to early awards for its SUV Duster which was named Scottish Car of the Year last October.
I sampled a £7,395 Sandero Ambiance TCe 90 model and discovered that it was comfortable enough for driver and four passengers. There is also plenty of luggage space in the best-in-class boot which holds 320 litres or 1,200 litres with rear seats folded.
The 90bhp turbo engine is capable of 109mph and is ideal in this car, providing quick yet quiet acceleration up through a slick five-speed manual gearbox.
It handled well in town and motorway driving, and the suspension dealt well with the inevitable potholes.
A combined fuel economy figure of 56.5mpg is another welcome figure and CO2 emissions of 116g/km means that there is no road tax charge for the first year and then an annual £30 bill.
Standard equipment is a little sparse, as you would expect on the entry-level Access, but moving up to the Ambiance brought a radio/CD system with bluetooth, an aux socket and USB port, electric front windows and remote control.
Step up to the best-selling Laureate, where prices range from £7,995 to £8,795, and you also get air conditioning, electric rear windows and a multifunction trip computer.
All Sandero models come with a three-year waranty and this can be extended to five years for an extra £395 or seven years for £850.
If you’re looking for a budget-priced new car the Sandero is well worth considering.