More than ever, the Dacia Sandero Stepway intends to capitalize on the arguments that have made it successful: a great price for concrete services. Especially since for its third generation, the versatile Romanian city car is catching up in all areas. Could this be the real car of the year 2020?

The Dacia Sandero is undoubtedly one of the greatest automotive successes of its last 20 years. Since its first generation in 2007, the versatile Romanian city car has won over a wide audience, conquered by its low-cost price and its serious services. Enough to propel it since 2017 to the rank of the most sold car to individuals in France and Europe.

Until now, the recipe used by Dacia has been simple: benefit from elements widely tested by the Renault group in order to offer unbeatable prices. And if the old generation was based on the platform of the prehistoric Clio 2, the new Sandero takes over the latest CMF-B platform inaugurated by the Clio 5, but in a simplified version so as not to blow up the note.

Dacia Sandero Stepway 2020

Good to know: anticipate the purchase and resale.

It is possible to know the resale or trade-in value of your vehicle thanks to the auto Turbo rating of your Dacia Sandero, the alternative to the Argus rating.

La Sandero is bourgeois

Sharing the same base allowed the Sandero to widen and have some Clio airs, while largely modernizing his pencil stroke. The proportions have been revised, and the styling effects widely used: receding roofline, new light signature and more pronounced wheel arches. Not to mention a few details such as the shortened and reared antenna, the changed door handles and the hidden trunk release button. No more low-cost, the Sandero is now in the generalist !

The Stepway version, the most sold and now emancipated from its former status as the highest finish, adds the little crossover touch much appreciated by customers. Its increased ground clearance, its specific shields, its body protections and of course, its cleverly designed roof bars mean that it has almost nothing more to envy anyone. Not even the Clio.

“One of the big differences between the Sandero and the Clio is that the Sandero maximizes its roominess. Its window cylinders are more straightened, and the use of the rear seats of a Sandero can accommodate 3 adults comfortably, which is not the case with the Clio. “ explains David Durand, Dacia styling director.

Dacia Sandero Stepway 2020

The interior makes its revolution

The habitability is indeed in progress with space at the rear almost worthy of the upper segment. Modularity remains basic – 2/3 1/3 folding seats – while the loading volume increases slightly (+8 liters to 328 liters) and the trunk gains a flat double floor (option at 100 euros). What to heal a little more his already very good sense of hospitality.

No one has been forgotten, especially the driver. The latter can now adjust his seat in height and the steering wheel in depth (Comfort finish) in order to benefit from a better driving position than before. And above all, he can take advantage of the undeniable leap in terms of quality perceived from the inside. Not so much in materials, still mainly represented by hard plastics, but rather by many details like the colors, the ventilators or even the few elements stitched and worked in their material.

The design is also much more modern. Special mention for the automatic air conditioning controls with optional integrated screen (taken from the Clio), the electric handbrake and above all 8 inch central screen, managing infotainment and navigation, finally placed in the field of vision (Comfort finish).

Always in a cost logic, the interface is not the Easy Link of cousin Clio but Dacia’s Media Display interface, more basic and modernized for the occasion. Small surprise, the Sandero Stepway can even boast of offering an option that the Clio does not have, the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection in Bluetooth (200 euros)!

Dacia Sandero Stepway 2020

Better on the road

Modernize everything that is visible but also what is less visible. By benefiting from the new CMF-B platform, the Sandero got a new steering with electric assistance. On the first few meters, the difference is palpable. The car steers shorter, with less difficulty for the driver’s arms, and it is supported by front / rear parking sensors and an optional rear view camera.

Perfect for the city, a little less for country roads where the direction is always too blurry. The same goes for the chassis, which is more secure and comfortable than before, but far behind a Clio with greater body rigidity and better-designed running gear, offering a much more successful driving experience.

In contrast, the 90-horsepower tCe 3-cylinder turbo engine is the perfect companion to the Sandero Stepway, especially when it is associated with the CVT automatic gearbox (1,400 euros additional cost). The latter, already seen under the name X-Tronic on the Clio, allows the small block to be rather alert at low speed while remaining in an optimal range at all times.

Be careful, however, not to force the right pedal too hard, as a maneuver may cause a little twisting effect of the box and above all an increase in sound volume. Because although soundproofing is improving, some noises (air and bearings in particular) are still poorly contained compared to general practitioners.

The wallet is spared

Proof of the transition from low-cost to a quasi-generalist status, the Sandero has also made progress in terms of driving aids by equipping for example with automatic emergency braking, blind spot detector, hill start aid or parking aids mentioned above.

A notable gentrification that Dacia has managed to contain in terms of prices. The basic Sandero starts at 8,690 euros (sCe 65 in Access finish) or 400 € more than before but with additional equipment such as emergency braking, LED lights with automatic ignition or the USB socket.

The Stepway is offered at € 12,590 (with the tCe 90 and the 100 hp LPG engine in the Essential finish) and € 15,290 with the CVT gearbox and the highest Comfort finish including 8-inch infotainment, cruise control and reversing radar.

The most interesting options such as automatic air conditioning (€ 240), the City Pack with reversing camera, front radar and blind spot detectors (€ 400) or the Media Nav system with integrated GPS, Android Auto / Apple CarPlay wireless (200 €) slightly increase the bill. Far, very far from the prices charged by general practitioners with a much less attractive price / service ratio.

Technical characteristics of Dacia Sandero Stepway

Model tested: Dacia Sandero Stepway 0.9 tCe 90 CVT
Dimensions L x W x H 4.10 / 1.85 / 1.54 m
Wheelbase 2.60 m
Trunk volume 328 liters
Unloaded weight 1.122 kg
Engine displacement 3-cylinder Turbo, petrol – 999 cc
Engine power 90 hp at 5,000 rpm
Couple 142 Nm at 3,750 rpm
0 to 100 km / h 14.2 s
Max speed 163 km / h
Mixed consumption 5.7 to 6.0 liters / 100 km (WLTP cycle)
CO2 emissions 128 to 137 g / km (WLTP cycle)
Prices € 15,290 (Comfort Finish)

Dacia Sandero Stepway Technical Sheet