The Renault/Dacia Sandero is a subcompact car produced jointly between Renault and Renault’s Romanian subsidiary brand, Dacia. The Sandero is envisioned to be a really affordable small hatchback that can be accessed by a large portion of the popularity, no matter their income levels, but is Renault Sandero a good car?
The Renault/Dacia Sandero is indeed a really good car for what it is which is made that more true given the fact that a ton of these has been sold all across the world. The Sandero offers a decent choice of engines designed to be economical and easy to maintain, but one can hardly call them exciting or anything similar to that.
The design is also fairly basic as it isn’t going to offend anyone. The interior is as basic as it gets, but it’s perfect for those who don’t want any distractions whatsoever. Driving the Sandero makes you feel as ordinary as driving a car can as it is designed primarily to be a point A to point B transportation device which means that isn’t dynamic or overly comfortable.
Reliability-wise, the Sandero does seem to have some issues worth discussing, but overall, it manages to be fairly reliable. Practicality is also good while pricing is excellent as you can get these really cheap, both new and used.
The Renault/Dacia Sandero can be had with a few engines ranging from smaller inline 3-cylinder 65hp 999cc engines to larger 100hp inline 3-cylinder gasoline engines. The 2nd generation of the Sandero is also available with a 1.15 inline 4-cylinder with 72hp and two diesel engines, a less powerful 1.5L with 75hp, and a more powerful 1.5L with 90hp.
All of these are designed to be efficient which is why you can expect to get up to 50MPG with the most efficient gasoline engines while the most efficient diesel engines can return up to 65MPG. All models come with a manual gearbox from the factory but you can pay more to get an automatic which comes included on some of the larger engines in certain regions.
All in all, the Dacia/Renault Sander powertrain palette is fairly decent with small, yet effective engines that can do their job more than well enough.
Design and Driving Experience
Design-wise, the Renault/Dacia Sandero is a good-looking car for what it is as Renault/Dacia did try to make it more appealing for the 3rd generation of the Sandero. You can get it with LED headlights which do make it look more premium while Sandero Stepway models utilize a more utility-oriented design language which makes the Sandero look more purposeful.
The interior is rather basic, but you can get some infotainment-colored screens which do elevate the experience a little bit. Cloth seats and hard-touch plastics are a given, but you really can’t ask for anything more at this price point. The driving experience is surefooted, but not dynamic at all. The Sandero is decently quiet, but it ain’t no luxury car by any stretch of the imagination.
Reliability and Common Issues
The Sandero has had its ups and downs in the reliability segment which means that it is a decently reliable car, but it also suffers from certain issues which will need to be addressed in a more detailed manner. This includes problems such as rust/corrosion, problems with the brakes, the electronics, the DPF filter, and the suspension.
If you take proper care of your Sandero, you can expect it to last quite a long time. However, if you are going to buy one used, make sure to go for one with a consistent service history as you don’t want to skimp on lesser models which typically weren’t maintained all that well.
Pricing and Practicality
In France, the home of Renault, the Sandero costs less than €9,000 which makes it one of the most affordable cars on sale. Used examples can be had for just a few grand which is what makes the Sandero such as a popular car in developing and certain developed countries as well. You can see many of these being used as delivery cars and taxis all across the globe.
Practicality is actually not that bad given the car’s footprint which means that there is a good bit of space in the back and that the Sandero can transport multiple people at once without too many issues.
How Much is a Sandero in Germany?
In Germany, you can expect to pay around €10,000 for a brand new Sandero which makes it one of the cheapest usable cars money can buy in Germany. This includes the ECO-G model or the TCe 90 version which costs pretty much the same amount of money.
The Dacia TCe 100 ECO G bi-fuel variant costs a tad bit more, but it does give you almost 100hp which is the most one can get from the Sandero anyway. For such a price, you really can’t expect to get much, but the Sandero truly is a usable car that can do all the daily commute without any hassle whatsoever.
What is Dacia?
The Dacia automotive company was founded back in 1966 in Romania as a company tasked with making cheap and accessible cars for the masses which proved to be a good idea in transitional countries where purchasing power was still rather low for the general public.
Renault stepped in in 1999 and bought Dacia with pretty much the same idea – to make cheap cars available for everyone across Europe and a better part of Asia. After Renault took over, Dacia became a much more famous brand, especially in the late 2000s when models such as the Sandero, the Logan, and the Duster started selling fairly well.
Does Dacia use Renault Engines?
Yes, Dacia cars do use Renault engines which is often what many Dacia owners say when buying a Dacia as a way to assess the quality that Dacia brings to the table. Engine-sharing between brands is nothing new, and most people aren’t aware of the fact that Renault was sharing engines with both Dacia and Mercedes at one point.