17 Oct 2012

Dacia Sandero. A brand new car for £5,995!

The new Dacia Sandero is coming to the UK with a price of £5,995.  We look at it's position in the market and speculate as to it's success.

What madness is this?  Dacia, who brought us the incredibly cheap and cheerful Duster have now brought out the Sandero.  And they'll only charge you £5,995 for a new brand, spanking new one with seats and wheels and everything.

The £5,995 model is a 1.2 litre with 75bhp and very few frills but, to put the price into perspective, is similar in price to a 1.0 litre Ford Fiesta Popular - if you had bought it in 1989.

Today, the cheapest Fiesta costs £9,795 and comes with a 1.25 litre engine with 60bhp.  Even the cheapest Kia Picanto costs £8,045 - and until recently no-one in their right mind would buy one of them (even now you'd still have to be slightly deranged).

But only denizens of the car buying classes with a fully functioning Dorsolateral Prefrontal* need apply  when it comes to making the logically sound decision to purchase a Sandero.  There are many reasons why but here are the main five:

  • Its looks nice.  Everything is in proportion and at least some elements of design flair have been added to it
  • The interior looks really nice - for a budget car
  • It is cheap
  • It won't cost much to run
  • It's made by Renault so won't fall to pieces in six months

There are three trim levels.  Here's what you get with the basic, Access, version:

Wheels (15 inch), power steering, white paint, 60/40 split folding rear seat, daytime running lights, pre-wiring for a radio and speakers, ABS, traction control, stability control, airbags, ISOFIX points.

Plus, we presume, an engine, seats and doors.  The spec list is pretty spartan but you get what you pay for.  Move it up a level to Ambiance and you get such things as a radio CD player (with USB and bluetooth inputs), central locking, electric windows and wheel trims.  The Ambiance costs £600 more than the Access.

Now we get to the top of the range Lauréate, which costs an almighty £7,995 (still less than the cheapest Kia).  With that you get air conditioning, electric mirrors, cruise control, electric rear windows,  7" multimedia touchscreen, height adjustable driver's seat and leather steering wheel and gearknob.  You even get higher spec wheel trims and a graphite look centre console and door handles.

There are three engine choices - a 1.2 litre petrol with 75bhp, a 0.9 litre turbo petrol with 75bhp and a 90bhp 1.5 turbo diesel.

The most expensive engine/trim combo is the 1.5 dCi 90 Lauréate, which costs £9,795 - exactly the same as the cheapest Fiesta.

Pre-ordering starts on the 22 October, test drives will be available in early January and the first deliveries will be made in late January.  Oh, and it comes with a 60,000 mile, 3 year warranty

The only competition we can see for the Dacia Sandero is from the secondhand market. For £6,000 you can buy a five year old, low mileage Golf 1.4 S but that will only have a years warranty from the dealer.

Frankly, if the other manufacturers in this sector don't come up with similarly priced models Dacia will wipe the floor with them.  As we predict will happen with the Duster, the Sandero will slay all who dare to cross it - until they match it's prices.

*Look it up