As we mentioned before, the two-valve per cylinder four banger under the hood isn't quite a provider of modern engine technology. In fact, this was probably an engineering prerequisite while Renault and Dacia engineers were working on the Logan project. Just like the Logan and the Logan MCV, pretty much everything about the Sandero is KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
There is no fancy direct injection, only a good ol' multipoint one and frankly we were a bit surprised Dacia doesn't offer a carbureted version of this, since that is even cheaper and easier to fix when (and mostly IF) it's broken. By limiting the number of valves per cylinder to two, they minimized the engine's performance as to pave a longer way to its 16-valve variant (not available on the Sandero so far), which in the eyes of its buyers might sound like a totally new engine.
Still, even if it isn't very high-tech, the 1.6 liter gasoline engine pretty much gets the job done, as long as you're not the "overachiever" type. Its main quality should be the rather flat torque curve, which influences a very relaxed driving, with few gear changes. The five-speed transmission on the other hand could have had better ratios, and by "better" we mean shorter. Also, its overall shifting precision precision lack a lot of finesse.
The KISS principle is also followed by the suspension, with a McPherson up-front and a semi-rigid in the rear. Despite its simplicity and the pretty high ground clearance, its setup is almost perfect, providing a very nice and unexpected compromise between comfort on bad roads and a good roadholding at a more dynamic pace. Continue reading