After successfully delivering the cheapest modern sedan in the world in 2004 and probably the cheapest modern seven-seater in the world in 2006, Dacia turned its eyes on young people with wallets thinner than a piece of paper. The result is called the Sandero, and since 2008 it basically represents a Logan sedan with its rear end chopped off and a lower price. That is, if we look at it with only one half-closed eye, naturally.
The Sandero IS based on the same platform as all the other Logan variants, but the differences are a little more than subtle, and we're not just talking design-wise. Compared to the Logan sedan, the wheelbase is approximately four centimeters (1.6 inches) shorter on the Sandero, while the overall design is quite a bit different. The family resemblance can only be seen in the extraordinary height and the flat side windows (flatter windows are less expensive to manufacture).
We got the chance to put the 1.6 MPI version of the Sandero to an extended test drive, in the optimistically-named Prestige trim level. Translation: the car benefits from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with two-valves per cylinder and is at the top of the Dacia food-chain when it comes to equipment. Beige and aluminium-like plastics adorn the interior, while the exterior benefits from alloy wheels.
Truth is, the Sandero can overturn a lot of preconceptions, just like pretty much the rest of the Dacia range, but at same time it can also enforce some. For example, the saying that quality needs a hefty amount of dough is partially true after driving a Dacia. The car seems very well built, but only if we take into account its very low price. Otherwise, the poor-quality of some of the buttons and the horrendous ergonomics couldn't stand a chance against almost any other car in its class (we're looking at the Renault Clio, Opel Corsa or the Volkswagen Polo for good measure). Still, when you think that the aforementioned models all cost quite a bit more than the Sandero, it starts to became more than a bargain.Continue reading