Since all the passengers, including the driver, are sitting at an SUV-like height, the overall visibility in the Dacia Sandero Stepway is quite a good step above your average subcompact hatchback. Did we say "step"? More like an entire ladder. To put things into perspective, the regular Dacia Sandero sits high enough for a car in its class, with a ground clearance of 16.5 centimeters (6.5 inches). If you think that's high, learn that the Sandero Stepway has no less than 18 centimeters (7.1 inches) of ground clearance. That's as high as some crossover/SUVs out there.
So, in short, the Stepway's main benefit over the regular Sandero in the city is the increased ground clearance, which translates into an SUV-like visibility. That and the fact that the comfort over speed bumps and over optimistic roadside curbs is at a much higher level. Considering a few months back we tested a regular Sandero, which came equipped with the same 1.6-liter engine, it will be easier to give an objective opinion about the Sandero Stepway 1.6 MPI.
To be frank, the ancient four-cylinder under the Stepway's hood left us with an even worse impression than the one in the regular Sandero we tested before. In theory, it's the same car, the same engine and the same gearbox, but in practice the Stepway is a much worse candidate for this technical package. Speaking of which, this also translates into a fuel consumption even higher than that on the normal Sandero.
Since our test car was not equipped (not even optionally!) with an onboard computer, we had to calculate the mileage ourselves, the old-fashioned way. We achieved a figure close 11.5-12 liters per 100 kilometers (US 19.6-20.4 mpg) in strictly busy city driving, which is quite a bit higher than the advertised 10.2 liters per 100 kilometers (US 23.1 mpg).
That's not bad but it's not super great either, especially when thinking this is a 1.6-liter engine after all and the Stepway isn't exactly a juggernaut at a little under 1200 kilograms (2645 pounds). Apart from the rather high fuel consumption, we didn't find many downsides with this engine option on the Stepway for the city. Considering it has a pretty good torque curve, it offers pleasurable driving despite its low power. All in all, if you're going exclusively for fuel economy you might be better off with the lower-powered 1.5 dCi version.Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
This is just the kind of car I need in order for my neighbors to "howdy!" me every time they see me. It looks almost as "butch" and intimidating as an 'merican truck, though at only a quarter of the price and about 1/8 of the size. The fuel consumption is not much better though, I would have rather tested the dCi model if I would have been you guys.
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