A few months back we got the chance to test one of the cheapest hatchbacks on the planet, the Dacia Sandero. With a somewhat odd styling for a modern car and some pretty beefed up (height wise) suspension, the little Sandero fared pretty well for a car costing as much as a feature on a luxury car.
Its only major flaws were the lack of modern options and an engine and gearbox with 1980's technology, but other than those and the somewhat passe styling, the Sandero scored a decent amount of points. In the mean time, first rumors and then spyshots continued to pour in about a compact SUV that Dacia will unveil in the following year.
Probably thinking it might as well offer its customers a preview of what it's like to drive a Dacia compact SUV, they decided to first unveil a modified Sandero. By "modified" we don't necessarily mean a prequel to the Dacia SUV, but a more rugged-looking Sandero, with a design closer to a compact crossover/SUV than a hatchback.
Compared to the regular Sandero, the Stepway is almost two centimeters (about an inch) higher - by way of a suspension with increased travel – and has a body kit that makes the car look ready to tackle the Baja 1000. OK, we kid about the last bit, but it sure does look off-road ready, doesn't it?
We got the chance to spend some time behind the wheel of a Sandero Stepway 1.6 MPI, so in most of the chapters - if not all – we will compare it with the Sandero 1.6 MPI we tested earlier. Some may call the Stepway just another trim level on the Sandero, while others see a new model. Considering the technical differences are pretty big between the two, we'll consider it a new model just in the same way we consider the Subaru Outback a different car compared to a Legacy Wagon.Continue reading