Take A Walk Down Memory Lane With Fifth Gear Reviewing The Dacia Sandero

When you hear Dacia, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? In my case, I hear James May’s voice waxing lyrically about the cheap subcompact hatchback that put the Renault-owned automaker on the map. And even in facelift form, it still is “shockingly affordable.”
Dacia Sandero 11 photos
Photo: screenshot from YouTube
Dacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia SanderoDacia Sandero
Introduced in 2012 and assembled in Romania, the most spartan of trim levels costs £5,995 in the United Kingdom or €7,150 in its domestic market. And that, ladies and gents, makes the Sandero quite a bargain. What you pay is what you get, though, and to be thoroughly blunt, it’s reassuring that back-to-basics cars still exist.

Fifth Gear’s Jonny Smith offers a kind reminder of what the Dacia Sandero is all about by driving the plastic-bumpered supermini for 1,000 kilometers in the span of two days. It’s an old segment from Series 23 of the now-defunct motoring show, but be that as it may, it’s been only recently uploaded to Fifth Gear’s YouTube channel.

Not only did the Sandero complete the journey from Calais to the French Alps ski resort of Courchevel, but the most affordable new car in the UK didn’t miss a single beat on the way. The supermini didn’t get to Jonny’s destination fast, though, chiefly because it’s powered by a rather anemic four-banger mill. Displacing 1.2 liters and good for 75 ponies, the engine in question needs a calendar, not a stopwatch, to hit 62 mph (100 km/h). To its defense, the 1.2-liter motor isn’t much of a drinker at 48 UK mpg (or 40 U.S. mpg).

For the price of a Bugatti Veyron’s wheel, minus the tire, the UK-spec Sandero from 2012 has very few toys to its name. Some of the creature comforts customers have to live without include alloy wheels, electric mirrors, and air conditioning. The 2017 mid-cycle refresh, on the other, is a little bit better equipped than the original.

Video thumbnail
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Mircea Panait
Mircea Panait profile photo

After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories