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Dacia Sandero – The People’s Car for the 21st Century

Dacia Sandero – The People’s Car for the 21st Century

In 2009, the estimable James May pronounced this vehicle to be an ‘anti-fashion’ car when he drove one in Romania. It was, he said, basic and all the better for it. You’ll be glad to hear, therefore, that you too can make such anti-establishment statements, now that owning cars is seen as being equated with devil worship in some quarters.

As previously reported, the car was shown at the Paris Motor Show and will soon be available to buy. Expect to see it making an appearance on British roads in January next year; but how interested will the public be in a seriously cheap car like the Sandero? Dacia are promoting it as ‘shockingly affordable’ but is this code for ‘shockingly awful’?

It is going up against some seriously powerful opposition. The all-conquering Fiesta is in its sector along with Vauxhall’s Corsa and the now popular Kia Rio. Certainly motorists in the UK are strapped for cash as successive car-hating governments bear down upon the national wallet. This may be the Sandero’s time.

In fact, it’s not a bad looking car. It won’t win any design awards but that’s not really the point of the Sandero. The company, bankrolled by Renault, have cut the fancy stuff to the bone. It’s been reported that drivers are rebelling against what they see as excessive and pointless trinkets and devices being loaded on cars to make them seem more desirable. No worries with the Sandero then. The basic models will of course have the entry-level safety equipment you’d expect, like airbags, power-steering and ABS. But you can forget about such fripperies as alloys, electric mirrors and even basic air-conditioning. Just open a window, why don’t you?

Further up the range and things start getting a bit more luxurious. Fog lights and height adjustable seats feature whilst at the top of the range alloys finally make an appearance along with a trip computer! Space-age. The interior is much improved over the earlier version driven by Mr May.

It is wrong to dismiss this car as a bit of a joke. The company are using proven technology and the model has a good reputation for reliability. Elsewhere in the world the Sandero and other models in the range have been very successful and in demand, that’s why a RHD model has been so long in coming. For many drivers, a new car with warranty for well under seven grand is going to be very tempting indeed. Get one via your local Renault dealer. Oh, and it is pronounced ‘Datcha’, by the way. J

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- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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