Dacia Sandero

Stepway Prestige TCe

90

Dacia Sandero Stepway, 2021, front, static
Dacia Sandero Stepway, 2021, side
Dacia Sandero Stepway, 2021, rear
Dacia Sandero Stepway, 2021, interior
Dacia Sandero Stepway, 2021, display screen, camera
Dacia Sandero Stepway, 2021, rear seats
Dacia Sandero Stepway, 2021, boot

A NEW Dacia has just arrived on our shores and while its predecessor sold mainly on its cheap and cheerful image the newcomer retains the cheap bit but replaces cheerful with quality and a host of upmarket features.

And if you opt for the top-of-the-range version of the new Sandero Mk2 - the Stepway Prestige - you get a car that's more than a match for its competitors but at around half the price.

The Stepway Prestige carries a price tag of £13,895 but for that you get everything on board from an eight-inch touch screen, satellite navigation and automatic air conditioning to DAB radio, reversing camera, cruise control, keyless entry and LED lights.

And while the SUV-styled Stepway is the most popular version of the Sandero budget conscious buyers might be interested to know that the entry level hatchback Sandero now starts from just £7,995 on-the-road.

But back to the Stepway Prestige, a model which has been improved beyond recognition compared to the first generation.

It not only feels like a class act it drives like a class act too and is difficult to find fault with.

A revamped front and rear make it far more attractive while it's still easily recognisable as a Sandero Stepway.

And the new look cabin is eye catching with its starburst effect cloth finish on the dashboard and doors and copper coloured detailing around the air vents and lower door sections.

Smart new-look seats with plenty of side support on the squabs and backs to hold you firmly in place have copper coloured stitching to reflect the dashboard.

The rear seat back has a one third/two thirds split and generous legroom for passengers so you won't get any complaints from those in the back.

The Stepway has been well thought out in terms of convenience and practicality too. There's even a mobile phone bracket fitted to the side of the central touch screen complete with a convenient connection point so you don't have long lengths of cable running around the car.

The model driven here was powered by a 1.0-litre engine developing 90 bhp.

And as with a lot of high powered small engines performance was lively and very responsive.

On paper its 0-62 miles per hour time of 12 seconds sounds fairly sedentary but it never even felt that slow thanks to the urgency of second and third gears.

At motorway speeds and above the ride is impressively stable unlike on some lower priced cars - although the front suspension was a little on the soft side for my liking - while the cabin is much quieter and refined than on its predecessor.

Perhaps the fact that the new generation Sandero is based on the same platform as the Renault Clio goes some way to explaining both of the former points.

And given the Clio connection it's hard to believe that Dacia can produce a car which is now so accomplished at such a price.

FAST FACTS

Dacia Sandero Stepway Prestige TCe 90

Price: £13,895

Mechanical: 90ps, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via six speed manual gearbox.

Max Speed: 107 mph

0-62mph: 12.0 secs

Combined MPG: 50.4

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 127 g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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