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Sunday 4th June


What should I be paying?

When we tried the latest Sandero for the first time back in 2020, we began this section talking about the base-level Access model and how it cost less than £8,000. How time flies: one semiconductor shortage and much inflation later, the Access spec has disappeared from the configurator and the most affordable way into Sandero ownership is now through the Essential spec… starting from £12,595.

That’s quite a hike, but you can guarantee that rising sticker price is a result of the, er, difficult global economics we’ve seen over the last couple of years. And although the Sandero is no longer the cheapest car on sale, there are only a handful of cars that can claim to have it licked on price. And who pays cash up front for a car these days anyway?

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The other factor to consider is that fewer than one in 100 Sanderos sold were the old entry-level spec, which did without alloy wheels, air con and central locking. Or even a radio. It was nice to have the option, but best avoided for most. And nearly everyone did.

So what do you get in Essential guise? Well it’s six-speed manual only for a start, twinned with that 1.0-litre TCe 90 engine. Still no alloy wheels either, but you do get air conditioning, painted bumpers, cruise control, a little screen in the instrument cluster (which doesn’t tell you much, in all honesty) and is compatible with the Media Control app.

With the former top-spec Comfort model also dropping off Dacia’s configurator in recent time, it’s the Expression model that assumes the mantle as the range-topper. This is a full grand pricier than the base car at £13,595, but adds 15-inch alloys, foglights, body-coloured everything, keyless entry, rear electric windows, automatic wipers, heated and electrically-adjustable mirrors, parking sensors (with a back-up camera) and the eight-inch touchscreen among other things. Timely reminder: the cheapest Ford Fiesta at the time of writing is… £17,000.

At this spec you also have the option of the automatic gearbox, which boosts the price to £15,095 before options. This drops fuel economy down from the manual’s 53.3mpg to 48.7mpg, while also reducing torque, making acceleration slower and emissions worse. Yeah, we’ll pass thanks.

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Then you’ve got the Stepway range, with its raised ride height and its tougher-looking body. Essential kicks things off at £13,795, Expression follows that at £15,095 and then Journey caps the line-up from £15,895. The latter adds automatic air con, 16in alloy wheels and an electric parking brake; Dacia, how you spoil us so.

BiK ranges between 27 and 33 per cent, and your first year’s VED bill between £175 and £215. The warranty is three years/60,000 miles but you can extend it.

As for finance, let’s take the Sandero Expression as an example: with just one month’s deposit up front you can secure one for £216 per month over four years at 5.9 per cent APR. Upgrade to the Stepway and you’ll only be looking at £20 a month more. Nice.

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