Dacia Sandero Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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Wednesday 4th October


What is it like on the inside?

The old Sandero’s dashboard was functional but didn’t look as though the designers had paid much attention to it. The new car’s interior really lifts it. Material quality has improved. The plastics remain hard and scratchy, but they seem solid and well-assembled.

The design, though, is leagues ahead of what went before. The strip of textured fabric that runs the width of the dash and covers the armrests on the doors is welcome relief from all those hard plastics, while the climate controls and indicator/wiper stalks feel nice and robust.

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There are three kinds of infotainment on offer. The top-spec Expression model gets the eight-inch touchscreen pictured, with a built-in mount for your phone off to one side and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The user-interface is straightforward and uncomplicated, and the screen responds faithfully to your prods and swipes. That said, it doesn’t do much compared to the functionality offered in more expensive superminis.

Most lesser Sanderos get a more serious phone mount instead of a centre screen. The idea is you download and run the Dacia Media Control app and do everything through that. There’s a conveniently-located USB port right next to it, so you don’t have to trail cables all over the cabin. Don’t have a smartphone? You can still control the radio etc. through the little screen between the speedometer and rev counter.

This set-up is a bit strange in the top spec model, as you've got Apple CarPlay, so it's weird to also have your phone presented front and centre on the dashboard.

There’s seating for five in the Sandero. Rear legroom is up 42mm from the old car – a six-footer can comfortably sit behind someone of the same height without their knees hard-up against the back of the front seat, which is rare in a car of this size – and the boot is bigger too. The rear seats fold, not flat, increasing capacity from 328 to 1,108-litres.

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That's about the same as a Fiesta or Corsa which, need we remind you, cost much more. And far more than you get in the city cars the Sandero is priced against (Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Toyota Aygo, Suzuki Ignis, Fiat Panda etc). 

The driving position is much improved over the old car too, as the steering wheel now offers reach AND rake adjustment.

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