SANDERO PRESSES ALL THE RIGHT BUTTONS
THE Dacia Sandero Stepway is inexpensive but doesn't look it. It's a supermini that's been jacked up a bit to give a crossover look and seems to press all the right buttons for buyers who don't want big outlay but require big value.
The entry-level 90ps 1.2-litre petrol engine will probably be more than enough for most people and it's a sweet little motor, the three cylinders making a characterful sound and driving the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
Alternatively, there's a 90ps 1.5-litre diesel that isn't the most refined unit we've come across but nevertheless achieves all the right economy and emissions figures.
The extra wheel travel seems to give the Stepway a marginally better ride quality than the standard Sandero and the 40mm raise in height hasn't made body control noticeably worse.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
The Stepway is styled to look a bit more rugged without actually offering any four wheel-drive underpinnings.
There's a decent amount of space inside for a supermini too.
The interior and exterior dimensions are generous with the Stepway offering 1,436 mm rear elbow room, giving enough space to seat three adults comfortably or to allow you to install three child seats.
Boot volume is 320-litres which is extremely good for this class, and the cabin offers plenty of storage.
The entry-level Ambiance specification is equipped with electric front windows, front fog lights, and roof bars, Bluetooth, metallic paint, a radio/CD system, driver and front passenger airbags, front side airbags and stability control.
Go for the range-topping Laureate trim and you'll find all that plus air conditioning, a chrome front grille, electric windows and electric heated door mirrors.
There's also cruise control, speed limiter and rear parking sensors, plus a sat nav and entertainment system with a seven-inch touch screen and AUX-in and USB inputs.
The price for all of that will just about squeak you into the most basic Volkswagen Polo you can buy.
With its 40mm raised ride height, the Sandero Stepway will not only appeal to those looking for something a bit beefy-looking to drive in town, but older buyers might well appreciate not having to sit so far down into the vehicle.
It's a case study in how to do budget cars very well indeed.