Standard EquipmentTechnical SpecificationOptional ExtrasIndependent Review

Driver Convenience

  • Bluetooth system
  • PAS
  • Rev counter

Entertainment

  • DAB/FM/AM radio with fingertip controls and 4 speakers
  • USB connection

Exterior Features

  • 3 speed windscreen wipers
  • Black door handles
  • Black side sills
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Chrome fog light surround
  • Chrome Honeycomb front grille
  • Double optic headlights with chrome surround
  • Electric front windows + drivers one touch
  • Front fog lights
  • Grey door mirrors
  • Heated rear window
  • High level third rear brake light
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Manual adjustable rear windows
  • Manually adjustable door mirrors
  • Rear wash/wipe
  • Satin chrome roof bars
  • Satin chrome scuff plates
  • Satin chrome skid plate
  • Stepway logo on front door panel
  • Tinted windows
  • Wheelarch extensions

Interior Features

  • 12V power point for rear passengers
  • 12V socket by gear lever
  • 3 rear height adjustable headrests
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat
  • Boot light
  • Driver's seat height adjustment
  • Front courtesy lights
  • Front passenger grab handle
  • Front seat back map pockets
  • Gear shift indicator
  • Headlights left on audible and visual warning
  • Heating/ventilation unit with 4 speed fan
  • Height adjustable front headrests
  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Isofix on 2nd row outer seats
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Passenger sunvisor with vanity mirror
  • Rear grab handles
  • Satin Chrome door handles
  • Stepway cloth upholstery
  • Two tone door panels dark carbon/light grey

Safety

  • ABS+EBA
  • Child locks on rear doors
  • Door open warning
  • Driver's airbag
  • ESC with ASR and Hill start assist
  • Front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Front seatbelt unfastened audible+visual warnings
  • Front side airbags
  • Height adjustable front seatbelts
  • Passenger airbag with deactivation function
  • Three 3 point rear seatbelts
  • Tyre pressure monitor

Security

  • Automatic door locking
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Remote central locking

Trim

  • Chrome air vent surrounds
  • Chrome instrument dials
  • Satin chrome centre console surround

Wheels

  • 16" steel wheels

Emissions

CO2 (g/km)

119

HC+NOx

Particles

Standard Euro Emissions

EURO 6

Engine and Drive Train

Camshaft

DOHC

Catalytic Convertor

1

CC

998

Compression Ratio

11.0:1

Cylinder Layout

IN-LINE

Cylinders

3

Cylinders - Bore (mm)

71

Cylinders - Stroke (mm)

84

Engine Code

B4D 411

Engine Layout

FRONT TRANSVERSE

Fuel Delivery

INJECTION

Gears

5 SPEED

Number of Valves

12

Transmission

MANUAL

Fuel Consumption

EC Combined (mpg)

53.3

EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies

1

EC Extra Urban (mpg)

58.9

EC Urban (mpg)

47.1

General

Badge Engine CC

1

Badge Power

75

Based On ID

Coin Description

SCe

Coin Series

Essential

Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07

6E

Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years

6

Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years

2

NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %

80

NCAP Child Occupant Protection %

79

NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09

4

NCAP Pedestrian Protection %

57

NCAP Safety Assist %

55

Safety Concerns?

1

Service Interval Frequency - Months

12

Service Interval Mileage

12000

Special Edition

1

Special Order

1

Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage

60000

Standard manufacturers warranty - Years

3

Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months

Timing Belt Interval Mileage

Vehicle Homologation Class

M1

Performance

Engine Power - BHP

73

Engine Power - KW

54

Engine Power - RPM

6300

Engine Torque - LBS.FT

72

Engine Torque - MKG

9.9

Engine Torque - NM

97

Engine Torque - RPM

3500

Top Speed

98

Tyres

Alloys?

1

Space Saver?

1

Tyre Size Front

205/55 R16

Tyre Size Rear

205/55 R16

Tyre Size Spare

TYRE REPAIR KIT

Wheel Style

Wheel Type

16" STEEL

Vehicle Dimensions

Height

1555

Height (including roof rails)

1615

Length

4089

Wheelbase

2589

Width

1761

Width (including mirrors)

1994

Weight and Capacities

Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres)

50

Gross Vehicle Weight

1490

Luggage Capacity (Seats Down)

1200

Luggage Capacity (Seats Up)

320

Max. Loading Weight

521

Max. Towing Weight - Braked

1090

Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked

520

Minimum Kerbweight

969

No. of Seats

5

Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb

10.5

On The Road

Exterior Features

Paintwork

Trim

Wheels

Summary

The Dacia Sandero Stepway will continue to sell very well. It's a much more interesting and, crucially, expensive-looking car than the basic Sandero hatch and although it's essentially a 4x4-styled supermini rather than a purpose-developed small Crossover, it's still a vehicle that will find a ready market here in the UK. With its 40mm raised ride height, it 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. The pricing looks extremely good as well. For less than, say, the most depressingly basic 60PS Volkswagen Polo, you can buy a range-topping Stepway with a 90PS diesel engine and goodies like cruise control, air conditioning, parking sensors and a seven-inch touch screen with navigation. Think about that for a moment. Consider how insecure you'd need to be to choose the comfort blanket security of the Volkswagen badge over that. Perhaps Skoda should have been Volkswagen's Dacia, but it hasn't really worked out that way. It's become a bit too gentrified. The Stepway is a case study in how to do budget cars very well indeed.

Background

You know when an idea is a good 'un when your opposition are looking at each other and wondering why they didn't think of it before. The Dacia formula is really rather simple. It takes tried and tested Renault engineering and recycles it into new cars hailing from Romania. Therefore there's very little research and development expense, low labour costs, minimal tooling outlay and hey presto, you have a line of cheap and reliable cars that are just about pitch perfect for these austere times. Hardly rocket science is it? Renault acquired the company in 1999 but it's been only in the last few years that cars have once again been imported to the UK. We've had the Duster budget 4x4 and this was followed by the Sandero supermini, at launch the cheapest car on sale in the UK. The car we look at here, the Sandero Stepway, is a spin-off of that model and it's one that has a lot to be said for it, especially in this improved form.

Driving Experience

In order to understand the appeal of the Sandero Stepway, know this. The basic Sandero supermini upon which it's based has been designed to sell into many third world markets and as such is billed as having excellent ground clearance and ""robust underbody protection for impressive performance on unpaved tracks"". If that's not a great basis for building a jacked-up version with even greater abilities, I don't know what is. Do remember that this isn't a four-wheel drive car though, so there are limits as to what it can negotiate. For tougher stuff, you'll probably need to buy Dacia's Duster compact SUV. 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 makes 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.

Design and Build

The Stepway is styled to look a bit more rugged without actually offering any four wheel-drive underpinnings. Think Qashqai-style compact Crossover and you're not far off the mark. That stepped up ground clearance gives it a nicely chunky look and might well prove useful when bumping up and down big kerbs in town. It also gets a redesigned front end and body features such as front and rear skid plates, fog lamps, two-tone bumpers, pronounced wheel arches, 16-inch 'Stepway' alloy-look rims, two-tone longitudinal roof bars and exclusive blue paint. Inside, there's embroidered upholstery and grey overstitching for a bolder look. We should talk about the changes made to this revised model which gets a revised front end design showcasing Dacia's new lighting signature flanking a revised honeycombed grille. The interior's smarter too, with satin-effect chrome finishing to lift the dashboard, a revised steering wheel and some softer-touch surfaces on upper-spec variants. Dacia has even moved the electric window switches from the centre console to a more conventional place on the doors. Boot volume is 320-litres, which is extremely good for this class and there's a 60/40 split fold rear seat to improve practicality still further. The cabin offers plenty of storage, notably with the addition of a central cubby box. The oddments spaces in the front and rear doors are large enough to house a 1.5-litre and 0.5-litre bottle respectively.

Market and Model

When Dacia developed the Sandero, it set out to bring a completely stripped out and basic car to market which is why it was able to sell you one for less than six grand. The Stepway is a different animal and will appeal to a different buyer. With no thrift store Access specification and base SCe 75 1.0-litre engine available, the base price is pushed quite a bit higher, in this case to around £9,000, but that's still remarkable value for money. Mind you, what do you compare it with? Probably one of the cheaper small Crossovers, maybe a SsangYong Tivoli perhaps, but one of those will cost you thousands more. It all means that many will find this model's value proposition too strong to ignore. The entry-level Ambiance specification is equipped with air conditioning, electric front windows, front fog lights, and roof bars, Bluetooth, metallic paint, a DAB 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 a 'MediaNav' Evolution 7-inch touchscreen multimedia system including satellite navigation and rear parking sensors. Plus cruise control with a speed limiter, front fog lights, heated and electrically-adjustable door mirrors, a height-adjustable driver's seat and steering wheel, leather gearknob and a trip computer. The price for all of that? Around £10,000, or around £11,500 if paired with the diesel engine. That wouldn't even squeak you into the most basic Volkswagen Polo you can buy, equipped with a flaccid 60PS petrol engine. I know what I'd rather have.

Cost of Ownership

Such is the buzz that's being created around Dacia cars that the brand is getting some serious recognition from real car enthusiasts. I know a guy with a stable of Ferraris who uses a Duster as the car he punts into town. The Stepway probably isn't going to be quite as depreciation resistant as the most basic Sandero models but it'll still do well and the low asking price means that the edge will be taken off any depreciation. The TCe 90 1.2-litre petrol engine is respectably quick but it'll still return reasonable fuel economy. Dacia quotes a figure of 55.4mpg and emissions of 115g/km. Go diesel and you're looking at 74.3mpg and 98g/km - but it's worth bearing in mind that if you choose the same diesel in a non-Stepway Sandero it'll dip to 90g/km. All new Sanderos come with a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty (whichever is reached sooner). Rather than forcing buyers to pay a premium for a longer warranty they might not want, there's the option to extend their warranty should they wish.