Nearly new buying guide: Dacia Sandero

11 November 2021 - autocar

Nearly new buying guide: Dacia Sandero

Only thing better than a budget hatch is a cheaper budget hatch

Dacia’s cheap-as-chips Sandero hatchback has been with us since 2013. For its first few years, it came in Access, Ambiance and Laureate trims and was powered by a choice of three engines: a 73bhp 1.2 petrol, a more modern 89bhp turbocharged 0.9 TCe petrol and an 89bhp 1.5-litre dCi diesel. From August 2015, all three were uprated to the Euro 6 emissions standard.

Today, prices start at around £2000 for a decent example such as the one-owner 2013-reg 1.2 Ambiance with 60,000 miles and a full service history we found. That’s not bad for a spacious hatchback with electric windows, remote locking and a stereo, albeit one powered by a low-tech petrol motor that costs £150 to tax and takes 14.5sec to haul the car from standstill to 62mph. At the other end of the price scale, we saw a 2016-reg 0.9 TCe Laureate with 5000 miles for £5900.

These are early Sanderos but the ones we’re interested in here are post-2017 models. There are a couple of reasons for that: the model was mildly facelifted (LED daytime-running lights and restyled tail-lights) and the engine line-up was tweaked. Out went the ancient 1.2-litre petrol, replaced by the 72bhp 0.9 SCe that, while no ball of fire, is smoother and, being a three-cylinder, playfully thrummy. The more powerful 89bhp 0.9 TCe survived the cull and is the more accomplished all-rounder. Indeed, unless you need the 1.5 dCi for its long-range economy, go for the TCe. It’s the most plentiful on the used market, too, so tracking down a good one shouldn’t be hard.

Returning to the engines, in 2020, the diesel was replaced by the 99bhp 1.0 TCe Bi-fuel. This dualfuel motor burns petrol and LPG, which is considerably cheaper. LPG economy is slightly lower but you’ll still save money. We found a 2020-reg Essential with 100 miles for £8950. Essential? This and higher-spec Comfort trim replaced Ambiance and Laureate in 2018. Access was dropped, too. In truth, the poorly equipped trim was only an excuse to get the model’s entry price as low as possible. Buyers weren’t fooled and, consequently, there are few used examples. Essential trim is our pick but no worries if you prefer Comfort, with its rear electric windows and upgraded steering wheel.

Towards the end of 2020, the first-generation Sandero was replaced by an all-new model. However, the older one is still a roomy, comfy and honest motor. The What Car? Reliability Survey reported a few issues, detailed in ‘Need to know’ (above). Thankfully, many used Sanderos are one-owner cars with full service histories and so any issues are likely to have been resolved. That being so, find a cherished 0.9 TCe and say hello to practical, easy-going motoring on a budget.

Engine Check the rocker box cover isn't leaking oil (the culprit is likely to be a failed gasket) and that the engine isn't hunting at idle ( a known problem).

Starter motor There have been a few reports of the starter motor and/or associated parts failing prematurely so check all's well.

Noise Take it for an extended test drive to satisfy yourself you can live with the road noise. 

Body Some early cars were plagued by rust, fixed under warranty and finally cured by moving production to a different factory. Check the high loading lip for rubbing damage and that the boot lock works. Examine the bumpers for peeling paint.  

Need to know

The 0.9 TCe has a timing chain rather than a cambelt so you don’t have to worry about changing it.

Check if the original owner chose the optional full-sized spare wheel over the standard-issue repair kit.

Also check if the first owner purchased the five- or seven-year optional extended warranty.

Cheap but not always cheerful: the Sandero was last in its class in the What Car? Reliability Survey. Bodywork, engine electrics and interior trim were the chief culprits.

Buy a Sandero registered before 1 April 2017 and, depending on the engine, you’ll pay between £0 and £30 in road tax. (Some 1.2s cost £150 to tax.)

Our pick

  • Sandero 0.9 TCE Essential: Reasonable spec meets modern three-cylinder petrol engine with decent performance and low running costs. Plentiful and good value, with a 26,000-mile 2018-reg example costing £5900.

Wild card

  • Sandero 1.2 Access: It’s scarce, plain-looking and generally avoided, but this entry-level model is the purest Sandero – a basic budget runaround that costs buttons and loses buttons, too.

Ones we found

  • 2016 Sandero 1.2 Ambiance, 72,000 miles, £2995
  • 2017 Sandero 0.9 TCe Ambiance, 66,000 miles, £4425
  • 2018 Sandero 1.5 dCi Ambiance, 16,000 miles, £6700
  • 2020 Sandero 1.0 TCe Bi-fuel Comfort, 100 miles, £8950

News By Tags

accidentaccidenteAgenţia Servicii PubliceAlfa RomeoAlfa Romeo GiuliaalpineamenziANREANTAASPAudiAudi A3Audi A8Audi E-TronAudi Q7Audi Q8audi r8Audi RS3Audi RS4Audi SkysphereAudi vs BMWAurusAutostradaAvtoVazBaltiBelarusbentleybikebikesBMWBMW 2 SeriesBMW 3 SeriesBMW 5 SeriesBMW 7 seriesBMW 8 SeriesBMW i3BMW i8BMW ix3BMW MBMW M2BMW m3BMW m4BMW M5BMW m8BMW vs MercedesBMW vs PorscheBMW X1bmw x2BMW x3BMW X4BMW X5BMW x6BMW X7BMW X8BotanicabrabusBrexitBucureștiBulgariabuying guideCahulcar buying guidecarburantiCarte VerdeCăușeniCheryChinaChiril GaburiciChishinauChişinăuChryslercirculaţie sistatăCitroenCNACodul ContraventionalComratcoronaviruscorupţiecrash testCriuleniCupracurse ilegalecustom carDaciaDacia DokkerDacia DusterDacia LoganDacia SanderoDacia SpringDatsunDetroit Auto ShowdieselDodgedrag racedrumdrumuldrumuriDubai Motor ShowDurleştielectricEUEuropeevFCAferrariFiatFISCFlorestiFordFord F-150Ford FocusFord MustangFord TransitFrankfurt Motor ShowfunnyGeelyGeneva Motor ShowGermaniaGermanyGiurgiuleștiGreat WallHavalHondaHonda AccordHonda CivicHonda CR-VHummerHummer H1HybridHyundaiHyundai Santa FeHyundai SonataHyundai TucsonIgor DodonIndiaInfinitiINPINSPIsraelItaliaItalyJaguarJeepJeep WranglerjobskiaKia Sorentokia soulKia SportageKia StingerLA Auto ShowLadaLada NivaLamborghiniLamborghini UrusLand RoverLand Rover DefenderLand Rover DiscoveryLeușeniLexusMașiniMaybachMazdaMercedesMercedes AMGMercedes C-ClassMercedes G-classMercedes S-ClassMercedes SprintermicrobuzeminimităMitsubishiMitsubishi OutlanderMitsubishi PajeroMoldovamotorcycleNissanNissan LeafNivaoff-roadoffroadOpelOpel AstraOpel CorsaOpel InsigniaOpel MokkaOrheiparcareParis Motor ShowPeresecinapermispermis de conducerepermise de conducerepermisul de conducerepermisului de conducerePeugeotPeugeot 208Peugeot 308peugeot 508pickupplăcuţe de înmatricularepolitiaPoliția de FrontierăPoloniaPorschePorsche 911Porsche CayennePorsche CaymanPorsche MacanPorsche PanameraPorsche TaycanpreturiPrimăria Chişinăuproiect de legePSARange RoverrecallRenaultRenault CapturRenault CLioRenault DusterRenault EspaceRenault KadjarRenault KangooRenault KigerRenault Koleosrenault loganRenault Meganerenault sanderoRenault TalismanRenault ZoeRimacRolls-RoyceRomâniaRusiaRussiasafetySculeniSeatSeat AtecaSeat LeonServiciul Fiscal de StatServiciul VamalSîngereiSkodaSkoda CitigoSkoda EnyaqSkoda Enyaq iVSkoda FabiaSkoda KamiqSkoda KaroqSkoda KodiaqSkoda OctaviaSkoda RapidSkoda Scalaskoda superbSmartspy shotsSsangYongSsangYong Rextonstare de ebrietateȘtefan VodăStrăşenisubaruSubaru BRZSubaru Solterrasubaru wrxsupercarsSUVSuzukiSuzuki JimnytaxătaxitechnologyTeslaTesla Model Stest driveTiraspolTokyo Motor ShowToyotaToyota AvalonToyota CamryToyota CorollaToyota HighlanderToyota Land CruiserToyota PriusToyota Rav4toyota supraToyota YarisToyota Yaris CrossToyota Yaris Cross Adventuretransport publictuningUberUcrainaUKUngheniUnited StatesUSAused car buying guideVamavanVolgaVolkswagenVolkswagen GolfVolkswagen PoloVolkswagen T7Volkswagen TiguanVolkswagen TransporterVolvoVWVW AtlasVW CaddyVW GolfVW TransporterаварииаварияАвстрияавторынокАгентство государственных услугБельцыбензинБуюканыВеликобританиявзяткаводительские праваГерманияграницадорогадорогиДТПЕвропаимпорт автоИталияКишиневКишинэуКомраткоронавирускоррупцияКППкроссоверЛадаЛеушенымаршруткиМолдовамотокроссобщественный транспортОргеевотзывпаркингпарковкапарковкиперекрытияподдельные водительские праваподержанные автополицияПольшаПриднестровьепродажа автопроисшествияпроишествияремонт дорогРумынияРыбницаСорокистатистикаСтрашеныСШАСынжерейтаксиТаможнятарифыТираспольтопливотранспорттроллейбустюнингугонугон автоУкраинаУнгеныХынчештыценыштрафштрафыэвакуация автоэлектроавтоЯссы