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2012-10-18 07:16

DEAL TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE?: With it's high level of standard features and frugal engines, Dacia's budget Sandero seems like a great deal on paper...

Dacia, owned by Renault, is set to launch its cheapest version of the Sandero yet in Europe, with a price set for well under R100 000.

The Romanian automaker will launch its “shockingly affordable” four-door hatch in the UK, with a price tag equivalent to R83 955.

The UK’s most affordable new car? Easily. Worthwhile bargain? That remains to be seen.

The Sandero will be offered in three spec levels – Access, Ambiance and Laureate. Three engines will also be made available - but Renault SA says its Sandero line remains the same - sans the cheapie - through 2013.


Powering the base model is Renault’s 1.2 petrol engine. The Ambiance and Lauréate are powered by the new TCe 90 and dCi 90 units.

Powered by the four-cylinder 1.2 petrol, the Sandero has a claimed fuel consumption of 4.9 litres/100km with CO2emissions of 137g/km.

Equipped with the 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine, the model has a claimed fuel consumption of 4.3 litres/100km and CO2emissions of just 120 g/km.

The 1.5 diesel dCi 90 enables the Sandero to use a frugal 3.1 litres/100km and just under 100 grams of CO2 per kilometer in emissions.

The two top engines have gearshift indicators and an ECO mode to limit engine torque.


The entry-level access has 15” steel rims, power steering, a 60/40 split folding rear seat and daytime running lights. There’s also pre-wiring for an accessory fit radio and speaker system.

In case you were wondering how safe this budget hatch really is, the new model sports ABS with emergency braking assistant, traction and stability control, driver, passenger and front side airbags and IsoFix anchor points.

For the rand equivalent of R8433 more, the mid-level Ambiance adds a radio/CD player with, USB and AUX ports, Bluetooth, central locking, power front windows, body coloured bumpers and 15” Colorado wheel trims.

Inside the ambiance is improved with the addition of chromed surrounds for the air vents, instrument dials and steering wheel logo.

The top-of-the-range Lauréate (retailing for R111 963) adds aircon, heatable external mirrors,  cruise control; further option is  an 18cm touchscreen navigation and multimedia system can be added.

How does Dacia manage to make, let alone sell, such a temptingly priced car and still make a profit?

Dacia’s engineering team has worked out that using the same elements in all its models can lead to huge savings. The automaker even uses the same windows and panels on every car in its range.

South Africans, however, will hardly buy a car without aircon - so meeting the eighty grand prices is harldly likely here either.


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