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Dacia Sandero Stepway

The Dacia Sandero subcompact car exploiting the Logan platform has been produced by Renault and Dacia in collaboration since 2008. Approximately at the same time, the Sandero-based Stepway model was launched.

The Dacia Sandero Stepway is a compact crossover SUV that won’t wow you with either the materials it uses or driving performance. Still, you have a chance to get a good vehicle for doing everyday errands and moving your family around in comfort at a knock-down price.

What distinguishes it from the Dacia Sandero it’s based on?

The Dacia Sandero Stepway adds some off-roader features such as the wheelarch black plastic extensions and special bumpers. It also offers aluminium roof bars and slid plates for bumpers.

Its presence on the road is much better felt and the SUV looks more posh than the model it uses as a prototype. It provides improved visibility thanks to a commanding view of the road. It can be considered as an additional safety feature as it saves a driver from huge blind spots and gives a clearer idea of the vehicle’s position in the traffic. Actually, about 40 mm of ground clearance are added. Besides, the Dacia Sandero Stepway enjoys some equipment the Dacia Sandero doesn’t.

Powertrain and Fuel Efficiency

The Dacia Sandero Stepway can be powered by a petrol or diesel engine paired with the only 5-speed manual gearbox available.

A 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol turbocharged engine generates 89 bhp and takes 11.1 seconds to accelerate to 62 mph. A 1.5-litre 89-bhp turbodiesel motor, a more popular model, is a bit slower – 62 mpg mark is reached in 11.8 seconds.

Although the EPA estimated the petrol and diesel engine to return 52.3 and 70.6 mpg respectively, real-world figures are different (several factors including a driving manner contribute to this) – approximately 50 mpg for the diesel engine and 45 mpg for the petrol one. Take your choice.

Driving Performance

The Dacia Sandero Stepway cannot compete with, let’s say, a Land Rover in driving performance for a number of reasons. One of them is that it isn’t an all-wheel-drive vehicle as most SUVs are but front-wheel drive. It means that it copes with rugged terrain making more effort and doesn’t always succeed. Still, it responses to potholed surfaces better than conventional hatchbacks.

The steering in the Sandero Stepway is rather light and accurate at the same time. The mini SUV starts and stops nicely and carries its passengers in comfort. Thanks to its upright stance, it’s easy to park, even in tight lots. However, having the diesel motor under the bonnet, it can be noisy. Also, its body roll is significant.

Trim Levels

The Access (base) trim level has been dropped for the latest Dacia Sandero Stepway. It’s available only in Ambience and Laureate, top specs.

The entry-level Ambience trim offers many state-of-the-art features and technologies. If you opt for it, you’ll get the mini SUV with metallic or body-coloured exterior mirrors and bumpers and fog lights. Inside, you’ll find power front windows, heated rear windshield, Bluetooth/USB connectivity, etc.

The top-of-the-range Laureate trim adds a 7-inch touchscreen, manual air conditioner, satellite navigation, cruise control, and a trip computer as well as heated power door mirrors and power rear windows. Options number leather upholstery, upgraded navigation system, etc. Also, you can order the Touring package that includes roof bars, net for luggage in the trunk, carpet mats, and a central armrest.

Comfort

The Dacia Sandero Stepway is a very spacious and practical car. This is exactly what you need for family travelling. Be sure your beloved will be comfortable and safe. Furthermore, the SUV offers very generous cargo space, surpassing some of the rivals.

Apart from new seat upholstery and rubber mats, the new-generation Sandero Stepway makes getting in and out much easier. Thanks to large, legible controls the centre stack houses, a driver doesn’t have to be distracted from the road.

When it comes to storage capacity, the Dacia Sandero Stepway is the class’s leader. There are several storage compartments across the cabin like rather capacious door pockets and pouches behind the front seats. The trunk’s capacity is 320 litres behind the rear seats. When they are folded down, it expands up to amazing 1,200 litres, meaning the Stepway affords more than the Reanult Clio.

Safety

We can judge the Dacia Sandero Stepway’s safety just by the Dacia Sandero hatchack’s – it hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP yet. The Sandero hatchback earned four stars mostly for front-seat passenger protection. The car’s downsides are pedestrian protection and shortage of essential safety equipment.

The Dacia Sandero Stepway is rather well equipped. The Stepway Ambience offers front and side airbags for a driver and a passenger, ISOFIX child-seat mounting points, daytime running lights, emergency braking, and ABS with stability control while the Laureate version adds rear parking sensors.

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