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Expert Rating

Dacia Sandero

(2021 – present)

Expert Rating

New car score:

62
%
C

Used car score:

72
%
A

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

68
%
C

Safety Rating:

42
%
E

Eco Rating:

70
%
A

Reliability Rating:

97
%
A

Running Costs:

77
%
A

How are our Expert Rating scores calculated?

Expert Rating

New car score:

62
%
C

Used car score:

72
%
A

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

68
%
C

Safety Rating:

42
%
E

Eco Rating:

70
%
A

Reliability Rating:

97
%
A

Running Costs:

77
%
A

Summary


The Dacia Sandero is a supermini-class small five-door hatchback. This version is the all-new model that arrived in the UK in early 2021, replacing the original model that was launched back in 2013.

The new model follows Dacia’s traditional practice of offering plenty of value for money – the entry-level Sandero starts at less than £14k, meaning it is still easily the cheapest new car on sale in the UK. However, unlike the previous model, the new Dacia Sandero is a genuinely competitive car even without taking price into account.

Launching during 2020’s year of coronavirus lockdowns, Dacia has since updated its branding, and this now features on the Sandero. As of January 2024, the Sandero holds a New Car Expert Rating of C with a score of 62%.

The Dacia Sandero has been praised for its comfort and practicality, and for continuing to offer a unique petrol/LPG dual-fuel engine option that helps to keep running costs down.

The main criticisms when it was launched concerned a lack of refinement compared to more expensive rivals, although a more serious issue has been Euro NCAP giving the Sandero a poor two-star rating (more safety information below).

Key specifications


Body style: Five-door hatchback
Engines: petrol, petrol/LPG dual-fuel
Price: From £13,795 on-road

Launched: Winter 2020/21
Last updated: N/A
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

+

Auto Trader

+

Autocar

+

Car

+

Car Keys

+

Carbuyer

+

Carwow

+

Company Car Today

+

Daily Mirror

+

Eurekar

+

Heycar

+

Honest John

+

The Sun

+

The Telegraph

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall score: 2 stars
Date tested: April 2021
Read the full Euro NCAP review

Adult protection: 70%
Child protection: 72%
Vulnerable road users: 41%
Safety assist: 42%

Notes on safety rating

The Dacia Sandero scored a very poor two-star rating from Euro NCAP, which generated headlines in the motoring media and was a very disappointing result. However, a better understanding of why the Sandero was only rated two stars is important.

The Sandero scored reasonably well in terms of occupant protection for both adults and children in crash tests. It’s still short of the best small cars, but certainly adequate. If the overall rating was just based on crash performance, it would probably have been awarded four stars rather than two.

Where the Sandero really fell down was in its crash avoidance technology, which has become increasingly important in determining overall ratings – after all, it’s far better to avoid an accident altogether than to survive one. Compared to other small cars, the Dacia’s autonomous emergency braking system is more basic and unable to properly detect pedestrians or cyclists. It does better at avoiding other vehicles, but is still not as good as other small cars.

Given that many of the Sandero’s rivals are actually used cars from other brands based on older technology and older Euro NCAP standards, the overall two-star rating is not as bad as it sounds – although it’s still not good enough for a brand new car in 2021. In summary, the Sandero does an adequate job of protecting you in a crash but doesn’t do enough to to actually avoid one in the first place.

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

As of January 2024, the Dacia Sandero has not yet been lab tested by Green NCAP.

Reliability rating

MotorEasy logo 600x167

Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

The Dacia Sandero has a very high reliability rating of 86%, according to warranty data provided exclusively to us by our commercial partner, MotorEasy. This score applies to both the current Sandero and also to previous generations, which is worth considering if you are considering a used Dacia Sandero.

With only 13 claims currently on file, we don’t yet have a full picture of the Sandero’s reliability, but engine faults already stand out with an average repair fee of almost £1,900. Fortunately they are rare. The most common area of complaint is the braking system, but these faults are generally much cheaper to correct, with an average fix price of £170.

Make sure that any used car warranty you purchase covers all of these problem areas.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Dacia Sandero has won (and then lost again)

2023

  • Autocar Awards – Best Budget Car
  • Auto Express Awards – Best Supermini

2022

  • What Car? Awards – Best small car for value

2021

  • What Car? Awards – Car of the Year* + Best Small Car*
    * Awards withdrawn after Euro NCAP safety rating was published.
  • DieselCar and EcoCar Top 50 – Best Small Car
  • Scottish Car of the Year Awards – Best Small Car

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Dacia Sandero, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Citroën C3 | Ford Fiesta | Honda Jazz | Hyundai i20 | Kia Rio | Mazda 2 | MG 3Mini hatch | Mitsubishi MirageNissan Micra | Peugeot 208 | Renault Clio | SEAT Ibiza | Skoda FabiaSuzuki Swift | Toyota Yaris | Vauxhall Corsa | Volkswagen Polo


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The new Dacia Sandero has been highly praised for its value for money, comfort and practicality. Unfortunately, its safety rating is poor.Dacia Sandero