Categories: Tests

Dacia Sandero test (2023): what is the SCe 65 version worth?

Sometimes you have to know how to go back to simple things. On trial this week the cheapest car on the market: the Dacia Sandero in version SCe 65. At a time when new vehicles are more and more expensive, Dacia knows how to put our feet back on the ground. With a base rate displayed at 11 990 €the Sandero can pride itself on offering more than honorable benefits compared to much more expensive models from the competition, even if the price increases have not spared it.

Displayed at less than 10,000 euros two years ago, the city car suffered the brunt of the effects of inflation. Released in 2020, this Sandero from 3rd generation benefits from a much more modern design than before, and has even already benefited from a small restyling… Are the services still attractive for such a price? Answer in this essay!

The Dacia Sandero remains the cheapest city car on the market with a price that starts at €11,990!

Design: a consensual but serious look

In terms of looks, the Sandero has come a long way. When it was released in 2007, the first generation adopted a very simple and fairly bland design. We could then, without being mistaken, guess that it was a low-end “low-cost” car. Three generations later, the copy has been largely revised. The design of the Sandero is completely modern today. Since restyling of the Dacia rangewhich brought new logos at the front on the grille and Dacia lettering on the tailgate at the rear, the city car asserts itself even more. With its LED headlights and imitation aluminum rims, the Romanian has nothing to envy to the much more expensive models in its category!

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This is the SCe 65 version, with a small naturally aspirated 65 hp engine as its name suggests, as well as a 5-speed manual gearbox.

A few details remind us, however, that we are dealing with a “low-cost” brand, which saves money where it can. The sticker « Sandero » stuck on the tailgate or even the slightly light sheet metal are not deceiving. Good news, behind the tailgate hides a nice volume of trunk, measured at 380 liters at the AutoPlus lab. It’s better for example than a Citroën C3 or even a Peugeot 208! In the segment, only the Polo does better.

Sandero is generous, the trunk volume was measured at 380 liters in the AutoPlus lab!

Interior: comfort and equipment

On board the cheapest car on the market, the surprise is good. If hard plastics are present, fabric on the dashboard of our finish « Expression » brings a more qualitative note to this interior. For the rest, the presentation is classic but remains worthy of a modern car: the ergonomics are simple and well thought out. The “Expression” version, billed at an additional €1,600, provides interesting equipment, such as:

  • an 8-inch screen with smartphone replication, 4 speakers and 2 USB ports
  • manual air conditioning
  • automatic windows
  • Recoil radar

Our model is also equipped with the “Comfort” pack at €400 which offers:

  • a hands-free “card” key
  • an electric parking brake
  • a high console and an armrest with storage

Finally, a last interesting pack, the “City” pack, billed at €500, offers:

  • blind spot detectors,
  • Front/rear parking aid
  • Reversing camera

If the reversing camera has the merit of existing, the definition is however quite poor and visual checks will be required for added security. Finally, it should also be noted the presence of fully electric front and rear windows, electrically adjustable mirrors and a multifunction steering wheel with numerous controls such as cruise control for example.

At the rear, the Sandero remains among the good students in its class, with room for the head as well as for the legs, even for large riders. Only the central square will be a bit narrow, and the feet will be hampered by a service tunnel.

At the wheel: a small atmospheric block that does the job

To power this entry-level Sandero, Dacia has chosen a small atmospheric block of 3 cylinderswhich cubes to 999 cm3. Devoid of a turbocharger, it develops 65 ch pour 95Nm of torque. It has no electronic aid, even less micro-hybridization. But this simplicity has the merit of offering a increased reliability !

To power this basic Sandero, the small 3-cylinder block of 999 cm3 develops 65 hp for 95 Nm of torque.

At the wheel of the city car, we are not out of place. We find the excellent chassis of the Clio Vwhich offers a very good comfort/road holding ratio. The suspension is soft enough to compensate for the roughness of the road and the stability of the body remains good at higher speeds.

And in terms of approval, what does it give? While one might expect a sluggish ride and anemic performance, the engine of 65 ch finally offers good sensations. Thanks to the contained weight of the Sandero, just over a ton with its 1 036 kg, the 3-cylinder never suffers as long as you are not overloaded. The well-tiered box, however, offers a pretty bad feeling, with a slightly wobbly guide. You will have to apply! The all-plastic knob would also have deserved more consistency. Otherwise, apart from the 1st which pulls very short, the city car is doing well, in urban driving and even on the fast lane! Stabilized at 130 km/h, the engine speed sits around the 4 000 tr/min, which remains reasonable but generates a relatively high volume. On the other hand, the engine shows its weaknesses when overtaking but also on steep hills. Do not hesitate to get into 2nd gear so as not to “graze”.

Last point, consumption was measured at less than 6l/100 kmwhich remains relatively low but not exceptional either for such a size.

Verdict: a simple city car but not at a discount!

Finally, this Sandero nothing like a cheap car. If for 11 990 € some equipment will be missing, the finish Expression and the packs City + Comfort provide all the necessary options to have an over-equipped model under 15,000 € net seller.

With this 65 hp block, the Romanian city car simply offers The best value market price, and remains very interesting in the face of much more expensive competition. All with a 3-year or 100,000 km manufacturer’s warranty. However, if the budget allows it, the version ECO-G with the engine of 100 ch will offer the best possible pleasure while having controlled consumption.

Data sheet of the trial version:

  • Model: Dacia Sandero
  • Version : SCe 65
  • Finish: Expression
  • Price: €13,600 (€11,990 base price)
  • CO2 : 120 g/km
  • Malus : 0 €
  • Engine type: 3 cyl. online
  • Tax CVs: 4
  • Displacement: 999 cc
  • Power: 65 hp
  • Couple : 95 Nm
  • Fuel
  • Transmission: To the front wheels
  • Gearbox: 5-speed manual
  • WLTP consumption: 5.3 L/100 km
  • Trunk volume: 328 liters
  • Acceleration 0-100km/h: 16.7s
  • Length: 4.09m
  • Width: 1.85m
  • Height: 1.50m
  • Poids : 1 036 kg

Read also :

Ford Bronco (2023) test: the last dinosaur

Honda e:Ny1 test: a “fun” urban electric SUV to drive?

Match: the Peugeot 5008 jostled by the new Renault Espace

Dacia Sandero test (2023): what is the SCe 65 version worth?

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