Paris 2012: Dacia Sandero
(Friday 28 September 2012)
Dacia is spending its time at the Paris Show talking about how it has created new versions of three existing models, but since none of them have yet been sold here, and one of them isn't going to be, our UK-based view is bound to be slightly different.
First of all, forget about the Logan. It's a small saloon, and them ain't popular in these parts, so Dacia won't be sending it over. It will, however, be giving us the Sandero, a very close relative (all Dacias being based on the same platform and using mostly the same engines) which is essentially a hatchback version of the Logan.
The Sandero will be offered with a choice of engines provided by Dacia's owner, Renault. Perhaps the most interesting is the 90bhp three-cylinder, one-litre TCe 90 petrol turbo unit, but there's also a more conventional four-cylinder non-turbo 1.2, along with 75bhp and 90bhp versions of a 1.5 turbo diesel. The 75bhp diesel has official combined fuel economy of 74.3mpg and a CO2 rating of 99g/km, which will help its case no end.
Another selling point for the range as a whole is the luggage space, which amounts to 320 litres with the rear seats up and 1200 litres when they're down - significantly more, in each case, than either the Ford Fiesta or the Vauxhall Corsa offers.
The other model due to be sold in the UK is the Sandero Stepway (pictured right), a compact SUV which has 40mm greater ground clearance than the hatchback, along with roof bars and front and rear skid plates and mud flaps. It will be sold with the TCe 90 three-cylinder petrol engine or the 90bhp diesel, the latter giving CO2 emissions of 105g/km.
Dacia dealers will be able to start taking orders for the Sandero in October, and for the Stepway next spring. Prices have not yet been confirmed, but if the Duster is anything to go by they will be extremely low - almost certainly under £8000 for an entry-level Sandero.