29 October 2012

The buzz of the Dacia Sandero

James May's not alone here. There's a lot of excited chaps over the Dacia Sandero coming to British soil.

Back to basics

TO some people in the stereotypical sense, most car enthusiasts like fast, loud and powerful cars. You’re not wrong there, as many (including myself) do. Believe it or not, a lot of people who have a keen interest in cars actually like the simplest cars.

With Škoda straying away from being a budget brand. Then with Kia and Hyundai rapidly moving upmarket. That's left a gap in the market for simple, basic, no-frills cars.

Renault have seized a gap in the market by launching the Dacia into the UK as their budget brand. In the same vein what Škoda was in being the cheaper relation to Volkswagen; that can also apply with the Chevrolet brand in Europe to what it is to Vauxhall/Opel as well.

Dacia has already been a success for Renault. The Logan and the outgoing Sandero have been big sellers. Especially in Eastern Europe and developing countries, but they're also gaining popularity in Western Europe as well.

The new Dacia Sandero will be available to buy in the UK in 2013 from £5,995. Making it Britain's cheapest new car. As the entry-level Access model will be as basic as modern cars get. Only available in white, with bare steel wheels, matt black bumpers, windows which you'll have to wind down. It doesn't even come with a stereo but you'll have to get one from Halfords and get it fitted - or you could just get a stereo and fit it in yourself.

Higher spec Sanderos are available with a stereo, alloy wheels, body coloured bumpers, electric windows, etc. With niceties and necessities that us Brits want and like in a car. Though they will be a bit more expensive than the basic cars. Still, a higher spec Sandero undercuts entry level superminis like the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa by quite a margin.

The Sandero is based on the Renault Clio so it should be a good handling car based on the reviews the Clio get. It also shares the same powerplants as its French cousin available with a 1.2 and the new turbocharged 900cc engine. Dacia are also selling the Sandero with the well proven 1.5 DCi diesel engine.

There are plenty of people out there who would like a brand new car albeit on a very tight budget. Value for money could very much the priority for many people in this day and age. It's no different with cars. Renault could very well be onto a winner here in austere times from the current economic climate.

Britain's cheapest cars in the past have been crude, archaic machines based on old designs. Remember the old Ladas, Yugos and Škodas? The Dacia Sandero is a much more attractive opposition. It's more of being a cheap and cheerful car, rather than being a cheap and nasty car.

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