As with all automotive products though, the Sandero has undergone a mid-life refresh and in the case of our local line-up, a slight model reshuffle as well. I had a go in the top-of-the range version in Gauteng recently.
The outgoing Sandero has been a solid product with a relatively simplistic design when compared with the rather flamboyant Renault range. With this in mind, the Sandero has received a few minor cosmetic updates which include an updated front grille, refreshed C-shaped headlamps and a new bumper.
At the rear, there are new taillights and a shapelier bumper. The updates are small, however the latest model does fit in to the local Renault ensemble quite a bit better.
The most significant change for me had to be when stepping inside. There has been a notable improvement in the quality of the materials used. Minor changes visible to a keen eye are new air vents, different trim and relocated electric window switches on door panels.
The most noticeable change though has to be the new steering wheel, which has the hooter mounted in the middle instead of on the stalk as before. Other than these updates, the Sandero retains its position as competitively roomy inside, with space for four adult occupants and 292-litres of luggage space at the rear.
The outgoing Sandero range consisted of three models; the base Expression, mid-range Dynamique range-topping Stepway. The latter has proven to be a hit with South Africans thanks to its raised ride height and more macho styling. This has prompted Renault to drop the Dynamique spec Sandero and replace it with a Stepway Expression variant.
This more basic Stepway joins its liberally specified Dynamique sibling as the new offerings in the local range, while the base Expression is retained for those who don’t want the SUV-esque looks.
The same, but different
Being a facelift, the new Sandero retains much of the outgoing car’s attributes, such as the 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol motor, which still produces 66kW/135Nm. Driving the car is quite a fuss-free affair, with that relatively small lump of torque being available from low down the rev range. The Stepway Dynamique I was able to drive for 100km or so was averaging 7.1-litres/100km, despite the claimed consumption for this high-riding model being 5.4-litres/100km and 5.2-litres/100km for the regular Sandero.
I was pleasantly surprised at the pricing for the Sandero range as in many instances, Renault have managed to undercut their opposition.
Add a standard service plan, lengthy warranty and a comprehensive list of standard features to the mix, and you have an impressive product within the budget car realm. Look out for our detailed review of the Sandero Stepway Dynamique in the coming weeks.
Warranty and service plan
The Sandero range comes with Renault’s five year / 150 000 km warranty together with a standard two year / 30 000 km service plan.
Sandero Expression - R159 900
Stepway Expression - R174 900
Stepway Dynamique - R189 900