2011 Renault Sandero | road test

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 by

The Sandero is based on the Logan, although we think it's the better looker

AT A GLANCE

FOR

  • Cheap
  • Easy to drive
  • Practical

AGAINST

  • No ABS as standard
  • Noisy, thirsty engine
  • Unrefined

SUMMARY

The Sandero is based on the Logan sedan, which we didn’t particularly rate when we tried it a few months back. It’s slightly more upmarket and is similar to the Logan in many ways, but feels better put together and we think it has the edge when it comes to lokos.

There’s nothing particularly offensive or impressive about the Sandero, although we do have issues with the lack of ABS as standard. The noisy powertrain is a shame, but aside from that it does the job its intended to do of transporting people around in relative comfort for a modest budget.

Acceleration is fine, but the engine is noisy and unrefined

PERFORMANCE

The Sandero hustles along at a decent if unrefined pace, courtesy of its agricultural 104bhp, 1.6-litre engine, which is both loud and whiny in tone. Insulation levels are low inside the cabin and you can hear the engine noise coming through the dashboard. The gearbox is a pretty rudimentary four-speed automatic, which gets the job done but no more.

HANDLING AND RIDE

The Sandero’s handling isn’t too bad – it’s entirely enjoyment free, but easy to drive and nippy through traffic, if devoid of steering feel.

The suspension soaks up the bumps well and the ride is fine. Generally it’s a car that is adequate for everyday use as long as you don’t try and push it.

The interior is plasticky, but well laid out

COMFORT

The interior is composed largely hard plastics. There’s some decent texturing on some of the materials and the equipment is on offer is laid out well and easy to use. It’s fairly unremarkable and utilitarian inside but certainly not offensive.

The seats felt a little strange. They’re not particularly adjustable and we couldn’t get a position we were totally happy with. It wasn’t uncomfortable, just not ideal. The steering column adjusts up and down but not in and out.

PRACTICALITY

There’s some good-sized door pockets in the front of the Sandero and a handy cubbyhole at the bottom of the centre stack. There are also two cup holders. No such luxuries in the back though – door pockets and cup holders are absent for those in the second row. The boot is not as large in volume as in the Logan but offers the practicality of a hatchback tailgate and its bigger aperture.

For 46,500AED, don't expect a long feature list. Or ABS

The rear is large enough for two and maybe even three adults to sit in comfort – not bad for the size of car.

FEATURES

The Sandero is an entry-level car, but features include a trip computer on the dashboard displaying fuel information and range, and an aftermarket-style Blaupunkt stereo that allows the playing of MP3s from CDs, but doesn’t have a auxiliary input socket for iPods and the like, which is a shame.

The manual air conditioning works well and kept the car pretty cold with ease – something that not all of its rivals or even cars costing considerably more can boast during Arabian summers.

SAFETY

The safety aspect is our major problem with the Sandero. We understand that dealers in the region are marketing the car as a budget option and as such it doesn’t come with ABS or electronic stability control, as such features would add to the price.

Plenty of room in the back of the Sandero

We believe all cars should come at least with ABS these days. It’s a pretty fundamental technology to have and in our view manufacturers and dealers alike have a safety responsibility to their customers, even in regions where dealers don’t believe safety sells.

We spoke to a dealer that said he could order a car with ABS – it is available from the factory – but wouldn’t have any such cars in stock. Driver and passenger do get frontal airbags, however.

The Sandero scored a disappointing three out of five stars in the EuroNCAP crash tests in 2008.

COSTS

The Sandero we drove was 46,500AED although a less powerful 86bhp version is available for 39,500AED. That’s a bit pricier than the less powerful Chevrolet Aveo5, which starts at 43,000AED, or the Hyundai Getz, which comes in at less than 40,000AED. Also worth considering is the Kia Rio, which is 37,500AED.

The official combined cycle fuel economy figure is 8.3 litres per 100km, but we averaged around 12.7l/100km, which isn’t great for an engine this size. If you can hit the official figures, you should get a range of around 600km from the Sandero’s 50-litre fuel tank.

Renault offers a three-year, 100,000km warranty on the Sandero.

– Photos for illustration only and local specifications may vary

2011

Engine: 1.6-litre four cylinder
Max power (bhp/rpm): 104/5,750
Max torque (Nm/rpm): 148/3,750
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Driven wheels: Front-wheel drive
Kerb weight: 1,090kg
Price (AED): 46,500

One Response to 2011 Renault Sandero | road test

  1. KGAUGELO Reply

    May 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    where can i get the car

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