Saturday 8 March 2008

New Car: 2008 Dacia Sandero

Some brands like to look back on their heritages and try to recover some of the glamour of old times by readopting their first badges. Fiat has been a recent example. Anyway, this is not something that works for all of them. Take Dacia for instance, now the Romanian automaker has to prove it is able to produce modern, affordable and reliable vehicles. And there is nothing better to print a new image than a new badge. The car chosen to showcase the new brand’s identity is the Sandero.

This medium-sized hatchback has been the first vehicle Renault has introduced in any place other than Europe. The chosen country for the “avant première” has been Brazil, where the car has received the Renault badge. Dacia is not a known automaker in the South American country and Renault itself was struggling to be recognised as a local automaker and make huge volumes there.

The European version of the hatch keeps most of its characteristics, apart from the engines, the brand’s badges (obviously) and the front fascia. As for the engines, Dacia Sandero will also offer three options, just like the Renault Sandero, but they will be very different. Fist of all, the entry level European Sandero will have a 1.4-engine delivering 75 cv, while the Brazilian version counts on a 1-litre 16V engine that pumps out 76 cv with petrol and 77 cv with ethanol (all Brazilian engines for Sandero are flexible). Both the European and the Brazilian Sandero count on a 1.6-litre engine, but the South American version is also more powerful: 92 cv (petrol)/95 cv (ethanol), against 90 cv from Dacia’s sibling. Anyway, there is something most Brazilians would eager to drive, but that is still not allowed in the country: a diesel version. The Dacia version will get two, both powered by a 1.5-litre engine, but with two different outputs: 70 cv and 85 cv. The flagship in Brazil is the Sandero Privilège 1.6 16V, with a 107 cv/112 cv (petrol/ethanol) 1.6-litre engine. Dimensions of both cars are also the same: 4.02 m in length, 2.59 m in wheelbase, 2 m in width (including mirrors) and, surprisingly, the same height: 1,53 m. Brazilian roads and streets demand European projects to be a little higher than they are in the Old World. The boot holds 320 l.

Sandero sales in Europe, Turkey and Maghreb will start in June 2008 and, in 2009, it will also be offered in South Africa. Though prices have not been released so far, they will be close to Logan’s. In Brazil, the entry level Sandero costs R$ 29,900, something like € 11,700 although, a £6,500 price tag is likely in the UK, it could steal sales away from the Clio Campus.

If sensibly priced, well equipped and has low emissions, I wouldn't mind purchasing this. After all, it is built for people who don't have lots of money to spend on a car.

Related links:

Dacia Sandero testing in Southern Italy

Renault Sandero video

Renault Sandero launches in Brazil

New Car: 2008 Renault Sandero


Anonymous said...

Having followed the progress of the Logan and been disappointed not to see it in the UK, Dacia/Renault might have missed the optimum window for a low cost ‘no frills’ car. The competition is getting much harder every day in the low cost market. The newest entrant is the Hyundai i10, only a little smaller inside (seats 5 comfortably), as economical as the Renault diesel (58MPG) and a 119 CO2 figure. Plus, its fully equiped with air-con, PAS, 4 x electric windows, high-spec CD etc, and has a 5 year warranty. All for a price of 8400 euros.
Since the Logan launched in 2004, much has changed, and for 9150 euros there is a lot of choice now. 9150 euros will also buy a 2-3 year old ‘quality’ car from Ford/GM, and even Renault etc. I will still look at the Sandero when I change my car next year, but it is no longer a ‘no-brainer’ as far as price/economy/comfort is concerned.

Laguna said...

I agree with you but the Hyundain i10 doesn't rival the Logan because it is much longer than 4m.

Dacia were considering it back in 2005 but that idea got axed.

I'd say its more of a Hyundai Accent rival but I could be wrong...

As a student, I would consider the Sandero as a first car

Anonymous said...

Your right Laguna, the Sandero is shorther than the Logan, less boot space, but more expensive. The i10, although only 3.6m long, has a long wheelbase meaning it can seat 5 in comfort. However, 2009 is still some time away, and much can happen. I will still check out the Sandero before purchasing.

Laguna said...

Ok, good luck!

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