By on September 18, 2012

The Dacia Sandero, so beloved by James May and other fans of cars with roll-up windows, is getting a face lift ahead of its UK debut, as Renault’s low-cost brand sets its sight on even greater dominance of the European car market.

The Sandero itself is incredibly dull, despite the flowery language put forth about pure, simple motoring or whatever nonsense is used to fill air time. The real story is this; as Europe’s car market tanks, low-cost brands are creeping into the space once held by established marques like Opel and Ford.

The Dacia products are pretty damn good, cost far less than the equivalent Renault and most importantly, make money for their parent company. While PSA is shutting factory is France, Renault is expanding Dacia production in France’s former colonies. Sales of Dacia were up 16 percent while everyone else is in the tubes. This is the real story, although it’s far less glamorous than the one being advanced by everyone’s favorite car program.

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12 Comments on “New Dacia Sandero Brings Joy To Top Gear Fanboys...”

  • avatar

    Hey! It’s not so dull! I should know. I drive one. We also have the sedan version (Logan). The sedan actually drives better than the Sandero. Maybe it has to do with the longer wheelbase.

    What’s not to love? Cheap, reliable, economic, fine French handling. It’s the size of a Golf, with arguably more internal room. Yeah, the inside is drab, but it’s ergonomically correct and thus comfortable. It’s also quite tall, with big windows and good sight lines. A Golf for half the price? I’ll take it.

    You are correct as to the importance of this for Renault-Nissan. If you add up the sedan, hatch, minivan and crossover, it’s the 4th most sold car in the world. If you add the Nissans that share version of this car’1s platform, it takes first place from Corolla-Focus.

    To my British friends, if you want low-cost, no frills and honest (as I’ve heard more than one Fiat Brazil engineer describe the car) and don’t give a damn for your neighbors’ opinions, a Dacia dealer has the car for you.

  • avatar

    The new Logan looks nice, which is a big plus considering how ugly the previous model was. The new Sandero also looks nice, but I find its design a bit more boring than the previous one. Hopefully Renault sells them in South America.

  • avatar

    May’s enthusiasm for the Sandero was always played as a joke. Top Gear hasn’t dedicated any amount of time to the Sandero since the first episode of the 14th series three years ago – and it got wrecked almost instantly.

    • 0 avatar

      It was always a Top Gear recurring joke, but I think James May was actually pretty pissed off when they wrecked it. James really does like simple and cheap cars- he is an avid Fiat Panda fan and actually owns one.

  • avatar

    I’d love to drive one.

  • avatar


    Should have lead with “Good news, everyone!”

  • avatar

    As Marcelo pointed out, the Sandero is not that bad a car. I’ve been trying to get a hold of a Sandero Privilege Automatic in Rio de Janeiro for almost four weeks now. Renault dealers simply don’t have it in stock.

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