The new Renault Sandero could be the car that really puts Renault on the map in South Africa. It could sell in droves. It is good looking, handles nicely, affordable and has a five-year guarantee.
The Sandero is a small budget car with a generous boot. It is cheaper than most bakkies, but still has space for four adults and a fair boot. It’s tough and can go on really bad roads.
In Dynamique guise it has all the bells and whistles and is really good value for money.
All new Sanderos come with a full suite of electronic safety aids, even hill start assist, front airbags and ISO child seat anchors. They also all have central locking, electric front windows, radio fingertip controls, Bluetooth and power steering.
The top model of the new Sandero adds air-conditioning, cruise control, an on board computer, rear electric windows, two more airbags and fog lamps.
In a nutshell, the new Sandero is well-equipped. Five adults can fit in the cabin, at least for shortish distances.
The multi-function steering wheel feels good and the steering is good for its class and actually gives you feedback.
The engine is a new generation turbo petrol delivering 66 kW and 135 Nm of torque. To me, it felt more powerful than a typical German 1.2 turbo diesel engine. I found it to be willing and well suited to the Sandero.
Handling and road-holding is good and it at least matches its competition.
It is based on the same platform as the fourth generation Clio so inherits the good road manners of its sibling.
The first three gears are quite close, giving you lots of grunt when you need it, but the last two are designed for the open road and good economy.
Renault claims a mixed cycle fuel consumption of 5.2 litre per 100 km. This is very optimistic. Expect between 6 and 7 litre/100 km. Top speed is 175 km/h and you will get to 100 km/h in just over 11 seconds.
The plus factors for this car are:
Interior space and a big boot. Great price, exceptional value. Good looks, modern design. Expansive standard equipment list.
I think the new Sandero has shifted the goalposts in the affordable small car market. It is a very good small car with space to seat four adults in comfort.
You get a lot of car for your money.
It should make a good business car, especially considering the five-year warranty.
Price as tested: R141 500. The base model Expression is R123 900 (R133 900 with aircon).
Warranty is a very good five years or 150 000 and the service plan is for two years or 30 000 km.