Whatâ€™s it like living with Britainâ€™s cheapest car?
Itâ€™s a car that starts at just Â£7995, and even adding some extras only brought the price up to Â£8640. But what, in reality, can you expect for that sort of money for a new car, as the months go by? Youâ€™re not buying sophistication, sharp styling, luxury, elegance or rampant technology. So what are you buying?
Youâ€™re buying some honest to goodness motoring, that has nothing to be ashamed of. Actually, youâ€™re buying more than you might expect. We went with Ambiance trim, so youâ€™re getting stuff youâ€™d want on more expensive cars, like Bluetooth, USB ports, air con, and even a voice command.
To put that in context, this 900cc TCe version is cheaper than the entry level Ford Fiesta by a mind-warping Â£5075. That is not small change, itâ€™s the price of a second-hand Dacia Sandero. You will see where some of that money didnâ€™t go when you sit in the cabin. Itâ€™s basic, and the plastics are hard, but it has everything you need. Well, assuming you donâ€™t need an infotainment screen, which isnâ€™t on the list at this trim. Out with the mobile phone and a holder then.
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Youâ€™ll need to speak up too, as thereâ€™s not a lot of sound deadening and the hands-free system seemed to need an awful lot of volume to work properly. Going along shouting loudly isnâ€™t necessarily a good look. Best to simply drive the car and leave all those apparently vital conversations for when youâ€™re stopped or out of the car. Remember those days?
Thereâ€™s lots of room inside for the sound to echo round, as the four-seater has more space than a lot of small hatchbacks, so you wonâ€™t be cramped up even with four adults on board.
But, despite all the plus points, if you drive one of these youâ€™re going to get some apparently witty comments, all to the carâ€™s detriment. But after a while you smile and then defend the Sandero.
Our experience with the car was largely without problems, and most of those were of the occasional squeak or rattle. We covered over 13,000 miles, and we enjoyed them.
We managed a creditable 45.4mpg overall and thatâ€™s fairly reasonable, and we probably missed some really annoying phone calls, which makes the Sandero more than reasonable in our book. Weâ€™ll miss it.