Dacia has hit the Irish market with great force. They have made an incredibly practical fleet of vehicles available to customers at very reasonable prices. The number of new Dacia vehicles on our roads is growing daily and as of yet they are not falling foul to modern day LADA-type jokes. Possibly the Irish psyche has changed and people are becoming more open to less expensive alternatives. The Dacia Sandero Stepway is pretty much a bulkier version of the regular Dacia Sandero. It has the look of a compact SUV but it doesn’t come with four-wheel drive. Prices in Ireland start from €12,690. It’s this low price tag that makes it difficult to complain about all of the cars shortcomings.
There are two engines available to the Irish market. The Sandero is available with a petrol TCe 90 bhp engine. This is the exact same 898cc engine that you find in the Sandero regular and at present the annual road tax for it is €200. The diesel option is the 1.5 dCi. This offers 90 bhp and it can be found in the Logan MCV and the Sandero.
Like many SUVs we see on our roads, the Sandero Stepway is a two-wheel drive vehicle. Unsurprisingly the ride and handling of this vehicle is not excellent, but this is because of the price you pay for it. The suspension in the Sandero Stepway for some reason deals with bumps better than the Sandero proper and it grips the road well. On the negative side, the Sandero Stepway could do with better body control and if you are cornering briskly be sure to hold onto the handles, because there is a lot of body roll with this vehicle.
Like other Dacia’s, the Sandero Stepway is not an overly refined vehicle. It suffers badly from road, tyre and wind noise. The gears are clunky and stiff. Potential owners will get used to this and they will get over it quickly because in their mind they will constantly think of the low price they paid for the vehicle.
The interior of the vehicle is not entirely uncomfortable, and visibility is great. The plastics are not of high quality, but they are hard and durable. The exterior wheel arches are made from plastic and are clearly there for visible enhancement – i.e. to make the car more rugged in appearance. Dashes, dials and infotainment equipment within the vehicle are extremely basic, but they are all very easy to use and operate.
In the Sandero Stepway you will find that it’s equipped with four airbags. While the Sandero received four stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests, the Sandero Stepway has not been tested. It is expected that the Stepway would receive the same score.
As far as we can tell Dacia’s main focus is always on practicality and affordability. Therefore you will find that their cars are always generous with space and practicality. There is ample head and leg room to the front and rear, and the boot space is plentiful. Within the vehicle you will also find plenty of cubby holes and pockets on the back of the front seats.