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Dacia Sandero achieves four-star safety rating

Dacia Sandero achieves four-star safety rating Dacia Sandero driving Dacia Sandero Pole test
Tristan Honeywill

A four-star Euro NCAP safety rating for a car marketed as the lowest priced on the market sounds like a reasonable score. The Dacia Sandero offers far better crash protection

than its sister model, the Lodgy MPV, rated Euro NCAP’s worst last year, however there is a lot that could have been done better without increasing the Sandero’s price. That will make many wonder if it’s really such good value for money.

Dacia Sandero side impactDeveloped by the same team of Renault engineers who are adept at delivering affordable five-star cars, there are some shortcomings. In the most severe test, the pole-strike, chest compression readings indicated that protection was weak. And in the much more basic whiplash assessment, protection provided by the seats was only marginal.

There’s a lack of attention to detail in the child protection as well. The score is good and there’s an airbag deactivation switch that can allow a rearward facing child seat to be used in the front passenger position. However, Euro NCAP’s assessors say it can be difficult to tell whether it’s on or off.

Electronic stability control is standard, unlike on the Lodgy. However seatbelt reminders are not fitted on the rear seats. The Sandero’s full crash test report is available at Euro NCAP’s website.

Like most models, the Sandero is advertised with a low sticker price to get people into showrooms. Once in, it’s the dealer’s mission to explain the finance offers and “walk the customer up the range”. Very few are sold with the bargain price tag.

And so although the Sandero is advertised at £5,995, most buyers will end up paying closer to £9,795, the price of the most expensive model with a diesel engine and interior upgrades.

For this sort of money, people can find used, slightly larger five-star cars that will offer greater protection. And that’s the problem with the Dacias in general.

They’re designed to compete with secondhand cars on price and the safety seems to be consciously engineered at a similar level. When a model isn’t competing with other new cars, it is hard to know if they are a good deal on safety.

New cars are supposed to keep improving the quality and safety of the vehicles on our roads. It’s important for new models to play their part in this process. A five-star Dacia Sandero that put better safety within the reach of more people would be worth buying. Will Renault ever let Dacia build one?

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