A certain somewhat eccentric presenter on a certain somewhat eccentric car show had a thing for the Dacia Sandero.
A Romanian based arm of Renault, the perky five-door hatch is around the size of Suzuki’s Baleno and available in a three trim level range.
The Access is priced from around A$12,330. The Ambiance is A$13,740. The top whack Laureate is A$15,595.
Up front is a range of engines that start with a three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine and is good for 57kW. A 1.2L, 1.4L, and 1.6L engine are also available, as is a 1.5-litre diesel.
None of the versions have the Sandero crack the 200km/h mark but are all very frugal. The diesel is rated at 4.5L/100km with the smallest petrol engine a sub 6.0L/100km.
Standard trim in the Access is basic, with a definite lean towards functionality.
Four airbags, a four-speed aircon system, and basic safety electronics are on board.
The Ambiance gets body-coloured bumpers, digital radio, central locking, and the front windows are electric, with the Laureate getting front and rear powered windows. Rear parking sensors, a touchscreen, Emergency Brake Assist, and outside temperature indicator are extra “luxury” touches.
Rolling on 15 inch steel or alloy wheels, the Sandero is 4069mm in length and fits a 320L boot inside which expands to 1200L with the 60/40 rear seats folded.
It’s a stylish, if unremarkable, looking five door, with angular design headlights that flow easily into the front fenders.
It’s a car that has to count on something like reasonable good looks for none of the range will see a 0-10km/h time of under 10 seconds.
The closest any of the range will come is the 1.6-litre ethanol capable engine that produces 82kW but slurps the juice at 9.2L/100km.
In one way, the car is “famous”, if that word can be used, for being the spine of a running gag on the no defunct May/Hammond/Clarkson version of Top Gear.
Although May professes to have a real affection for the car, with one even being presented to him minutes before being hit by a truck.
It was more notable for being the butt of a gag during the news segment presented by the trio, with May stating he had “Good news”, relate something about the Dacia car, before Clarkson simply moved on without further discussion.
The Dacia Sandero is not available in Australia, and for that, many of us offer a heartfelt thanks.
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