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Driven: First Impressions of the New #Renault #Sandero
|Date: 16 Mar 2017
||Author Type: Registered Journalist
|Author: Donovan Banks
Renault South Africa have introduced the new Renault Sandero to the market, packed with great features and value for money. Renault are aiming to have the Sandero range surpass 50,000 units sold since 2009 across the model and judging by the offering that has been put together, Renault seem to have good knowledge of how to get there.
The new Sandero has a few interesting styling updates which include the C-Shape daytime running lights, C-Shape rear lights and the styling lines which are consistent across the Renault range. The Stepway models feature the SUV styling and include roof rails, plastic around wheel arches and front and rear skid plates.
The flex wheels are very cleverly designed to look like mags, but are steel wheels with moulded plastic covers. You have to look very closely to see that it is not one piece. What this means to the Sandero is that it not only keeps the weight down but also saves on cost which is an indication of how much thought has gone into the design of the new Sandero range.
Inside the styling is simple and although there is a fair amount of plastic finishing it feels of good quality and the steering wheel in the Dynamique has a very attractive texture to it. The seats are quite comfortable, especially for a large guy like myself, and are height adjustable as well to keep you in the best position for good visibility out of the car.
The 900cc turbo charged engine performs very well and is well placed in the Sandero. It certainly doesn’t feel like you are driving a small enjoined car but it is no street racer. It is a fun drive and the handling feels light and nimble.
The entire range is well kitted out with a radio/mp3 player with Bluetooth and USB ports. The Expression ranges include a CD player and the Stepway Dynamique features the 7-inch touch screen which boasts an integrated navigation system and voice control.
Front electric windows, power windows in the front, air-conditioning and central locking are all standard as well as some great safety feature you may only find in more expensive cars such as Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Hill Start Assist (HAS), driver and passenger front airbags, ISOFIX system at the rear and, my personal favourite, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR).
One of the most common thoughts people have with the Renault brand is the cost of maintenance. Historically French cars have been quite expensive to maintain and it seems Renault have been quietly addressing this without telling everyone about it.
The 900cc turbo engine is used across the Sandero range, in the Clio and the Captur vehicles as well. The economies of scale this creates means that the parts will become cheaper and quicker to source simply because it is more common.
According to the 2016 Kinsey Report the Sandero and Clio fared very well coming in as the cheapest in the super mini segment for basic maintenance. The timing chain replacement is the most expensive in the category but this will need to be done less frequently.
The Renault Sandero represents great value for money with the prices starting at R159,900 for the Sandero Expression up to R202,400 for the Stepway Dynamique (R189,900 plus optional R10,000 for leather seats and R2,500 for metallic paint)