By: IOL Motoring Staff
Renault's all-new Sandero has hit local shores - now as an import - and it's ready to do battle with the likes of Figo, Etios and Polo Vivo.
The second-generation of Renault's budget hatch was designed in conjunction with Renault's Dacia division, and it now wears a Renault badge in most markets. It might lack the daring design DNA that we see in the latest Clio, but let's remember that this is a budget model with a rather neat and inoffensive appeal; fancy curves and swoops do add to the tooling costs.
MODERN TURBO POWER
One thing the new Sandero hasn't been deprived of is the latest Clio's heart. There's only one engine option here and it's Renault's advanced 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine with variable valve timing.
It's rather strong for its size, with outputs of 66kW at 5250rpm and 135Nm at 2500rpm. According to Renault, the little three-pot sips just 5.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle and it's immune from CO2 tax thanks to its 119g/km CO2 rating.
It should also prove a reasonable performer within its price range, with its maker quoting an 11.1 second 0-100km/h sprint and 175km/h top speed.
IT'S WELL KITTED
There are two specification grades to choose between and the entry-level Expression makes a good case for itself with a standard MP3/CD/USB audio system linked to steering wheel controls, Bluetooth connectivity, front electric windows and remote central locking. In addition to dual front airbags and ABS brakes, it also has a hill holder and ESP stability control - two features you don't normally expect in this class.
The high-spec Dynamique adds front side airbags along with 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, leather steering wheel, electric mirrors, rear electric windows and cruise control with speed limiter.
Prices start at R123 900 for the Expression model, but you'll need to find R133 900 if you want an aircon, and the Dynamique flagship can be yours for R141 500.
Another bonus is the standard two-year/30 000km service plan and five-year/150 000km warranty; Renault promises that running costs will be “very moderate” in line with its objective of being positioned within the “top 5” in terms of parts affordability.
Could the latest Sandero be SA's new affordable hero? It certainly looks promising.