An updated and refreshed design
The new Renault Sandero models, with its updated and fresh new design has launched in South Africa and Renault has high hopes of setting its own milestone benchmark in terms of sales.
The first Renault Sandero made its way to South Africa in 2009 when Renault aimed to provide South African consumers with a value-for-money, entry-level, passenger car and within five years close to 29 000 units were sold.
In March 2014 the outgoing version of the Renault Sandero, (the Sandero 2) which included a new range of safety features and a turbo engine, was launched. Now, the new Sandero range has been introduced to South Africa and Renault hope to nearly double its sales to the 50 000+ benchmark.
Three new models have been introduced to the Sandero range and all of them are fitted with a 66 kW petrol Turbo engine. The F-1 inspired 900cc Turbo engine comes standard in the new and updated Sandero Expression, the revised Sandero Stepway Expression as well as the new Sandero Stepway Dynamique.
While on the launch for the new Sandero I opted to drive and test the line-up’s flagship ‘New Stepway Dynamique’ model. Here are my thoughts…
The new Sandero Stepway has minor changes to its exterior yet these small changes do wonders for it’s outside appearance. A new front-face includes an updated grille, new front bumpers and perhaps more significant are the integrated C-shape Daytime Running Lights (LED). These simple changes give it a slightly more contemporary, sporty look without compromising its familiar face. I love that it’s got that added sporty sense of styling. It’s fresh, quirky and will probably appeal to a younger market too.
The back-end of the Sandero features some of the same updates as its front-face with a new bumper and C-shape rear lights. Ground clearance is higher than the Sandero Expression model while an integrated roof spoiler, roof bars, front and rear skid plates as well as wheel arch mouldings finish off the new Stepway’s crossover styling.
Colour options include Ice White, Mercury Silver, Pearl Black, Comet Grey, Flame Red, Cosmos Blue, Cafe Brown and my personal favourite (as well as most popular) Azurite Blue. Metallic paint options are available at an extra R2 500.
It’s easy to step into, thanks to its raised stance and once seated it didn’t take much to get comfortable. Leather seats are optional (R10 000) but only on the Dynamique model, however, you might find that the standard seat upholstery is surprisingly comfy too!
Looking around the cabin these are the thoughts and feelings I felt towards its interior features:
Side airbags, front and rear power windows, electric side mirrors, a leather steering wheel and gear knob and park assist – LOVE! These new features add to the practicality and general on-board experience of the vehicle while the additional side airbags are a plus in terms of safety.
Speaking of safety, despite being a lower-range model the Sandero’s key features are the same as some of Renault’s higher-end models (like the Kadjar). It includes Emergency Brake Assist coupled with ABS, ESP as well as Hill Start Assist.
A large and simplistic black dashboard includes a 7-inch touchscreen with Navigation, aircon vents and the steering wheel (optional in leather) incorporates integrated functions). The touchscreen is framed by a sleek-looking piano black console.
As far as space goes the front is roomy and ergonomically friendly. I noticed a large cubbyhole, ample head and leg room and an extended stretch of space from one side of the car to the other. At the back, things were slightly less spacious and my concern would be for new moms that require floorboard space to secure a newborn’s car seat. However, moving the passenger seat forward a bit would easily compensate and provide enough space for a baby seat.
Boot space is generous and best-in-its-class at 292-litres. This can be furthered when folding down the rear seats.
The new Sandero’s 900cc petrol turbo engine is mated with a 5-speed gearbox and pushes from 0 to 100 km/hour in 11.1 seconds. While driving the Dynamique Stepway from Lanseria to Maropeng I found that out on the open road is where this car really impresses.
Lower gears, especially when taking off in first gear, are a tad slow off the line but once you’re out on the highway it’s marvelously smooth, stable and in a subtle way, even sporty, despite it’s small engine.
With a maximum output of 66kW @ 5 250 rpm, the petrol Turbo power plant delivers a peak torque of 135 N.m at 2 500 rmp. It has a top speed of 169 km/hour while fuel consumption claims 5,4-litres/100 km, according to Renault. An ECO mode function is also available for those who want to reduce CO2 emissions by 12% depending on your driving style and terrain.
I think this little crossover is going to continue the success of its predecessors and contribute to Renault’s good start to 2017. It will likely compete with the likes of the Ford Figo, the Toyota Etios and VW Polo Vivo, while it certainly has its value-for-money element going for it.
Renault claims that it’s offering a “controlled cost of ownership” and that when it comes to Service Parts Pricing it’ll be cheaper than some of its competitors.
Recommended Retail Pricing for the new Renault Sandero is as follows:
Leather seats (Stepway Dynamique only): R10 000
Metallic paint: R 2 500
Source: Renault South Africa