Want a new Golf V? Then the Dacia Sandero II might be the closest answer. Dacia Sandero II is one of the best compact cars today.

 What does the Dacia Sandero have to do with the Golf V?

The Dacia Sandero II is still a Logan II with no boot and no rolling over at speeds above 35 km/h. It just now looks as good as most compacts, and if I were to compare it to a car, then it would be the closest in looks to the Golf V.

More than that, the Golf V has risen on the back of the Golf IV, a typewriter in a laptop world. The same goes for the Dacia Sandero II, which was built on the back of the honest but rudimentary Sandero I. Both are cars that inherited the legendary reliability of two cars that were technologically outdated from launch. Especially since the Dacia Sandero II still uses parts from the Clio II and Clio III, cars launched with the Xbox 360 somewhere around 2005.

Moreover, the Dacia Sandero II comes with a lot of technology that was also on the Golf V. Gone are the days when power steering or windows were optional extras, today the Dacia Sandero II comes with an automatic gearbox, a rearview camera, parking sensors, or navigation. Basically, you can have all the equipment you need in 2019.


Dacia Sandero II Engines


  • 0.9 TCe of 90 horsepower – The legendary Mercedes engine that has become the next big thing for all possible and impossible cars, from the Mercedes to Logan to the Mercedes A-Class to the Infiniti Q30. A very reliable engine for those who want to put in the miles.
  • 1.0 SCe of 73 horsepower  – An engine released 5 minutes ago, that was actually released a long time ago. Essentially the same 0.9 TCe, but without the turbo. And no power. And no flamboyance. Legend has it that some engines are oil guzzlers. Legend also says if you have a humidifier and a dehumidifier and if you turn them on at the same time, you practically transfer water wirelessly.
  • 1.2 MPI of 75 horsepower – The old 1.2 MPI launched in 1305 by Goro Masamune and retired by the German engine. An absolutely decent engine for the city, but that’s about it. I remember the driving school days on a Sandero I 1.2 MPi 75 horsepower and that engine was more tortured than a medicine student during exam session. Like when you go to the Food Court for a tripe soup, with everything, and you get there and find that there’s only potato soup on the menu.
  • 2.0 RS of 150 horsepower – Dacia Sandero II RS comes with 150 horsepower, 3-stage suspension, all-wheel drive, brake discs, ESP, and a 6-speed gearbox. No, it’s not available in Europe because it would kick Renault Clio IV RS in the nuts. I just listed it here to piss you off that we didn’t get one.


1.5 dci K9K of  75 and 90 horsepower – The legendary 1.5 dci K9K that needs no introduction. Except this engine isn’t an Great Khali who lives only on the back of his fame, but rather a Tila Tequilla who still looks like she can, in style. Be careful with the 75 horsepower engine instead, because it uses Delphi injectors made in a romanian factory between two bottles of Mona. The diesel engine wasn’t too popular on the Sandero anyway, as it’s not a long-haul car for the open road.


Dacia Sandero II General Issues

  • The Dacia Sandero II, like the first generation Sandero, uses old Renault Clio technology, tested, repaired, and recycled. There are no particular issues to note on the mechanical side, as most parts have already had their R&D done.
  • Avoid the entry level version. Especially avoid the versions without a radio (yes, you can buy a new car in 2019 without a radio) because the installation is harder than when you are 14 years old and trying to open your first pair of bra. That is if you’re lucky and do it at 14 and don’t play Counter Strike 1.6 while drinking 5 Mountain Dew at the internet cafe. What’s more, the bald version also comes without speakers, because you didn’t buy the radio anyway. Don’t be cheap, get a version with a radio. Because you can’t put the “let the engine play” sign on it, because there’s nothing to play.
  • Special mention for the top corner of the rear doors. Actually, that’s not just a corner, that’s Excalibur’s blade. That corner is super sharp and you have a very good chance of taking a hit there. Some people cut themselves with broken glass, the Dacia Sandero II is assembled with broken glass.


Dacia Sandero II Verdict

A city Logan. A modern Golf V. A Clio IV, cheaper in price and looks. If the first generation Sandero was a farm car made for the country lanes, the Dacia Sandero II is a chiseled city car. Except that, unlike most of those that go from the country to the city, the Dacia Sandero II hasn’t forgotten its honest origins and remains one of the most reliable cars on the market today. And the Stepway version looks so good, you wonder why buy a Captur or what other crossover was launched this week?

Which engine do you recommend? 0.9 TCe 90 horsepower, clearly. The Sandero is a modern city car, so diesel doesn’t fold in too well. Especially since a diesel sounds like gravel falling out of a wheelbarrow, and the Sandero isn’t that unsound because you can’t keep that price down without also working on quality.