Big changes for bargain crossover range.
Renault’s Sandero and Logan range have transitioned to new underpinnings and gained some design updates too.
A massively successful product line for Renault, especially in countries where it is sold under the Dacia badge, the Sandero and Logan product lines have now been revealed with their 2021 model year redesigns.
This new appearance is most noticeable on the Stepway crossover. In terms of design, the Sandero’s headlights now feature a Y-shaped illumination signature and dual power bulges run lengthways across the bonnet, which is an entirely new stamping.
Aerodynamic improvements are also to be had, thanks to a steeper windshield rake and lower proportional roofline. The Stepway model also gains some additional ground clearance, but Renault has not yet confirmed what the new value is in millimetres.
The French brand’s value offerings are benefitting from their move to Renault’s newest CMF-B platform. This vehicle architecture is used on current Clio and Captur and although the Sandero Stepway will ride a slightly simplified CMF-B structure, it should improve the car’s driveability and refinement. This new platform opens the Sandero and Stepway to new technology like active and passive safety features, new engines - including petrol and LPG Bi-Fuel - a new automatic transmission and an all-new six-speed manual.
In terms of space, the Sandero offers a 328-litre capacity in the boot and features a flat floor with adjustable height floor with two positions. Renault/Dacia claims rear passengers benefit from an additional 42 mm of space in comparison to the outgoing model.
Although the Sandero now uses a more advanced platform, don’t expect the latest Renault hybrid engines. The engines on offer range from the SCe 65, a naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission to the TCe 90, a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit paired with a six-speed manual transmission or CVT automatic transmission. Also on offer is an LPG-powered version, but we're unlikely to see that model in SA.
When it comes to safety, the Sandero and Stepway include the following standard features: six airbags, seat belt load-limiters, front and back seat belt pretensioners and emergency call system (SOS button located next to the dome light in the front of the car). There's also the latest ESP system as well as Emergency brake assist, Blind spot warning, Park assist and Hill start assist.
For gravel travel enthusiasts on a budget, the possibility of a new Stepway having superior ride comfort, ground clearance and driving dynamics, thanks to its platform upgrade, will certainly be of interest.