Renault Sandero Expression - Best Budget Car


The Renault Sandero Expression was crowned the winner in the Budget Car category of the first annual Consumer Awards, announced in Johannesburg on 14 January 2016.

Budgets are tight and fuel costs are rising, yet buying an affordable car doesn’t mean you should compromise on safety, technology and quality. The winner of this category represents the best car you can buy new for R150 000 or less.

A number of factors were considered for to this category, including fuel economy, value for money, practicality and brand strength. Contenders needed to be equipped with ABS, dual front airbags and include a service plan (or at least cost less than R150 000 after they had been additionally specified with those features). 

Why did the Renault Sandero win?

The Renault Sandero Expression ticks many boxes. It offers a combination of spaciousness, an admirable safety specification (at the price) and a host of infotainment features, as well as a long warranty. It was one of the most affordable semi-finalists in the Consumer Awards and consequently offers exceptional overall value for money. The Sandero Expression’s 0.9-litre three-cylinder engine is claimed to consume only 5.2 L/100 km.

The Sandero Expression goes way beyond the basic requirements for a vehicle of its kind by adding luxury items such as a comprehensive audio system with Bluetooth and USB/Aux support as well as safety features such an electronic stability system and Isofix child-seat mountings. Paying R10 000 extra for air-conditioning is not a major setback, given the low asking price of this model and its otherwise outstanding specification level. If you want air-conditioning though, please note you have to order it from the factory. It is not offered as a dealer-fitted option.

By offering a larger bodyshell than most vehicles priced around it, the Sandero Expression offers good interior space and a capacious boot. The five-door configuration facilitates ingress/egress and the 60/40-split rear seats fold down to further improve packing space and boost overall practicality. Despite its generous ground clearance, the Sandero Expression has confident road manners, even when the road surface deteriorates or when venturing onto gravel... It was evidently designed for the driving conditions of a developing country such as ours.

Opinion from the judges

“At the price it is really hard to fault this offering. I particularly like the focus on safety features, the comprehensive audio system and the long warranty.” ­Hannes Oosthuizen

“The Sandero 2 returned as a more modern and solid offering. Despite its keen price, it still manages to maintain excellent levels of standard safety equipment and in-car entertainment.” Ashley Oldfield 

“The Renault Sandero is a well-equipped and spacious city car. Combined with a lengthy and comprehensive warranty, the Sandero is one of the most sensible offerings in the segment.” David Taylor