Looking for a cheap, no-frills new car? Dacia is the place to go, if you live in a market in which it sells its products. And now the Romanian automaker has rolled out an even cheaper model.
It’s based on the Sandero Stepway, which is sort of a crossover version of one of the cheapest hatchbacks on the market. Now available in Urban spec with an even smaller engine, it starts at just €10,500.
That’s less than $12,500 at current exchange rates, and includes VAT. Account for tax and the relative adjusted position means Dacia’s actually charging more like €8,700 for this one or just over $10k – which is even cheaper than the $12k Americans would have to pay for a bargain-basement ride like the Nissan Versa or Mitsubishi Mirage, whose European counterparts are slightly more expensive than this Dacia even in France. And not for nothing, but these are all models made under the same automotive alliance.
Now, the truth is that, for this price, you’ll have to make certain concessions. The Sandero is one of the most basic modes of transportation on the market. This one offers all of 75 metric horsepower (55 kW) and 72 lb-ft (97 Nm) of torque) from a four-cylinder engine displacing less than a full liter.
But this is, ostensibly, a crossover (of sorts). It rides 41 mm (1.6 inches) higher over the road than the standard Sandero and has other rugged features like roof bars, a chrome grille, 16-inch wheels and a skid plate under the front bumper. And it has air conditioning – we’re not living in the Stone Age here.
What’s even more impressive is that this isn’t even the cheapest model Dacia offers. You can get a base Logan (and we do mean “base”) for as little as €7,790 (tax-in), or a stripped Sandero hatch for just two hundred euros more. But the Stepway’s crossover-ish looks are better than both, so if you must have a new car, it’s probably the best choice.