2017 Renault Sandero & Stepway get a refresh
In 2009 the Sandero was launched in South Africa under the Renault badge. Fitting then, that the 2017 Renault Sandero was launched at the very same place as before, the Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng. We head to Maropeng to driver the revised version and see what improvements have been made.
Before the Sandero was even launched here the car was teased relentlessly by our favourite 3 automotive stooges. Was Sandero going to be the butt of our jokes too? This being South Africa, we’re different. Our gross GDP isn’t the same as first world countries, we have market segments that simply don’t exist in other countries and barriers to market place entry can be high.
In South Africa, the segment that Sandero plugs into is buzzing. Cars like VW’s Polo, Fords Fiesta and Toyotas Etios make up a large percentage of the market so it’s no surprise that Renault South Africa is focusing heavily on pushing its best seller.
Starting at R159 900 Renault Sandero has 3 model variants available.
- The entry Level Expression,
- The Crossover Stepway Expression (Which replaces Sandero Dynamique)
- Stepway Dynamique, all with 66kW engines and 5 Speed gearboxes.
The refreshed design of Sandero starts in front boasting it’s new corporate identity. Day time running lights, C shape rear lights and new bumpers front and rear rings Sandero into 2017. Expression comes with 16” wheels and Stepway with 17” wheels. Stepway looks trendy and funky with those roof racks, arches and go anywhere looks and was the car we drove for the day.
The Interior has been updated substantially with a new Centre console, air vents, updated trims, seat upholstery and a new steering wheel. The annoying Renault stalk hooter has been replaced with a hooter placed where God intended it, right in the middle of the steering wheel. Sandero also comes with front power windows, Bluethooth/CD/MP3 and navigation via the touch-screen place in the centre of the dashboard.
Other interior touches include Stepways nifty centre armrest that is fixed to the driver’s seat. This is perfectly placed and is testament to the attention to ergonomics in the Sandero range.
Sandero boasts the only turbo power plant in this segment with its trusty turbocharged 66kW engine. Thanks to its turbo Sandero has 135Nm of torque at 2500 RPM making Sandero the pick of the bunch when it comes to torque figures. Yes there is lag under 2000 RPM and if you’re intent on quick gear changes, you have to keep the engine on the boil and in boost, but those are all things one could get used to when living with Sandero. Fuel economy is impressive too with claimed figures of 5.4 litres/100 in the Stepway and 5.2 litres/100 in the Expression.
All in all not much has changed with the range but the landscape certainly has. When Sandero first arrived not many took it seriously, including me. But with solid build quality, and more value for money than its competitors, it’s a sound choice in this segment and comes up trumps a few key areas. Cost, torque and economy.
RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICING
- New Renault Sandero Expression R159 900 (incl. VAT) 66kW Turbo
- New Renault Stepway Expression R174 900 (incl. VAT) 66kW Turbo
- New Renault Stepway Dynamique R189 900 (incl. VAT) 66kw Turbo
Leather seats (Stepway Dynamique only): R10 000
Metallic paint: R 2 500
The New Sandero and New Stepway range comes with Renault’s 5-year / 150 000 km warranty together with a standard 2-year / 30 000 km service plan. Services are at 15 000km intervals.