Dacia Sandero Stepway – The final part

img_0995-1Here we are 3 years after buying my puddle-jumper and having driven nearly 58,000 miles in it. For a budget car its done well, its driven to Germany and back 3 times (and will again later this year) and has been used pretty much every single day in the past 3 years.


The reviews for the first 2 years are here (Year 1 and Year 2) and the basic premise remains the same, for a budget car it's very good but not something I'd buy again for myself – this is down to me wanting a bigger car, more comfort (especially for those long trips) and more toys.

I've not done a huge amount of tweaking to it but have changed the following –

  • Replaced the MediaNav with a Pioneer system – the MediaNav is awful in the version I had, even with 2 firmware updates.
  • Added an OBDII monitor that displays km/h – the dash display is poor in certain light and the km/h are virtually impossible to read without your lights on.
  • Added wind deflectors on the windows – does remove some road noise
  • Added sound deadening mats under the rear seats and boot floor – as above with the road noise.
  • Added 2 sets of driving lights to the front – dual filament single bulbs are awful.
  • Installed an arm rest – great on long journeys, annoying in stop/start traffic.

Costs over the past 3 years –

  • VED @ £20 a year
  • Insurance @ £250 per year (averaged)
  • Front tyres – 1 pair (budget) at £88 and 1 pair (premium) at £140
  • Rear tyres – still originals
  • 1 set of brake pads and discs @ £199
  • Servicing 4 @ £150 (averaged)
  • MOT @ £39 (it passed with no issues)
  • Plus wipers, bulbs, and screenwash
  • Fuel – averaged approx. 54mpg over the 58,000 miles, lots of rush hour traffic included.

Problems over the past 3 years –

  • Boot lock broke internally, so couldn't use they key only the cabin release – fixed under warranty
  • Gear gaiter – the leather has cracked and peeled off, but not split all the way through.
  • The left hand air vent creaks.
  • There is an annoying and now intermittent buzz/vibration from the engine bay when the car is between 1500 and 2500 revs and speed is under 50mph. The outside temperature can make this stop if its below freezing or above 25C.
  • The seats are now losing support and feel less comfortable.

Upcoming costs

  • Breakdown cover – 3 years is up!
  • 60,000 mile service
  • Cambelt change @ 72,000 miles – approx. £500

As you can see, not an expensive car and to not a huge number of faults. For some it's perfect, but for me I want something bigger with more toys, and maybe a longer service interval – 12,000 miles goes by quickly!

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