At just £5,995, the Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car to buy in the UK. But does the little-known name put you off buying or is the price tag enough to silence your inner car snob?
The makers of the Dacia Sandero five-door supermini are promoting it as the "car bargain of the 21st century".
And £5,995 isn't bad for the for the entry-level Access model, which can seat five adults.
This bargain price surely makes it the perfect motor for these austere times, especially as besides the low purchase price, car insurance and fuel costs will also be lower.
But the cheap price does have a bit of a sting in the tail – you are essentially driving the Lidl of car brands.
Would this put you off, or is the price all that matters?
'Good value for money'
Motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay says it is the perfect car for cash-strapped buyers.
"It's good value for money. The way I look at it is similar to the Skoda story.
"People used to take the mick out of Skoda but then Volkswagen bought it and over the years it's become accepted as a well-made car."
At this point it's probably helpful to point out that Dacia is a Romanian brand which is now owned by Renault.
There are three versions of the Dacia Sandero to choose from - Access, Ambiance and Lauréate.
The car's makers describe it thus: "It's now possible to buy a brand new, stylish, reliable, five-door car, capable of transporting five people and their luggage, in comfort for £5,995."
The basic Access model comes with 15-inch steel wheels and power-assisted steering.
There's pre-wiring for an accessory fit radio and speaker system too, which will be available to buy through official Dacia Retailers.
It's practical as well, with "one of the biggest boots in its class" at 320 litres and, more importantly for today's cash-strapped car buyers, it is economical to run.
Cheap to run
The entry-level Access model is fitted with a four-cylinder 1.2 petrol engine and falls into road tax band E.
That means road tax of only £10 per month, according to Dacia.
So this supermini motor should be cheap to insure and fuel-efficient too. Both important factors to the modern motorist.
It also comes with a three years or 60,000 miles warranty and a three years or 60,000 miles free roadside assistance.
Motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay has taken one of the Dacia models out on a test-drive and says he was impressed.
"The inside of the cabin looks good, though when you can tell they've saved money on the materials used, but it comes with good warranty and also has a good safety record.
"Plus, the Sandero is a five-door which makes it lot easier for carrying around passengers, including children.
"You can compare it to the Skoda Citigo or the Volkswagen Up.
"You're not going to get the same admiration as when you drive a Bentley, for example, but if you're going for economy over image and expense then this could be the car for you."
Interested? The car hits the market in January 2013. You can get to the front of what Dacia expects to be a long queue by visiting the official Dacia website.
What do you think?
Does the little-known Dacia name put you off or does the cheap price temper your inner car snob?
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