Earlier this year Renault launched their new Sandero. We drove it and came away impressed by its refinement, specification levels and affordable price. The Stepway hopes to inject further appeal into the range, with its elevated ride height and more rugged personality.

Renault Sandero Stepway Side - Surf4cars

Tough looker

In addition to the obvious beefing-up of the Sandero; subtle tweaks were made to its face. A new black grille gives the Stepway a stern but earnest look. Front and rear skid plates add tougher appeal while the compact shape and smooth lines give it the air of a gentle giant. It rolls on attractive 16-inch wheels, while black plastic cladding and roof rails infuse an adventurous spirit into the mix.

Renault Sandero Rear - Surf4cars

On the inside

The inside is unmistakably Sandero style; with a leather-clad steering wheel and gear lever knob, Bluetooth with hands-free telephony, an audio system with a USB slot, MP3 capability as well as electric windows for all and park distance control.

The convenience keys on the steering column are a nice touch, but we still don’t like the volume controls out of sight at the back. Unfortunately it has the same standard Sandero seats – and these could definitely be more comfy. But they are attractive with grey accents and stylish stitching; it gives the interior a sportier vibe.

Renault Sandero Stepway Motion - Surf4cars

Let’s drive

The Sandero Stepway is an agreeable companion on the open road. It handles well, feeling safe and sturdy around sharper corners despite the increase in ride height. Its engine boasts 66kW of power and 135Nm of torque.

The 900cc turbocharged petrol engine snarls as you accelerate and feels eager to perform. Fuel consumption will make you smile too. It has a claimed figure of 5.4l/100km and we managed to achieve 6l/100km.

It retails for R159 900, and has a five-year/150 000-kilometre warranty and a two-year/30 000 kilometre service plan. All-in-all, the Renault Sandero Stepway is great value for money. It is a practical compact crossover which doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not.

Andrea Hicks

The Technical Stuff:

Model: 2014 Renault Sandero Stepway

Price: R159 900

Engine: 900cc turbocharged petrol

Power and Torque: 66kW and 135Nm

Fuel Consumption: 5.4l/100km (Claimed)

Test Mileage: 200 kilometres

Praises: Performs well, feels safe, great economy, great value.

Gripes: Uncomfortable seats, volume controls inaccessible.