Dacia has the ultra-budget supermini market in sight with its latest creation, the Sandero, a car that will set you back a mere £5,995. The Sandero, which costs little more than a Ford Fiesta 5dr 1.0 Popular would've cost brand new back in 1989, comes in three different flavours – a choice of Access, Ambiance and Laureate, each one of varying luxury.
As standard, you get a reasonable amount of safety equipment to keep you and your passengers safe. Emergency brake assist, ASR traction control and electronic stability control (ESC) all help keep you on the road.
For £600 more than the base Access model, the Ambiance version provides you with a radio CD player, Bluetooth connectivity for your phone and body-coloured bumpers. Dig an extra £2,000 from the cracks of your sofa and you get the Laureate edition, which comes with air-conditioning, heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors, electric rear windows and even cruise control as well as other interior additions like chrome surrounds for the air vents.
If you crave even more luxury and want to edge the Sandero up to prices dangerously close to the cheapest current-day Ford Fiesta, you could also choose to have a 7-inch touchscreen display with built-in navigation for an extra £250. A touring pack that includes roof bars and a central armrest goes for an extra £850.
The Sandero comes with a choice of three eco-friendly engines. The smallest is the 0.9TCe 90 diesel, which boasts CO2 emissions of 99g/km and 54.3mpg. Then there's a 1.2 16V 75, petrol, which manages 137g/km and 47.9mpg and a 1.5dCi 90 diesel, which is the most expensive engine but also the most economical. It manages 74.3mpg and 99g/km of CO2.
Compared with the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost, which starts at £16,425 on the road, manages 114g/km of CO2 and 56.5mpg, the Sandero suddenly seems pleasantly affordable.
Continuing on the penny saving mantra, the Ambiance and Laureate editions include gear shift indicators so you can see when best to go up a gear and an 'Eco' mode, which limits torque to keep your revs and fuel costs down even further.
Pre-orders open for the Dacia Sandero start on October 22nd and deliveries will begin towards the end of January 2013.