2021 Dacia Sandero, Logan Revealed With Modern Comfort And Safety Tech
After a sneak peek earlier this month, the next-gen Dacia Sandero and Logan are finally here. The Sandero Stepway joins the action with raised ground clearance to respond to the crossover crowd. These are literally brand new cars as the Romanian marque not only changed the platform, but also managed to reduce the low-cost vibe of the older models by adopting a decidedly modern design.
The trio switched to the CMF platform used by the latest Renault Clio, unlocking a wide variety of comfort and safety features. Take for example the electric power steering and LED headlights, which increase the beam length by 37% and the width by 9% compared to the halogen headlights used by the models of the previous generation. Other relevant examples include emergency brake assist, blind spot warning, parking aid (with front and rear sensors, rear view camera) and even hill start assist.
When it comes to engines, many will be surprised to learn that the turbodiesel engine has been removed from the lineup. By abandoning the proven 1.5-liter dCi unit, this means that the new Dacia models will be available exclusively with three-cylinder engines. Entry-level will be a naturally aspirated 1.0-liter with 65 horsepower and a five-speed manual, but only for regular Sanderos and Logans. The rugged Sandero Stepway will not be sold with this base powertrain.
Next comes a turbocharged 0.9-liter with 90 hp on tap and the choice between a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission. Then there’s a more powerful TCe with 100 hp and a six-speed manual transmission. Interestingly, the beefier of the three is actually a dual-fuel engine because it can run on LPG. The 50 liter liquefied petroleum gas tank is located where you would normally find the spare tire, and corroborated with the 50 liter gas tank, a Sandero can travel over 1,300 kilometers (808 miles). The LPG version is also cleaner, with an average of 11% less CO2 emissions than the equivalent TCe model.
The three-powertrain stop / start system and the aforementioned CVT further reduce fuel consumption and emissions. The latter is an improvement over the old Easy R automated manual and brings smoother gear changes and better acceleration, according to Dacia.
Design alone is a death gift; the new Sandero and Logan are much more sophisticated than the aging models they replace. That’s especially true once you virtually step inside, where the somewhat spartan look of old cars has given way to a legitimately up-to-date cabin. Lesser-performing cars get a remote multimedia system dubbed “Media Control” with a removable smartphone holder while more expensive ones have a tablet-style touchscreen measuring eight inches.
The appropriate infotainment system is called Media Display and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Upgrade to Media Nav and not only do you get navigation as the name of the system suggests, but even wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Depending on the infotainment, the cars come with two, four or six audio speakers, while a 3.5-inch digital screen separates the analog dials from the dashboard. Bluetooth and USB connectivity are standard equipment across the range.
Although the new models will continue to be economy cars, Dacia has prepared a wide range of features. The following goodies will be available as standard or as an option, depending on the market: keyless entry, heated front seats, automatic climate control (with digital display), rear view camera, electric parking brake, automatic windshield wipers and remote trunk release . Sandero models will also be available with a Dacia-first electric glass sunroof.
Speaking of the trunk, the Sandero can swallow up to 328 liters (11.58 cubic feet) in its cargo space while the Logan’s sedan shape creates a generous 528 liters (18.6 cubic feet) of luggage space. . For added flexibility, there’s a height-adjustable cargo floor and an additional 21 liters (0.7 cubic feet) of cargo space once you factor in the door pockets and the center armrest.
It’s worth mentioning that the Sandero Stepway has a generous ground clearance of 174 millimeters (6.8 inches) or 41 millimeters (1.6 inches) more than regular supermini. It gets the usual plastic body cladding and roof rails to mimic a crossover, along with more sturdy fenders and side moldings to enhance the harsher appearance. These may look like alloy rims, but they are actually steelies and measure 16 inches. In the case of the Stepway, there is an optional set with a diamond look.
The Logan is 3.6 centimeters (1.4 inches) taller than before and comes with adjustable airplane-style trays with a cup holder. Another plus in the sedan’s sleeve is the removable trunk organizer which divides the cargo into four different sizes. The trunk itself is more accessible than before after Dacia lowered the loading sill by 19 millimeters (0.7 inches).
Then there are the improvements under the reshaped skin. The switch to the CMF architecture of the Clio allowed Dacia to increase the strength and rigidity of the body. There are new side rails and brackets in the lower structure of the engine compartment and passenger compartment, as well as pressure sensors mounted on the doors that trigger the curtain and side airbags in the event of an impact. Side note, the door handles themselves eventually ditched the top hinged setup for a more modern setup.
Dacia promises the newcomers will remain the best bang for your buck in the B segment once the Sandero, Sandero Stepway and Logan go on sale in the coming months.