Dacia Sandero TCe100 Bi-Fuel 15th Anniversary

12 Aug 2021, 10:09  •  Review  •  Door koen

The Dacia Sandero has been around for a while, but still holds up well. Now there is the extra decorated Série Limitée 15th Anniversary, which we drive on LPG. Is that an interesting offer? We figured it out.

Dacia Sandero not retired yet

The current Dacia Sandero has been running since 2012 and underwent a facelift in 2016. Compared to the competition, the model is getting a bit older. Camouflaged test samples have already been spotted, so a new generation will not be long in coming. However, the current model is not yet ready for retirement.

Dacia Sandero 15

Dacia presents the Sandero 15th Anniversary, a special edition on the occasion of fifteen years of Dacia in the Netherlands. This is visually recognizable by, among other things, the 15 logos on the C-pillar, a graphic decoration on the B-pillar, the special seat upholstery and door sill plates and blue interior accents. The body color Blue Iron that you see in the photos is not specific to the 15th Anniversary, but it is new. Incidentally, the other Dacia models are also available as 15th Anniversary.

‘New’ engine for Dacia Sandero

Also new is the TCe 100 Bi-Fuel engine. That is, the power has been increased, because the engine was previously only available with 90 hp. The designation ‘Bi-Fuel’ means that the engine is suitable for both petrol and LPG.

The forgotten LPG

Nowadays, it is often about alternative fuels instead of petrol and diesel. LPG is actually a bit forgotten. LPG can be seen as an environmentally friendly fuel. Because of its efficient combustion, very little CO2 and other harmful substances are released. Even before use, LPG can be called reasonably environmentally friendly.

Of course we are familiar with the natural gas discussion following Groningen, but that is not where LPG comes from. The LPG that you fill up is a residual product, which is released in any case during the extraction of petroleum, for example. In fact, more gas is released than is demanded. That surplus is now often simply flared. That is pure waste, then it is better to let cars drive around on it.

Driving on LPG also has advantages in use. Partly due to its surplus, it is a very cheap fuel. The slightly higher consumption of LPG compared to petrol is therefore negligible, you are still much cheaper. Due to the cleaner combustion, LPG is also even better for the engine, there is hardly any or no accumulation of dirt. Some engines even run noticeably smoother on LPG compared to petrol.

Dacia Sandero tce100 bi-fuel 15th

While driving, the Sandero is a bit noisier than average. Soon there is wind noise, the tires are clearly audible and the engine is clearly present during acceleration. Once at a constant speed, the three-cylinder remains in the background. The other sounds are quickly drowned out by the radio and you can have a conversation without raising your voice.

Dacia Sandero power

On the highway at about 100 km/h, the engine has a nice low speed of just over 2,000 rpm. That means downshifting for overtaking, because the engine power is only available at 3,000 rpm. In that respect, fifth gear at today’s (daytime) maximum speed is mainly a kind of overdrive.

Furthermore, the power of 100 hp is really sufficient in the Netherlands. In fact, if you dare to look up the higher speeds, the Sandero still manages to get out of the corner surprisingly smoothly. After all, the car weighs just over 1,000 kilograms.

The on-board computer offers limited information and, remarkably enough, does not even provide a practical consumption. Then let’s grab the calculator. On the contents of the petrol and gas tank together, we drove about 1,000 kilometers, so that comes down to a consumption of about 1 to 12.2. According to the manufacturer, the car must be able to drive 1 in 16.7 on petrol and 1 in 13.2 on gas.

That is not super economical for such a compact car, but in itself a decent value. Moreover, thanks to the LPG you still drive much cheaper than in, for example, a petrol car with lower consumption.

Infotainment Dacia

The infotainment offer is quite limited as standard: there is a radio and navigation. But let’s be honest: you don’t really need more than that, do you? Optionally, there is digital radio and if you would like to connect your phone to the car, you can do this via Bluetooth or optionally with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Sandero offers a surprising amount of space in the back seat. With a length of 1.80 meters we can easily sit ‘behind ourselves’. The knees do not even touch the front seat and the headroom in the back is also more than sufficient. The rest of the interior also offers plenty of storage, including a surprisingly roomy glovebox.

Sandero TCe100 spacious

It is also practical. With a capacity of 320 liters, the luggage compartment is very neat for a car of this size. If you look at other cars in the same price range, you will also quickly end up with smaller cars with less luggage space. With the Sandero, Dacia literally offers a lot of car for your money.

Dacia 15 interior

The interior consists largely of hard plastics, including the parts that you often touch. On the other hand, there is little to criticize about the finish of the interior. All in all, there is little or nothing to notice about a cheap appearance. However, the competition often offers slightly nicer materials.

Dacia Hill Start Assist

The Sandero is equipped as standard with Hill Start Assist, stop/start system, cruise control with speed limiter, radio with CD and MP3 player and Bluetooth connection, USB and 3.5 mm Jack connection. Furthermore, the steering wheel is covered with leather as standard and equipped with control buttons for, among other things, the audio. That is quite luxurious.

The only other trim level at the moment is the Série Limitée 15th Anniversary. Standard equipment includes rear parking sensors (with camera), electrically controlled air conditioning, navigation, digital DAB+ radio with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 16-inch light alloy, Stepway off-road trim and the aforementioned 15th Anniversary trim.

Currently, the 15th Anniversary version is the only way to order the cool Stepway decoration. The options list is limited to body colors, upholstery, engine variants and an extensive navigation map for Western Europe. Well, the equipment and options list is not particularly extensive. On the other hand, the Sandero offers just everything you need for a reasonable price.

Engines and prices Dacia Sandero

The Dacia Sandero is available from 12,830 euros and then you have this TCe 100 Bi-Fuel in the standard Comfort version. Thanks to the LPG installation and the associated lower CO2 emissions (and therefore lower bpm), the Bi-Fuel version is the most economical. If you do not want the gas installation, you will lose 14,130 euros for the ‘normal’ TCe 100. The only other offer at the moment is the TCe 90 with the Easy-R automatic transmission (robotized manual gearbox), which costs at least 15,430 euros. Then, as far as we’re concerned, the choice is quickly made, or you really don’t want to drive on gas.

The Sandero is available as a Série Limitée 15th Anniversary from 15,930 euros. Under the hood is the same TCe 100 Bi-Fuel, with the other engines as an alternative at extra cost. Our test car, including the additional options Blue Iron body color and extensive Western Europe navigation, has a price tag of 17,768 euros.

Conclusion

Admittedly: compared to the often younger competition, the Sandero no longer manages to hide its age. However, the question is whether that is a problem. It remains a great car, which simply offers everything that you at least want in a car. It also remains one of the most spacious cars you can buy in this price range.

The much smaller Hyundai i10, for example, already costs 13,295 euros and for a Volkswagen Up you have already lost at least 15,926 euros. If you look at cars that are about the same size as the Dacia Sandero, for example the Suzuki Ignis or Kia Rio, they already cost 16,850 and 19,995 euros respectively. So the Dacia Sandero is a really good deal in terms of interior space. For a relatively modest amount, Dacia offers a brand new compact car, with a full manufacturer’s warranty. It may not feel ultra-modern, but below the line it will take you from A to B in all comfort and ease.

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