Lifestyle vehicles are currently very popular. The biggest drawback is that they tend to be a little more expensive than your average run about; however, Renault has cured this with the ever so versatile Sandero Stepway which is priced pretty much in the bottom part of the market.
The Sandero Stepway is available only in a 1.6 fuel injected engine, and while the performance is not earth shattering, even for a 1600, it still gets up and goes pretty well and will cruise at legal speeds without issues.
What surprised me with the Sandero Stepway is the versatility it provides you with. The raised ground clearance and the chunky 195/65/16 tires are perfectly suited to gravel roads and the car actually performs very well there in terms of comfort and handling. The cabin space is also pretty impressive with decent driver and passenger leg room. Electric windows are standard but the mirrors are still manually adjustable. The cloth seats deliver adequate support and are firm. The front seats are only adjustable forward and backward with nothing fancy in between.
The Sandero Stepway is fitted with a Sony front loader with USB support. This is connected to a speaker in each door. To be honest, the sound could have been better, but that’s the only let down about the vehicle. It just sounds muffled but in saying that, it’s nothing a set of aftermarket tweeters wont sort out.
The dash features a speedo and a rev counter along with an online computer, showing water temp, fuel range, current fuel used and current fuel economy. This is a nice feature in such an affordable car.
Driving the Sandero Stepway you would expect it to have excessive body lean due to being 20mm higher than the original model. The truth is, I prefer the ride quality over the original model. It rides better, plusher and man does it enjoy the dirt roads.
Fuel economy is claimed at 7l/100km, but we returned just under 9l/100km on our escapades. This is pretty good considering the mixed terrain that was driven. The Sandero Stepway offers solid value for money in this class and there is very little that will compete with it. It has decent interior space, with good ground clearance and the best of all is the price. At R149 995, you will battle to find a car that offers you the features and go-nearly-anywhere ability that the Sandero Stepway does.
For more info, check out www.renault.co.za