2011 Renault Sandero: So You Wouldn't Buy A Renault? | SACarFan

21 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Renault Sandero: So You Wouldn't Buy A Renault? | SACarFan

2011 Renault Sandero: So You Wouldn#8217;t Buy A Renault?

At last week#8217;s press conference, Renault South Africa sat media down with a 39 page report on the exploding entry-level hatchback market, and no, it wasn#8217;t filled with glossy pictures. Instead, I felt like I#8217;d been transported back in time to a college lecture on statistics and quantitative analysis. Although my eyes where drawn to the myriad of graphs, charts and bold red text, it was all a little unnecessary.

Why? Because what Renault have done with their Sandero range is really rather simple, but also very bold.

The Sandero has been with us since production started in 2009 at Renault#8217;s local production facility in Rosslyn, Pretoria. Marketed to 78 countries world-wide, the Sandero#8217;s raison d#8217;être has always been affordable motoring, with 715 000 motorists world-wide having agreed by choosing to park one in their driveway. Locally, with 24 new models having been introduced in the sub-R120 000 price range over the past 18 months, Renault South Africa has decided that this is one pie chart they#8217;d like a slice of.

The 2011 Renault Sandero model line-up has been reduced from four to three #8211; that#8217;s the simple part I mentioned earlier. The 1.6-litre United, Cup and League specification models have been consolidated into a single new model, known as the 1.6 Dynamique. The 1.6 Dynamique uses the same eight-valve, multi-point fuel-injected, 1.6-litre engine as before, offering 64 kW of power at 5 500 r/min and 128 Nm of torque at 3 000 r/min.

This is sufficient for a 0 #8211; 100 km/h sprint time of 11.5 seconds and a 175 km/h top speed. Average fuel consumption is rated at 7.2 L/100km with corresponding CO2 emissions of 173 g/km. For R124 900, the Sandero Dynamique is equipped with 15-inch alloy wheels, an on-board computer, front electric windows, a four-speaker CD receiver with MP3 compatibility and a USB port, a split-folding rear seat, white instrument dials with chrome satin surrounds and an array of storage compartments.

The range-topping Sandero Stepway remains unchanged since its launch in early 2010, as does the price, at R149 900. Externally the Stepway is distinguished from the Dynamique by a 20 mm increase in ride height, large-diameter 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, black/satin chrome roof bars and rugged front and rear bumpers in a combination of black and body-colour highlights.

There are also satin chrome finishes for the door mirrors and handles, front and rear skid plates and the exhaust outlet. Stepway scuff plates add a further upmarket touch when you enter the cabin and a leather-trimmed steering wheel rounds off the trendier interior.

The bold part is the new 1.4-litre Ambiance model, which knocks R20 000 off the price of the previous Sandero 1.6 United. At R104 900, Renault expects the Ambiance to account for just over half of all Sandero sales, and why shouldn#8217;t it, with class-leading interior space and cargo capacity (320-litres), together with ABS brakes and EBD (electronic brake force distribution), as well as driver and front passenger airbags. In addition, the Sandero Ambiance is fitted with remote central door locking, air-conditioning and power steering, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, engine immobiliser and 14-inch wheels with 185/70 R14 tyres.

The Sandero 1.4 Ambiance is powered by Renault’s 1.4-litre eight-valve fuel-injected four-cylinder engine that produces 55 kW of power at 5 500 r/min, linked to a torque peak of 112 Nm at 3 000 r/min. With a smooth and amiable gearbox and clutch combination, the 1.4 Ambiance manages respectable highway cruising speeds, but don#8217;t expect much more.

The Sandero manages the 0 #8211; 100 km/h sprint in 13 seconds and has a claimed top speed of 161 km/h, which, judging by my efforts on the launch route, could be achieved with enough determination. Average fuel consumption is a claimed 7.0 L/100km in the combined cycle, with corresponding CO2 emissions of 164 g/km. The steering doesn#8217;t inspire much confidence and the front seats don#8217;t provide much lateral support, but the ride is supple, there is plenty of space and first impressions suggest the interior materials are sturdy enough to survive repetitive attacks by irrepressible kids.

The Sandero Ambiance is no pretender, it#8217;s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of car that offers the biggest amount of space and safety for your money. The Sandero is also backed by Renault#8217;s Confiance customer care package that includes a five-year/150 000 km mechanical warranty with roadside assistance and ‘Stand by You’ security guard service in the event of a breakdown. A 6-year anti-corrosion warranty is also standard.

Renault guarantee 98 percent local parts availability and, where spare parts are unavailable, Renault will provide customers with a #8216;mobility solution#8217;. A 3-year/45 000km service plan is also available for the Sandero Ambiance for an extra R3 800.

With a competent product, backed by confident service, Renault have given a convincing answer to their previous rhetorical marketing tagline #8216;So You Wouldn#8217;t Buy A Renault?#8217; and are leading by example in accordance with their new ethos of #8216;Drive The Change#8217;.

Pricing (incl. VAT and CO2 Tax)

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