Last year Renault’s Dacia brand pulled the covers off the third-generation Sandero hatchback, along with its Stepway crossover variant, and at the time Renault South Africa could not confirm whether the new range was destined for South Africa.
However we now have confirmation that the Romanian-built newcomer is not earmarked for our market. At a media conference held in Johannesburg recently, Renault South Africa announced that the Sandero would effectively be replaced by the Indian-sourced Kiger compact SUV that’s due to hit local showrooms around September this year.
The Kiger is essentially Renault’s version of the Nissan Magnite that was launched in South Africa last month. Although it has different exterior styling, the two are both built on the Alliance’s CMF-A+ platform, and powered by a new 1-litre, three-cylinder turbopetrol engine that produces 74 kW. Renault also offers a 53 kW normally aspirated version of this engine.
Incidentally the new Dacia Sandero, which would have worn a Renault badge in South Africa, is also based on a version of the CMF platform, albeit with more in the way of Clio DNA. Yet given that the Stepway crossover versions tend to be the most popular, the new Sandero would have clashed with the Kiger in the company’s local line-up, Renault SA says.
The first-generation Renault Sandero, launched in 2009, was actually built in South Africa as a close relative of the Nissan NP200 bakkie, with which it shared a production line in Rosslyn. Renault SA opted to import the second-generation model, which arrived in 2014, sporting a turbo engine for the first time.
The Renault Sandero is currently offered in four variants, priced between R217 900 and R251 900. Renault SA says it will still have stock of the current Sandero until the Kiger arrives later this year.