Supermini of the Year 2023: Dacia Sandero

The Dacia Sandero is the 2023 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Skoda Fabia and Toyota Yaris commended

For the first time in three years, a new car has taken our supermini crown. In 2023, it’s the turn of the revised Dacia Sandero to lead the way – and while the updates for this year are only minor, its chief qualities of value for money and practicality have become more relevant than ever.

Prices for the Sandero range start at £13,795, making it one of the cheapest new cars on sale today. But a car needs to be much more than simply cheap for our judges to hand out such a significant award, and the Dacia offers plenty for that modest amount of cash.

Under the skin, the Sandero shares its platform with the Renault Clio – a brilliant starting point, given that it’s the car that has won our Supermini of the Year category since 2020. As a result, in the Sandero, you’re getting one of the most spacious cars in the class; in fact, it comes close to, or even beats, some cars from the segment above. Its 328-litre boot is a generous size, too.

You might expect a cheap supermini to be hamstrung by a wheezy engine, but even here, the Sandero surprises. Its turbocharged motor has plenty of low-down grunt, so performance is more than adequate, even with a full complement of passengers on board. We also like the smooth ride, and the handling is safe and secure.

Sure, you might miss out on the sharp-looking alloy wheels and the glitzy touchscreens you can find in some other superminis, but those aren’t necessities. And when it comes to the simple, basic requirements of a capable supermini, nothing else in the class can come close.

Our choice

Dacia Sandero 1.0 TCe Essential (£13,795)

Even the base Essential trim gets air-conditioning and cruise control as standard, yet with a £1,500 deposit on a three-year PCP with a 10,000 mile annual limit, it costs only £221 per month.

Commended

Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia is a consistently strong choice in this segment, mainly because it feels so well finished and grown up that it could easily be mistaken for something from the class above. Superb refinement, a stylish cabin and a huge boot all contribute to its excellent showing again this year.

Toyota Yaris

Supermini buyers want a car that’s both cheap to run and dependable, and few rivals deliver those qualities quite so effectively as the Toyota Yaris. Its hybrid powertrain delivers superb real-world efficiency, yet it’s very smooth and refined, while the Yaris also rides and handles well, too.

You’ll find all the information on our New Car Awards 2023 winners and the reasons why we chose them on these pages. Just follow the links below to read more…

New Car Awards 2023: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

Auto Express Issue 1,787

For the full New Car Awards experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special 2023 New Car Awards collectors' edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

You can buy individual issues of Auto Express or subscribe for even bigger discounts on the print magazine cover price. You can currently subscribe or download individual issues of our digital edition direct to your desktop, phone or tablet as well.

Stay right up to date with the latest from the world of cars in 2023 and beyond, subscribe to our email newsletter and follow us on social media...

Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

Recommended

Dacia Jogger, Sandero and Sandero Stepway all get extra safety kit for 2024
Dacia Sandero 1.0 TCe Expression front corner
News

Dacia Jogger, Sandero and Sandero Stepway all get extra safety kit for 2024

New safety features added to comply with incoming GSR2 regulations for cars sold in the UK and EU
19 Feb 2024
Best small cars to buy 2024
Best small cars - February 2024 header
Best cars & vans

Best small cars to buy 2024

Small cars come in all kinds of shapes, if not sizes. Here we highlight the best new small cars on sale
16 Feb 2024
Best new car deals 2024
Best new car deals - header image
Best cars & vans

Best new car deals 2024

Thinking of buying a new car? These are some of the best new car deals on the market right now…
26 Jan 2024
Top 10 best first cars for new drivers 2024
Best first cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Top 10 best first cars for new drivers 2024

A new car for a first time driver should be cheap, easy to drive and safe. Here are the 10 best first cars
19 Jan 2024

Most Popular

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance
MG3 on Geneva Motor Show stand - front
News

New MG3 hopes to disrupt the Renault Clio and Vauxhall Corsa’s supermini dominance

New MG3 features the company’s first full-hybrid powertrain; pricing to be announced in March
26 Feb 2024
New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class
Renault 4EVER concept car in 1962 4L paint - front 3/4 static
News

New Renault 4 will go 4x4 to get ahead in the baby EV SUV class

The forthcoming Renault 4 is likely to offer a four-wheel-drive option, helping it to stand out in the market for baby all-electric SUVs
27 Feb 2024
Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’
Dacia badge
News

Dacia heads for VW Golf and Ford Focus territory with new C-Neo that’s definitely ‘not an SUV’

As big names vacate the traditional C-segment, Dacia sees an opportunity for its new petrol family car
27 Feb 2024