Tested: 2020 Renault Sandero Stepway Plus

Roaming our cities with the Renault Stepway Plus

Judging by Renault’s latest design of the Kwid Ultra, we are surely in for a real treat when the new Sandero Stepway makes landfall somewhere in 2021. The French manufacturer has never shied away from interesting designs and relatively good value for money for its showroom cars.

However, before we make way for the new Stepway, Renault sent us the latest 2020 model currently available on our roads.  It’s also not just the normal model, but in actual fact, the Stepway Plus.

Well-priced at R213,900 (with a 5-year / 150,000km warranty and 2-year/ 30,000km service plan), this Stepway Plus still provides great value. Not necessarily a car for the wide open national roads, the Stepway climbs out of its shell in the urban jungle. This is mainly thanks to a small three-cylinder, 0.9 litre engine, which produces 66kW and 135Nm and a fuel economy just below the 7 litres/100km mark.

This punchy engine is no slouch within urban areas and its relatively compact design results in easy manoeuvrability around sharp bends or confined parking areas. Fitted with a 5-speed manual gearbox, engine revolutions are kept low between town commutes. Our only concern, with regard to the gearbox, is that the first gear ratio is very short and therefore provides the odd jumpy start.

As said before, the open road might not be the ideal playground for the small engine, especially when a strong wind is brought into the mix. The Stepway Plus should be able to take on these winds and open roads with one or two occupants, but bringing more load into the equation, might be a tougher ask.

Reiterating the good price point and product package, this Stepway Plus provides buyers with commendable ground clearance (193mm), 16 inch alloy wheels, all-round electric windows, rear parking sensors with a rear-view camera, navigation, cruise control, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connection, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Stepway Plus is also safe with four airbags, ABS with EBD, hill-start-assist and electronic stability control. At this price point, we must acknowledge that this is very impressive.

“…all-in-one city slicker…”

The Stepway Plus addresses the need for an all-in-one city slicker, capable of mounting high kerbs with ease, providing enough space for cycling gear and surfboards as well as proving to be very fuel efficient. As our cities increasingly expand and merge with other towns, the Stepway Plus might just be the ideal answer.

However, should you look for a family car, capable of taking to the long and open road, the Duster might just be your ideal match.

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