Recently drove the Renault Sandero Stepway Plus model, which has become the new flagship model, replacing the the Authentique. Ahighly popular compact crossover, that has sold over 58 000 units against such notable opposition such as- Polo Vivo, Ford Figo, Toyota Etios, Suzuki Ignis & Hyundai Grand i10. With this introduction the Sandero range maintains the same construct, Sandero Expression remains the entry level model, followed by an accessible mid-level Stepway Expression derivative, withthe New Stepway Plus leading the line-up as the flagship model. All arepowered by Renault’s F1-inspired petrol Turbo 66kW engine.
Many of the features and fitments which come standard with the Sandero range are not seen in this vehicle segment. These include:
- On-board Navigation*
- Smartphone Mirroring* [With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatability]
- ECO mode function. By electronically modifying the engine’s response at the push of a button, enables drivers to automatically optimise fuel consumption and correct energy-wasting driving parameters to achieve greater economy. It adjusts engine operation within acceptable limits and can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by as much as 12% depending on driving styles and road conditions.
Bluetooth® connectivity enables safe, convenient and hands-free telephony plus music streaming from portable external devices when on the go. This, together with the 2 DIN integrated radio/CD/MP3 with USB port, is all accessed via fingertip controls located behind the steering wheel for optimum ease and convenience.
The navigation system with map mode will guide you to wherever you want to go – an address or place of interest – and keep a log history of your navigation favourites.
The on-board computer also tracks and displays distance covered, average speed, fuel range, average and total fuel consumption.
So let’s see what the new Stepway Plus brings to the party- The exterior of the Stepway Plus is distinguished through its bespoke design and badging with 16” two-tone flexwheel covers, Gloss Black door mirrors with a distinctive red line, and features 3 new enticing body colours: Fusion Red, Highland Silver and Café Brown.
New Stepway Plus offers enriched standard features, such side airbags, front and rear power windows, electric side mirrors, leather steering wheel and gear knob and rear park assist. Cruise control and navigation are also standard (unique in this vehicle segment) while leather seats are an option. This latest model also offers a new bespoke upholstery design, which is totally on-trend.
The comprehensive Renault MediaNav, integrated on-board multimedia system with 7” touchscreen, is an extremely intuitive system offering quick access to all settings. The new Stepway Plus offers Smartphone Mirroring, an extremely beneficial functionality with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and The Stepway Plus also boasts Rear Parking Camera, to facilitate the driver by alleviating blind spots in reverse mode.
AFTERSALES WARRANTY & SERVICE PLAN
The Sandero and New Stepway Plus comes with Renault’s 5-year / 150 000 km warranty together with a standard 2-year / 30 000 km service plan. Services are at 15 000km intervals.
Sandero parts are very competitively priced and Renault’s Gauteng-based Parts & Distribution ensures that parts availability is running at 95% plus.
RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICING
- Sandero Expression R179 900 (incl. VAT)
- Renault Stepway Expression R193 900 (incl. VAT)
- New Renault Stepway Plus R213 900 (incl. VAT)
The Stepway Plus is a very easy and pleasant car to drive, one of the few that I enjoy driving in manual. I don’t see why it will carry on being as popular in its class.