Manufactured at the São José dos Pinhais Plant near the city of Curitiba, the revisions consists of a redesigned front bumper, restyled headlights incorporating the now familiar C-shaped daytime running LEDs, a tweaked grille and new LED taillights cutting into the bootlid.
In the case of the Stepway, the exterior styling also includes black cladding on the bumpers, around the wheel arches and door sills, satin silver front and rear skidplates, blacked-out rear light clusters and model specific 16-inch diamond-cut Erbe Grey alloy wheels.
A South American market exclusive, the Sandero RS’ new aesthetics includes black diamond-cut 17-inch alloys, a black integrated boot spoiler and taillight clusters, bespoke Renault Sport badging and red brake calipers.
Inside, all versions receive upgraded materials with leather upholstery being standard on high-end models, while the seats now come with thicker cushions and the rear electric windows switches moved to the doors as opposed to the centre console.
Bar the entry-level Life, all other trim levels feature the upgraded seven-inch MediaNav Evolution touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and rear parking sensors, while the airbag count has been upped to four across the entire range.
Positioned above the Life, the Sandero’s other designations are Zen, Intense and the RS, with the Stepway forgoing the Life and RS and featuring the Iconic as it flagship.
Aside from its new exterior and interior fittings, the Sandero’s biggest change resides in the drivetrain department where Renault has replaced the five-speed Easy-R automated manual gearbox with a six-step Xtronic CVT.
Despite the new ‘box, no changes have been made underneath the bonnet where the Sandero offers the choice of two flex-fuel engines; a 1.0-litre three-cylinder that pumps out 58kW/100Nm when fuelled by petrol and 60kW/103Nm when using ethanol, and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder with respective outputs of 85kW/157Nm and 87kW/157Nm.
Transmission options consist of a five-speed manual on the Life and Zen, while the latter trim offers the CVT as option. On the Intense and Stepway-only Iconic, the CVT is the sole ‘box available.
Capping the range off, the RS utilises a normally aspirated 2.0-litre engine that pumps out 107kW/198Nm when using petrol or 110kW/204Nm when topped-up by ethanol. Paired to a six-speed manual ‘box only, the RS will complete the 0-100 km/h sprint in 8.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 200 km/h.
As previously pointed out, it remains to be seen whether Renault South Africa will roll the various updates out onto local Sanderos, which, unlike the Brazilian models, are built at Dacia’s Mioveni Plant in Romania where the European market equivalents are sourced from.
If indeed given the green light for South Africa, don’t expect the ethanol compatible engines or indeed the CVT to be offered, with the RS more than likely also being a no-no. Therefore, expect the current 898 cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine to be the only option across the range, with the Stepway taking preference over the standard model.
Sandero 1.0 Life – R $ 46 990 (R173 566)
Sandero 1.0 Zen – R $ 49 990 (R184 647)
Sandero 1.6 Zen – R $ 55 990 (R206 810)
Sandero 1.6 Zen CVT – R $ 62 990 (R232 665)
Sandero 1.6 Intense CVT – R $ 65 490 (R241 900)
Sandero RS – R $ 69 690 (R257 413)
Sandero Stepway 1.6 Zen – R $ 61 190 (R226 017)
Sandero Stepway 1.6 Intense CVT – R $ 70 990 (R262 215)
Sandero Stepway 1.6 Iconic CVT – R $ 73 090 (R269 972)