17th-Nov-2011: The French car manufacturer, Renault is delving into deeper waters in the hatchback segment with yet another launch in the hatchback segment in form of Renault Sandero. Inheriting the premium looks from larger than life image of Renault’s product portfolio, the new hatchback Renault Sandero priced at an expected Rs 5 lakh will compete aggressively against the leading hatchbacks Hyundai i10 and Ford Figo. Unlike other Renault cars, this will not be extremely pricey and will help Renault to catch the pulse with Indian market. Sandero was planned in 2010 only when Renault was in alliance with Mahindra, however, due to their split, the progress of the car could not take place. Now, Renault has studied the Indian market carefully and will launch the Renault Sandero hatchback very cautiously.
Renault is apparently planning to expand its portfolio in the Indian automobile market. It has just introduced a new MPV model called Lodgy in the country. They are now considering to introduce a brand new hatchback in the form of Renault Sandero. This vehicle is already available in a few global automobile markets where, it is doing exceptionally well. It shares the body platform of the popular Dacia Sandero and most of its cosmetics and yet, it looks quite stunning. The reason is because of its modernistic radiator grille and masculine fenders that render an astonishing appeal to the vehicle. It is most likely that this vehicle series will be bestowed with alloy wheels as standard or it may depend upon number of variants it is going to come in. However, it is too early to say anything in this regard since the company is still considering the plan to launch this vehicle. Moreover, in international markets, it is available a premium hatchback with a total length of more than 4-meters. However, in India, it might arrive with a length of just under 4-meters to be eligible for tax exemptions. As a result of reduction in its length, we can expect it to have a smaller cabin with reduced leg and shoulder space. However, it may not effect in terms of its head room. On the other hand, this vehicle is speculated to come with petrol and diesel engine options like any other premium hatchbacks. At the same time, it may not get the same engine like its international versions, since many of those are not powering any of India-bond Renault models. One can expect it to come with a 1.5-litre XH2 petrol and a 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine option for the buyers to choose from.
Both these engines are currently powering the Renault Scala range of variants in the country. All its diesel variants would get a five speed manual gearbox option, while its petrol variants are most likely to get both manual and automatic transmission option. On the other hand, we individuals can expect this hatchback with a proficient disc and drum braking mechanism along with ABS and EBD functions for better braking performance. In terms of features, this vehicle will certainly get comfort aspects including an air conditioning system, a touchscreen MediaNav infotainment system along with adjustable driver's seat and parking assistance package. Depending upon the variant, this vehicle will also get advanced protective aspects like speed sensing auto door locks, crash sensing door unlock, airbags and several other such aspects. Soon after its launch, it will take on the likes of Hyundai Elite i20, Fiat Punto Evo and Volkswagen Polo in the country's lucrative hatchback segment.
In India, the auto firm might launch the second generation version of Renault Sandero, which was recently unveiled for the automobile enthusiasts. It has completely modernistic exterior cosmetics with extensive black accents all round that renders it a sporty appeal. It also has masculine fenders, which gives it a silhouette of an SUV. However, the India-bound version may get the classy version with extensive chrome accents. It has a perforated radiator grille featuring a thick surround along with company's insignia on it. Unlike the conventional hatchbacks, this vehicle is blessed with a trendy headlight cluster, which resembles the stylish of Duster. They are equipped with halogen headlamps, but one can also expect for projector lamps along with LED DRLs. The recently unveiled version has a sporty bumper with wider air intake section and metallic surround that further adds to its elegance. Coming to its side facet, its front fenders are massive, but the rear ones have a conventional design, which makes it look interesting. However, it gets trendy features like body colored door handles and ORVM caps, which are further integrated with turn blinkers. Its B pillars along with window sills are garnished in high gloss black, but the India-bound version may also get chrome plated waistline molding. The rear facet looks absolutely stunning owing to its clear lens taillight cluster that has black accents in it. At the same time, its rear bumper has a sporty structure featuring a massive license plate console along with a metallic lower cladding. The tailgate has a smiley shape featuring a slanting backward windscreen. It is further decorated with company's insignia along with 'Sandero' lettering that emphasizes its exclusivity. In addition to these, there is a body colored rear spoiler along with a high mount third brake light. Soon after its launch, many of its exterior cosmetics might also feature in the base trims considering the fact that it is going to be placed in the premium segment.
The international version of Renault Sandero is built with a total length of 4057mm along with a decent width of 1733mm and a height of 1523mm. Its wheelbase measures at 2589mm and the minimum ground clearance at 163mm. However, in India, it might come with a length of just under 4 meters, which helps it get tax benefits.
The recently unveiled version of this hatchback has an eye-catching interior design and is done up in a dual tone color scheme. Its cockpit section gets very comfortable seats, which are specially designed to provide better driving comfort to the occupants. Its driver's seat is supposed to get height adjustable function, while the rear bench seat will get split folding facility for enhancing the boot volume. Its dashboard has a massive structure featuring an attractive center fascia with piano-black accents. At the same time, it also gets metallic surround that renders a sporty appeal to the cabin. Like many of the Renault models, this vehicle too gets a signature three spoke steering wheel that is skilfully decorated with metallic accents and company's insignia. In addition to these, it is also mounted with multi-functional switches, which adds to the convenience of driver. The top end variants are expected to get this steering wheel with leather cover, whereas its base variants may not have it. Just behind this, there is an attractive instrument cluster with three round shaped gauges that also includes a multi-functional display. It also includes several warning notifications and functions that keeps the driver updated.
It is too early to speculate anything about the comfort features of this upcoming Renault Sandero, since the company has not made a final decision about its variants. Like any other vehicle, this hatchback too is expected to come in a few trim levels and all its variants will have essential comfort aspects. Its base variants are expected to have standard aspects including a heating ventilation and AC unit along with power windows, power steering system, central locking system, front seats with sliding and reclining function. Beside these, it may also get aspects including front intermittent wiper, inside rear view mirror and front sun visors with vanity mirrors. Apart from these, its mid range variants are going to feature electrically adjustable outside mirrors, power windows with one touch operation, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamp activation and several other such features. Above all these, its top end trims could house sophisticated aspects like rear parking camera with display on infotainment screen, multi-functional steering wheel and various other such aspects.
Since the vehicle is expected to come with a length of under 4 meters, its interior dimensions might vary from the one in international version. This vehicle might get a boot space of approximately 280 litres, which can be increased with the help of the split folding seats. Engine and Performance: Like mentioned above, this vehicle is slated to enter the Indian automobile markets with two engine options like petrol and diesel. Its petrol engine could get the 1.5-litre mill, which is based on DOHC valve configuration. This mill has a total of 4-cylinders and 16-valves, which displaces 1498cc. it is further incorporated with a multi point fuel injection system for better fuel efficiency. This engine can produce a maximum power of about 97.6bhp at 6000rpm and yields a pounding torque of 134Nm at just 4000rpm. Its transmission duties are handled by the five speed manual gearbox, while the automatic CVT transmission may also make it to the final list. On the other hand, its diesel version is going to be fitted with a 1.5-litre dCi engine that also has 4-cylinders, which displaces 1461cc. This engine is integrated with a common rail direct fuel injection system along with a turbocharger for better power output and fuel efficiency. This mill will be offered with five speed manual gearbox only, which sends out the torque output to the front wheels.
There is no information regarding its top speed and acceleration figures. However, as per the expert opinion, the variants with 1498cc petrol mill is expected to reach a top speed of 180 Kmph, while breaking the 100 Kmph barrier in approximately 11 seconds. On the other hand, its diesel version may reach a top speed of about 170 Kmph. At the same time, it is said to be capable of breaking the 100 Kmph barrier from a standstill in just 13 seconds.
The manufacturer may offer its petrol variants with a 1.5-litre XH2 petrol engine, which is performing duties for Scala and several other Renault models. It is integrated with an electronically regulated MPFI fuel supply system. This mill might be tuned to deliver better mileage in the range of 17 to 20 Kmpl. On the other hand, its diesel variants are most likely to host a 1.5-litre dCi engine that might return a class leading mileage of approximately 24 Kmpl.
The aforementioned petrol and diesel engines are currently under the hood of Scala and a few other Renault models. Both the engines are based on 4-cylinder configuration. Its petrol engine has the ability to produce a maximum power of 97.6bhp along with a peak torque of 134Nm. On the other hand, its critically acclaimed 1.5-litre dCi diesel mill is integrated with a turbocharger that allows the motor to churn out a peak power of 84.8bhp and yields a hammering torque of 200Nm, which is rather impressive.
Like several other Renault models, this upcoming hatchback too is going to get various entertainment equipments, which makes the journey pleasant. Apart from the base variants, the remaining trims are expected to get a 2-DIN based music system featuring a CD player and an FM player along with 4-speakers. In addition to these, they are also supposed to get USB along with AUX-In connectivity. On the other hand, its top end variants are most likely to be offered with MediaNav infotainment system including a high resolution touchscreen display that supports navigation system. Beside these, it also supports Bluetooth for audio streaming and connectivity of calls.
As mentioned above, this upcoming hatchback will be blessed with a proficient ventilated disc and drum braking mechanism, which offers superior performance in any weather condition. At the same time, its mid and top end variants are supposed to get ABS and EBD as standard feature that further enhances its overall performance. As far as its suspension is concerned, its front axle could be fitted with McPherson Strut and the rear one might get a torsion beam suspension system along with anti roll bars. Like all the Renault models, this upcoming hatchback is also expected to get power assisted steering system that offers excellent response.
In terms of safety, this vehicle may feature some of the most essential protective aspects including the speed sensing automatic door lock, crash sensing door unlock, engine immobilizer, keyless entry function and several other such aspects. In addition to these, one can also assume the this Renault Sandero could feature ABS with EBD, electronic stability program, dual front airbags, three point seatbelts and several other such aspects. However, it is too early to speculate about these aspects, since the company is yet to make a final plan about the number of variants.
There is no information from the manufacturer about the size of its wheels, but in international markets it is available with 15-inch alloy wheels. However, in India, its base variants may not get the alloy wheel.
1. Interior space and comforts are speculated to be good.
2. Performance of diesel engine is expected to be better.
3. Exterior design is simply stunning.
1. Price range can be very expensive.
2. Fuel economy is expected to be low.
3. Safety features may not be as good as other hatchbacks.