How To Turn The Humble Dacia Sandero Into An Ultimate Sleeper

Few people think the Dacia Sandero offers much tuning or style potential. They assume it’s just a car that people have no interest in modifying. It might surprise you to learn a growing community of Sandero owners has given their cars a new lease of life.

The beauty of the Sandero is that it has Renault’s engineering input. That’s because Dacia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the French car maker. Why is that a good thing, I hear you ask? Well, it means there is a world of aftermarket options open to Dacia Sandero owners!

If you fancy a new project, I can’t think of anything better than turning a Sandero in a sleeper! Here’s how you do it.


The first thing you might think about doing is slapping on a set of 18-inch alloys. But, remember that you are building a sleeper – not a pimped-out car! I recommend sticking with the stock steel rims. If they aren’t already, consider having them powder-coated in black.

Keep the wheel trims off the car – they aren’t needed anymore! Next, fit some premium tyres on them so that you’ve got the best grip on the road.


The next job is to get rid of the standard suspension. The “Lauréate” model that I saw on looks fairly low. But, if you want to build the ultimate Sandero sleeper, the stock suspension has to go.

You should replace it with a suitable Koni spring and shock absorber combination. I recommend opting for adjustable suspension. That way, you can slam the car to the deck at shows and events!


The standard braking setup is OK but you ought to upgrade it for better stopping power. Bear in mind that the choices you make must take into account the wheel size.

Still, you shouldn’t find it hard to locate some decent drilled and vented discs. Combined them with competition pads and you’re good to go.



The one thing that will set your Sandero apart from the rest is what’s under the bonnet! By default, all engines fitted to the model are from Renault. So, nothing is stopping you from installing a 1.6 turbo unit from a Clio Renaultsport model! Visit to see what engine options you’ve got for your Sandero.

It’s likely you may need to adapt the engine mounts. But, the only thing standing in your way is your welding skills!


Once you’ve got your new power plant in, the next thing you need to do is get an aftermarket exhaust system fitted. I recommend opting for a stainless cat-back system. Just make sure the tailpipes are subtle. That means don’t go overboard and fit quad 5-inch cans under your rear bumper!

Bucket seats

Last, but not least, you need to remove the standard seats up front. Replace them with some quality bucket seats. You can choose to fit aftermarket ones or ones from the donor car of your engine.

Another option is to go with the latter selection and get them retrimmed. That way, you can have a nice leather and Alcantara interior combination, for instance.

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.