Dacia spring tests: surprise!

Not content with democratizing car mobility with the Logan and then the Sandero, which continues to be a hit, as well as the Duster SUV, Dacia is now in the electric city car market with the Spring. And guess what? You will not find another similar electric vehicle that is cheaper. But how do they do it in Dacia?

On board

The Spring key is reminiscent of yesteryear models, with a long, non-folding metal section perfect for punching holes in trouser pockets. However, it controls the central locking remotely, we won’t complain. In the hand, the door handle leaves a feeling of lightness. The same applies to the tailgate, barely dressed on its inner surface. But once the door is open, mounted behind the steering wheel, we look for the usual adjustment knobs, but the seat only adjusts for length and tilt, and the steering column is directly locked. So the driving position is pretty average, with a seat too high and a steering wheel too low, not to mention no footrest. Seat comfort is average. On the other hand, their one-piece construction ensures safety in the event of a collision, especially in terms of neck protection. The rear seats are even more rudimentary, leaving only a little room at knee height. One way or another, Vesna is capable of carrying 4 people.

Spring Dacia-DR

The trunk has a volume of 290 liters, which is quite acceptable, given the size of the car is only 3.75 m. The backs fold (50/50), but do not give a flat floor. At the same time, the useful volume increases to 620 liters.

Dacia Spring
Spring Dacia-DR

On the road

As a rule, an electric car starts with a button. Not a spring where you have to turn the key like in a classic thermal car. Gear selector in neutral position and brake pedal, just wait for the “OK” light to turn on so that the car can work. The steering surprises from the very beginning with its great lightness. It’s very nice in maneuvers, but on the road we tell ourselves that the development must have been sent quickly: the steering wheel lacks consistency, doesn’t miss any information and always feels very artificial. It actually looks a bit like a video game steering wheel.

Dacia Spring
Spring Dacia-DR

With just 45 PS/33 kW and 125 Nm, we feared the worst in terms of driving pleasure. However, it can be seen that in this regard, the Spring copes well with accelerations and revivals much higher than those of a car with an internal combustion engine of comparable power. The immediate availability of the pair obviously had something to do with it. Only one driving mode is offered and it is not possible to modulate the intensity of energy regeneration when lifting the pedal set to decelerate similar to engine braking of a gasoline car. On the other hand, the lack of a “parking” position puzzled us somewhat. Only the parking brake holds the car. Therefore, the question arises: how will the tension of the cable change over time, especially if the car often stands on a slope and therefore you have to pull the handbrake hard?

In terms of behavior, sitting high on its tiny wheels with Chinese tires (which we unfortunately couldn’t test in the wet), the Spring rolls quite a lot in corners and proves to be sensitive to crosswind gusts. in ruts. On the other hand, her behavior is always healthy, even when she is forced to make mistakes. Soundproofing is very light with a clear perception of road noise, wind noise and the outside atmosphere, but the damping comfort is more than acceptable.

Budget

For this test, we had the most equipped version of the Expression at 21,300 euros. At this price, you have more than generous options, among other things, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a rearview camera, a speed limiter, power windows and mirrors, manual air conditioning, automatic headlights and 6 airbags. For an additional 1500 euros, you can choose both this version and the entry level, which lacks smartphone connectivity, navigation and a rear view camera, which are very practical in everyday life.

With a quiet ride and in Eco mode on the highway (power reduced to 23 kW and/or speed limited to 100 km/h), the Spring left us with an average consumption of just 11.7 kWh/100 km. Enough to go over 200 km with 27.4 kWh of battery, which is quite in line with the 230 km WLTP promised by the brand. At this low power, the 7.4 kW on-board charger allows charging at a public terminal in less than 5 hours, but note that as an option (€400) Dacia offers an on-board charger that can support up to 30 kW DC. Enough to go from 10 to 80% charge in less than an hour.

Conclusion

With Spring, we feel this very well, the search for savings is present everywhere. But aside from the limited comfort (although the equipment is far from meager) and the rather vague road behavior that we eventually get used to, we were especially tempted by its concept: a small, comfortable and relatively light car, which makes with a low-powered engine and therefore a small battery. In short, the Spring is a well-thought-out electric car that provides a very good lesson in consistency for the rest of automotive production, if not a real slap in the face. Well done Dacia!

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