Cheapest EV rated by users
The Dacia Spring could have meant a revolution. With a price of less than 20,000 euros, it seemed to be the electric car for the people. There was no real breakthrough, at least not for us. Dacia has only sold about 3,000 copies in the Netherlands so far and also increased the price. Still, we are curious: how do users who opted for this budget EV like the car?
The Dutch may not opt for the Dacia Spring en masse, but things are different elsewhere in Europe. In March we headlined that European Dacia dealers had already managed to sell more than 100,000 copies and that count has now increased even further. So far, ten owners have written more or less extensive reviews of their Spring on AutoWeek.nl, which gives us insight into the most striking experiences.
Space and seating comfort
In photos, the Dacia Spring looks like a compact SUV, but it is only in real life that you notice how compact the car is. This has consequences for the space supply. “First of all, the advertising texts about 4 spacious seats are greatly exaggerated,” says the owner of a 2021 Spring. “With my height, it is really not possible to have a passenger sit behind my driver’s seat.” Another driver also experiences this, although he prefers to transport something else. “De Spring does what you can expect from him. Spacious enough for two people with two golf bags and carts on the folded rear seat backrest. Very cramped with two people in the back,” he writes.
Little is said about the seats, although one driver indicates that they are fine in most cases. “The seating comfort on longer rides is not entirely disappointing, but after the longest ride so far (100 km) I felt the comfort decrease. The seats are clearly made for shorter journeys and are suitable for that purpose.”
The spring may not be big, but the next rider won’t let that stop him. “We have to make a small move soon and we want to use the entire luggage space for that. This is much easier with the Spring than with our previous Opel Karl, while the space is almost the same size.”
It is not the only space in the car, but to unlock the others you have to make an additional investment. The next owner plans to do so: “I want to install an aftermarket ‘frunk’ under the hood to store charging cables. This is already offered by parties in Ireland and Romania.”
How does the Spring drive?
The Dacia Spring comes standard with a modest power of 45 hp, although there is now also the 65 hp ‘Extreme’. In the comments under articles on this site, the ability regularly leads to scorn and ridicule, but real users do not complain. On the contrary: “You can get away faster than many people without any problem,” says one driver. “If they make an effort, a lot of effort for many, then it will be different, but it will still be surprising.” Not everything is a piece of cake according to this director. “The Spring is somewhat sensitive to wind and sharper bends should be taken calmly.”
This is also experienced by the next user, who describes the driving characteristics in detail. “The straight-line stability is good, both at low and higher speeds. However, the car leans quite a bit in bends and on roundabouts and is considerably understeered. In a quickly taken corner I regularly had to let off the gas.” Please note that this concerns situations with dry road surfaces. “Now that the weather is getting a bit more humid, I also notice that if you slow down before a speed bump, and you still brake when you hit the speed bump, the front wheels can easily slip.” The rider also mentions a possible explanation for this behavior. “For the time being, I blame it on the cheap Linglong GreenMax tires on which the car comes as standard, which I don’t think offer much grip.”
Another Spring driver also experiences such uncertain handling. “We experienced that during heavy rain showers the Dacia is very loose at the front and rear. You have to drive defensively, otherwise the chance of a skid is very high.” This driver reports the following about the power: “At most traffic lights you are as fast or faster than most petrol cars. On the highway you have to do your best and think/look a little more ahead to keep up with other traffic.”
Consumption and range
In an earlier message, Dacia announced that the average Spring driver travels 31 kilometers every day and that an average of 5.4 trips are made per day. Spring owners drive an average of 26 km/h. Spring drivers therefore mainly ride in the city. In this article we do not look at averages, but at individuals. How far can ‘our’ riders get with their Spring?
“The cold and my daily trips bring the range to about 170 km on a charge,” writes an owner after more than 10,000 kilometers of experience. “Consumption according to the meter on board has now increased to about 15 kWh/100 km. In winter this sometimes rises to 15 to 16 kWh per 100 km, now it is back to around 12 kWh/100 km.” How the car is used? “I drive in the Randstad, many 100 roads, where I also drive 100 km/h on the odometer. So I now drive 230 km on a full charge again.”
Another ‘Springer’ comes a little less far. “The average range of the car over the past 2,500 km is 193 km, which corresponds to an energy consumption of 14.2 kWh/100km.” Later this driver indicates that consumption has increased by one kWh per 100 kilometers. “Probably as a result of a few more highway kilometers, because it won’t be due to the weather yet.”
Maintenance, malfunctions and irritations
Although the Dacia Spring is a simple model that seems to have few problems, our reviewers still encounter some problems. The air conditioning system in particular appears to be sensitive. “Right from the start, a persistent malfunction occurs,” writes a dissatisfied owner. “Heating (now in winter) usually does not work, but very occasionally it does. This seems to happen more often at the Spring, since August 2022. For other riders, stopping, turning the engine off and starting it again sometimes works, but not for me.” This trick does indeed work for another owner: “Apart from 3 x air conditioning failures, no unusual features for the Dacia Spring. Two faults were resolved after switching the ignition on and off, once it took a little longer.” This driver later had a part of the central locking replaced due to a noise. Another more widely read complaint concerns a squeaking and scraping windshield wiper, which can be remedied by installing a better quality windshield wiper blade.
It is clear that owners of a Dacia Spring can get by very well with their compact electric car, but it is not all hospitable. For example, the space in the back is very limited and the driving characteristics are somewhat compromised. The limited power does not lead to any problems in practice, the Spring also proves to be smooth enough for daily use with 45 hp. Now that winter is just around the corner, it is hoped that the heating and air conditioning problems will be solved quickly.
– Thanks for information from Autoweek.nl