Cumbria Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Andy Harris
Motoring and Property Editor
4:29 PM 21st February 2024

It’s Spring Time! Dacia’s New Affordable EV

One of the most frequent complaints I hear about the shift to electric cars is their high purchase cost. Well, that is all about to change as more details immerge about Dacia’s first EV, the Spring, set to launch here for the first time this spring. Perfect timing in so many ways.

The Romanian manufacturer has not confirmed prices for the new car, but comfortably under £20,000 for sure. Some pundits have even suggested a starting price closer to £16,000. We will know very soon.

The first-generation car has been on sale in mainland Europe since 2021 and it has been a veritable hit, with more than 124,000 units sold worldwide. The left-hand drive only configuration meant none were ever officially imported to the UK. Did any slip in as private imports I wonder?

Only the roof is carried over from the old model, the new Spring taking its inspiration from the latest Duster, with plastic body cladding and a raised ride height. The latter stems from the poor state of Romanian roads, where extra ground clearance is deemed desirable. Given the state of UK roads, the benefit here should not be underestimated either.

Think of the Spring as a city car, but one with more space than the usual offerings. Seating for four people and a decent size 308-litre boot are on offer and there is the option of a small storage unit under the bonnet, ideal for storing the charging cables.

Don’t expect blistering performance from Dacia’s new baby, as entry level cars have a small 44bhp motor. Thankfully a more powerful 64bhp option can be specified, which should ensure the Spring can cope when escaping the confines of the city. The same 26.8kWh battery is fitted to both versions. Dacia says up to around 135 miles should be possible before recharging, so expect an easy real-world range of 100 miles plus. The car’s light weight helps here (just 984kg).

It is expected that most Spring owners will likely charge at home. Use a 13amp socket, and a 20 to 100% charge will take around 11 hours, though if you have a 7kW AC charger, this reduces to around 4 hours. A 20 to 80% charge on a public DC fast charger will take 45 minutes – not the quickest.

The range-opening ‘Essential’ model has a decent level of standard equipment, so expect to find a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, cruise control, central locking, electric front windows and rear parking sensors.

The next grade is the ‘Expression’ which gains manual air conditioning and 15-inch wheels. Top spec ‘Extreme’ variants boast a 10-inch multimedia screen with satellite navigation, electric rear windows and some copper interior/exterior finishes.

Dacia say the Spring is likely to be bought as a second car and for that purpose it would seem to be ideally suited. Robust enough to withstand the rigours of family life, and with enough space too, the affordable prices should see a huge amount of interest in the car.

I look forward to getting behind the wheel of the Spring, most likely in the spring! Those who want to get in quick with an order, I would suggest the Expression model will be the one to have, as I’m not sure I would want a car nowadays without air conditioning. Perhaps I have just gone a bit soft in my old age.