Home » Business » Mathieu’s tests: the Dacia Spring is the cheapest electric car on the market, what is it worth?

Mathieu’s tests: the Dacia Spring is the cheapest electric car on the market, what is it worth?


17,000 euros, limited autonomy, power as light as its level of finish and equipment: the equation attempted by Dacia, and therefore the Renault group, to democratize the electric car, does it hold up? I drove a week with the Spring, here are my conclusions.

For two years, I have been testing all the first electric car models from manufacturers. And we have to admit it: these are generally relatively luxurious cars, with prices well over 50,000 euros (Polestar, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche). Sometimes, we are in the 35,000 euros (Renault Zoe, VW ID.3, Aiways), but never below. From then on, I was impatiently awaiting the arrival of the Dacia Spring, the first affordable electric model from the Romanian-born subsidiary of the Renault group. And I was really not disappointed!

17,000 € and acceptable comfort

The Dacia Spring is a Dacia located between the Sandero and its Stepway variant in terms of design, and from which the small petrol engine has been removed to insert an electric motor and batteries. It is not very big, but not too small: 4 people can be seated there (not 5 because there are only two belts in the back), and the trunk is quite spacious (290 liters).

The price of Spring is necessarily more important than that of its little sisters: 17.190€ base price, compared to € 9,390 for the basic Sandero.

To achieve such a low price with an electric car, you have to know that the Spring is the cheap reuse of a model planned for India (Renault Kwid) that the group has electrified and built in China.

Very logical concessions

Of course, Dacia obliges, it is necessary to be satisfied with the simplicity. We go to the essential. But at this lowest price for an electric car in Belgium, nothing to be offended, as you will see.

First of all, the power: 45 horses, this is little. In my opinion, a car must be sober to relieve the battery as much as possible, but this is just it. Accelerations are low, even when crushing the pedal. Some confirmations in figures: the 0 to 100 km / h requires 19 seconds, against 40.5 seconds for 1,000 m from a standing start. The top speed is 125 km / h.

Nothing abnormal, however, for a car with such a small battery (only 27.4 kWh and 200 kg), against double (often) or triple (sometimes) in more opulent electric cars. As for the driving style, it does not may not be dynamic, because the ride height is a little higher, and the wheels are very narrow: taking a too fast turn is not a reassuring experience … Good point, however: there is an efficient energy recovery at the braking. It is managed automatically and it is well calibrated.

Another concession: the very light finish. We are in a Dacia environment: nothing badly done, but everything is simplified, both in terms of materials (lots of hard plastic, obviously) and the number of options. There is however in the Comfort Plus version that I tried (18.190 €) a infotainment honorable taking the form of a 7-inch touchscreen (even navigation is included and it’s CarPlay and Android Auto compatible), a rear view camera and radars, power windows in the front and mechanical air conditioning, and emergency braking. That’s about it, but it’s the basics. I just regret the absence of the central armrest.


225 km of range, but a big advantage: it charges quickly

As has been said: the power of the Dacia Spring (45 hp) is low, while its weight is contained (1,050 kg empty, 1,300 kg of total rolling weight). This therefore allows its small battery to reach a range of 230 km, which is reasonable for an electric car sold for 17,000 euros. And these are 230 “real” kilometers: no evaporation along the way, everything remained according to the announcements during my test week. I managed to reach an average of 11 kWh per 100 km while driving normally (a little city and Brussels ring road limited to 90 km / h), which is a record for me.

225 km, however, it seems very limited for those who drive a hundred kilometers a day (this is my case: 80 km to go to work and back, plus any small additional trips). Many of you are rolling your eyes at the moment: it’s impossible to find a charging station every two days so as not to stress (too much) and recover an acceptable range.

But this is to forget an essential, although logical, data: a 27.4 kWh battery charges fairly quickly! I did the test: after driving around 100 km, I arrive at RTL with a remaining range of 130 km. I take out the supplied charger which plugs into a simple power outlet, I find one available in the parking lot, and the dashboard displays the very reassuring message: “5h35 necessary to find the full charge “, therefore to recover 100 km. 5h35 of charge with” a beast taken “for 100 km of autonomy, this is what is done best in terms of electric car.

Where I am coming from: If you are worried about the autonomy of this small battery, you can be partly reassured by the fact that this small battery, inevitably, charges much faster than the average of current electric cars; and that charging at home (or at work) becomes a very logical option, ultimately. You can always look for fast terminals (50 kW maximum), they will allow you to charge from 0 to 100% in a good half hour. But that is no longer an obligation on a day-to-day basis, and that changes everything!


Conclusions

For me, after trying a number of fairly heavy, fairly luxurious, fairly powerful and therefore necessarily quite expensive electric cars, the Dacia Spring is finally a reasonable proposition in every sense of the word.

17.000€ for a basic electric car, with an admittedly limited autonomy (230 km), but which is compensated by a great ease of charging (a simple plug and about 5:30 is enough to recover 100 km of autonomy, which is what is generally necessary for a normal day), these are unprecedented figures in the short existence of the history of the electric automobile.

It is quite simply the cheapest electric car on the market in Belgium, and it finally makes this means of transport accessible to as many people as possible. Could it trigger a click and lower all market prices …







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