Unveiled on October 15 at the eWays event, the Spring marks Renault and Dacia’s entry into the low-cost electric car segment. Automobile Propre reveals its first impressions on board.
Compared to the eponymous concept presented last March, the series Spring retains the same dimensions with 3.73 m in length, 1.62 m in width and 1.52 m in height for a wheelbase of 2.42 m. With 300 liters of cargo space, the boot offers plenty of space for a vehicle of this size. It is even more generous than that of the Twingo ZE, limited to only 219 liters.
In the rear seats, this is obviously not miraculous and the taller ones will easily touch the front seats.
A simple interior
Inside, the atmosphere is really “cheap”. Enhanced with a small blue border running through part of the passenger compartment, the presentation remains very basic. Behind the wheel, no “full digital” instrumentation like on the Zoe. In the old way, the Dacia Spring uses the traditional tachometers. The one on the left is an econometer indicating the phases of energy consumption or recovery, while the one on the right displays the battery level and the driving mode used. In the center of the two tachometers, a small display shows top speed and estimated remaining range. As long as you have 10/10 in both eyes, you may even see a percentage estimate of the battery level.
Optional, a 7-inch touch screen sits in the center of the dashboard. Without being pretty, the interface turns out to be rather responsive and quite complete. Managing the multimedia system, it integrates navigation and even claims to be compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Under the dashboard, a set of buttons can be used to adjust the air conditioning or activate the Eco mode which limits the engine to 23 kW and the maximum speed to 100 km / h to optimize range. Gear selection is made directly via a dial which offers a choice of three driving modes: Drive, Neutral and Reverse. When it comes to regeneration, “B” mode doesn’t seem to be in the game.
Almost 300 km of autonomy
On the technical side, the engine offers 125 Nm of torque and 33 kW (44 hp) of power. That’s three times less than a Renault ZOE fitted with the R110 engine. If it does not yet dare to communicate on its 0 to 100 km / h, the little Spring is going to be versatile. Offering a posted top speed of 125 km / h, the Spring will allow the bravest to venture out on the highway.
Totaling 26.8 kWh, the battery capacity of the Spring is surprisingly greater than the 21.3 kWh on board the electric Renault Twingo. The result: the WLTP range of the Dacia model climbs to 225 km in the combined cycle, whereas that of the Twingo ZE peaks at only 180 km. In urban areas, the favorite territory of this small Dacia, the range is announced at 295 km.
Integrated on the grille, the charging hatch incorporates a type 2 connector as standard, allowing a full charge in around 5 hours. Optional, the Combo connector is limited to 30 kW for an 80% recharge carried out in one hour.
First deliveries in fall 2021
Made in China, the Dacia Spring will be available in two levels of finishes. It will begin deliveries in the fall of 2021.
In France, the prices of the model have not yet been announced but the Hungarian branch of the manufacturer has already sold the wick, announcing a price of 6,490,000 forints for the “high-end” version, or just over 17,700 € . Starting from a price range of € 15,000 to € 16,000 for the entry-level version, the Dacia Spring should be released in France at a bonus price deducted at around € 11,000 to € 12,000.
LLD side, we are still waiting for the figures but this Spring could break all records if it managed to offer monthly payments of less than 100 € / month.
Our opinion on the Dacia Spring
Leaving aside aesthetics and equipment, the Dacia Spring is what you might call a “utility” car, primarily designed for everyday commuting. Can its reduced price compensate for its unflattering design and limited equipment and finishes? Nothing is less certain because the car remains a statutory object for many buyers. Proof of this is that even Dacia, with the Duster in mind, has renewed its models by giving them a more emotional character.
Technically, the manufacturer’s choices are also questionable. The battery capacity remains correct for a vehicle for purely urban use, but the power appears clearly limited. In terms of charging, we would have preferred Renault to opt for its versatile 22 kW on-board charger rather than a DC Combo option which will likely only be used in rare cases. In the end and apart from the mandatory regulatory adaptations, this Spring does not seem to have undergone major changes compared to the City K-ZE marketed in China. It is kind of a shame…
And you ? What do you think of this Dacia Spring? Will she be able to meet her audience? Would you be ready to take the plunge? Please feel free to give your opinion in the comments.