Cars

Dacia Spring: the best-selling budget EV is about to bounce into UK market with a sub £20k price tag

“THE most affordable full-electric model on the market”: that’s the tantalising tagline for the new Dacia Spring EV, which is finally set to go on sale here after cleaning up in Europe...

A photo of a Dacia Spring plugged into a charging point
Dacia Spring The best-selling budget EV is about to go on sale in the UK

Launched in 2021, Dacia’s first all-electric model is now Europe’s third most popular electric car – and the version that’s due to go on sale here on March 12 has now been pleasingly revamped.

ROBUST DESIGN

The 2024 Spring boasts a much nicer front-end treatment featuring the new, very DeLorean-esque Dacia ‘DC’ badge (which doubles-up as the charge port), plus a vastly improved dashboard inside.

In fact, the Renault-owned, reliably no-nonsense Romanian marque describe the new Spring as being “an entirely renewed and more robust design”. The latter bit is important, because despite the Spring earning a Five Star rating from Green NCAP for its environmental friendliness in 2022, the Euro NCAP folks were rather less impressed: it received a dismal One Star rating for safety in 2021.

SAFETY FIRST

Happily, the new Spring now comes loaded with all sort of new Renault-spec Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (Adas), including emergency braking with vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist and motorcycle detection, traffic sign recognition with speed alert, rear park assist, lane change alert, lane keep assist and driver attention warning.

ALL THE TRIMMINGS

Three trims will be available, Essential, Expression and Extreme: exact model pricing will be announced on launch day, but expected it to start around the £17k mark.

A rear view of the new Dacia Spring
Dacia Spring The new Spring has received a full selection of new driver aids
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And there’s good news for Luddites: all Springs come with the increasingly endangered species that is the manual handbrake lever. Up with this sort of thing.

POWER-UP

The Spring is powered by a 26.8 kWh battery linked to a choice of a 45hp or 65hp electric motor: the latter will get you up to 62 mph in a glacial 14 seconds – pretty shocking for an EV as light as the Spring, which weighs in at just 984 kg in fully-loaded Extreme trim.

Dacia claim a WLTP range of “over 137 miles” for the car, likely to be around the 100 mark in real world conditions. Not a long ranger, then, but decent enough for those who need an EV for shorter daily commutes – especially as it’s quite an efficient little machine, consuming only 14.6 kWh/62 miles (WLTP).

A side view of the new Dacia Spring
Dacia Spring The European best-seller has been much improved for 2024

CHARGING AHEAD

The car comes with a 7kW AC charger that can charge the battery from 20 per cent to 100 per cent in four hours using a 7kW wall box, or 11 hours via a standard outlet. A 30 kW DC charger enables fast charging from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in 45 minutes.

The car also features a bi-directional vehicle-to-load charger, allowing you to power electrical devices using a special three-pin adapter.

THAT’S INFOTAINMENT

An interior shot of the new Dacia Spring
Dacia Spring The new Spring features a totally revamped interior and dashboard

The Spring features a 7-inch colour driver’s display mounted within a distinctive white binnacle. Essential and Expression trims get a steering wheel-controlled multimedia system with media information and phone calls displayed on the driver’s display, while Extreme trim gets its own fancier Media Nav Live system, utilising a 10-inch central touchscreen with smart navigation and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, plus a bonus USB port.

CUTE CLIP-ONS

A close-up of Dacia's quirky YouClip accessories system
Dacia Spring The new Spring features Dacia's quirky YouClip accessories system

Dacia’s cute YouClip accessory mounts have been carried over from the new Duster, allowing owners to customise their cabins: choose from a click-in storage pouch, smartphone holder with optional induction charger, or a three-in-one cup holder, bag hook and portable light.

COPIOUS CARGO

It might only be a four-seater, but the Spring boasts the best storage volume in its class: 308 litres, or 1,004 litres with the rear seats folded down – plus an additional 33 litres of storage throughout the cabin and an optional 35 litres available under the bonnet as an option.

Aerial view of the Dacia Spring
Dacia Spring The new car will go on sale in the UK on March 12

RIDE ON

The car rolls on 15-inch steel wheels and its high, Romanian roads-spec ground clearance should come in handy when negotiating our own road network’s minefield of decaying tarmac and potholes.

Should you encounter a fresh sink-hole blocking your route, the Spring also boasts one of the best turning circles in its segment of just 4.80m – about half that of the famously nimble London Taxi.