Home » The Revised Dacia Spring Should Still Be One Incredibly Cheap EV

The Revised Dacia Spring Should Still Be One Incredibly Cheap EV

New Dacia Spring Ts
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I’m probably going to get crucified for this, but the vast majority of new cars would be better as EVs. Not the fire-breathing V8s and lightweight sports cars, mind you, but the anonymous crossovers and remaining few midsize sedans would be way quieter, smoother, and more refined on electric power. Despite automakers being in the throes of an EV onslaught, through the end of last year, EV sales slowed in California and Germany. So what gives? Well, even if EVs are substantially cheaper to run than combustion-powered cars, if you don’t have the credit ceiling for a $40,000 vehicle, you might not be getting into a new EV. It doesn’t matter how good a vehicle is, if it’s unaffordable, it’s off the table. Thankfully, entry-level EVs aren’t expensive everywhere. The Dacia Spring is leading the West’s cheap EV charge, and it just got updated with substantial tech improvements.

Last year’s Dacia Spring started at €22,300, which converts out to roughly $24,126 including France’s value added tax. That’s dirt-cheap for an EV in a Western market, and the new one should carry on the cheap and cheerful legacy. With more 48,000 sold across Europe through the first three quarters of 2023, it’s rolling proof that people want cheap EVs, even if there are some proper sacrifices in getting to that price point.

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Vidframe Min Bottom

The big news for the facelifted Dacia Spring is that it’s finally available in right-hand-drive, which means it’ll finally be sold in the United Kingdom. As the cost of living crisis rages on, cheap new cars are appreciated the world over, so let’s hear it for new markets. British outlet Autocar expects it to start at around £17,000, which would be cheaper than a new Vauxhall Corsa.

New Dacia Spring Interior 2

 

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Old Dacia Spring Interior 3

On the inside, the new Dacia Spring gets a tech-lift, with top-spec trims getting a seven-inch digital instrument cluster and a ten-inch infotainment touchscreen. Now, a ten-inch infotainment screen just wouldn’t have fit in the old car, so the new one gets an entirely new dashboard that doesn’t look like it’s from 2012. You still get proper knobs and buttons, but you also get dashes of color, a nifty little passenger shelf, and a slimmer center stack. Dacia’s really playing up the cheap-and-cheerful here, and it’s something that’s been sorely missed in the automotive world. Every other automaker is obsessed with trying something premium, but not everyone can afford premium, can they? Bit of pale green, dash of copper, job done.

New Dacia Spring New

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Old Dacia Spring 1

It’s a similar deal on the outside, which has just been modernized a touch. You still get prominent unpainted door trims to guard against low-speed knocks, but the detailing of those trims and the headlights and the front fascia has all been cleaned up and made less bulbous. To combat allegations of dullness, Dacia’s given the car a raft of great colors like light orange, and a black-and-white statement piece on each bumper that’s oddly alluring. From afar, it looks like an aerial view of a spoke-and-hub city, highlighting the car’s urban use case. Up close, it’s far more abstract and intriguing.

New Dacia Spring 4

With just 45 horsepower on tap in base trim, the Dacia Spring doesn’t exactly have the trappings of a brilliant highway car. We’re talking zero-to-62 mph in a claimed sub-20 seconds, and we’re frankly amazed that Dacia bothered to count. Should you wish for a little more pep, a 65 horsepower motor is available, which drops the zero-to-62 mph dash down to a far more sensible sub-14 seconds. It’s still not a rocket ship, but let’s be honest, how often does the average driver open the taps all the way?

New Dacia Spring 5

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Range is similarly modest at an estimated 136 miles on the WLTP cycle, but Dacia claims that the average Spring driver travels just 23 miles per day, so a car like this makes a ton of sense as an urban runabout second vehicle. Families can use it to run errands, while enthusiasts can use it to keep drudgery miles off of the vehicles they love. Imagine having a dirt-cheap Dacia Spring for weekday commuting and winter slush, and a Bentley Arnage or a Porsche Boxster or a Chevrolet Camaro for nice weekends, all while spending less than you would on a new mid-range Accord for both cars combined.

New Dacia Spring 1

The Dacia Spring serves as proof that even limited capability cheap EVs can still sell in remarkable numbers, and we’re glad to see Dacia update the model and expand its scope across Europe. Now, if only some marque could sell a dirt-cheap EV in North America. The VinFast VF 3 is reportedly coming at a price that could fall under $20,000, so maybe that’ll be proof of concept on this side of the world.

(Photo credits: Dacia)

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Andrew Wyman
Andrew Wyman
1 month ago

Like James May, I am a fan of Dacias!

Farty McSprinkles
Farty McSprinkles
1 month ago

Good News!

What you did there, I see it (RIP Top Gear).

Thomas The Tank Engine
Thomas The Tank Engine
1 month ago

American roads and European roads are very different, and we have different requirements when it comes to vehicles. And that’s fine, I’m not saying that one is right and one is wrong, just that we are different.

I’m a Brit and what we see as a family car that’s plenty big enough for 2 adults and 2 kids (example : Ford Focus) is seen as a “small car” in the US.

We don’t have huge pickup trucks because they are too big for our roads, too expensive to buy, and too heavy on fuel.

Again, we are different. It’s not a criticism.

This electric Dacia would be PERFECT as a second car for a European family, for shopping, picking up the kids, errands etc, especially if it can be charged at home.

And it would be even more perfect in a busy city-centre environment like London, where 0-60 is irrelevant because you can’t get to 60mph. 0-30 (something that electric cars are superb at because they deliver maximum torque instantly) is much more important as you are forever accelerating away from traffic lights. For a city car it’s more important to be “nippy” than “fast”.

The small size makes it perfect for manoeuvring in narrow city streets (most of London’s road layout pre-dates cars), for parking, and by being electric you avoid ULEZ charges. It’s less likely to be stolen because it’s not a Range Rover, and if somebody does ding the door then it doesn’t matter because it’s a Dacia not a Porsche.

No this car wouldn’t work in America, but in Europe it will likely be a big hit.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago

“far more sensible sub-14 seconds. It’s still not a rocket ship, but let’s be honest, how often does the average driver open the taps all the way?”

I was extremely surprised to see this in automotive journalism in 2024. The usual take, including here on the Autopian sometimes, is that 0-60 over 10 seconds is dangerously slow.

I once read a Car and Driver review of the Subaru Crosstrek that talked about little else besides how glacially, miserably, borderline dangerously slow the car was. At the bottom of the article in their data sheet, they showed 0-60 in 11 seconds. That’s faster than every car I own. I no longer trust most journalists’ idea of how fast is fast enough.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Check out Thomas’s piece about the slow 0-60 time of the last gen Town Car if you want to rage :p

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago

Oh no, I haven’t read that one yet…….

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
1 month ago

I wish Dacia sold cars in America. I’ve ridden in one during a trip to Turkey. It was nice. Not luxurious or fancy, but refreshingly humble and competent. Everything you need and nothing you don’t, but it all works well and feels good. Cheap and cheerful describes them nicely. Now, I’m not sure how well Americans would respond to new cars with 45-65 hp, but I still think the option needs to still exist. We need cars like this.

James May was right. Dacias are good and the Dacia philosophy is good.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

Yeah, most Americans do 0-60 in less than 14 seconds every single time they drive anywhere. That level of acceleration is gonna be a deal breaker for a lot of people.

Austin Vail
Austin Vail
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I don’t think that’s remotely true, because I have never once been able to accelerate as fast as possible when behind other drivers, even on an on ramp. The reason being that regular people when driving think that accelerating as fast as possible hurts their engine, so they only use partial throttle, and buy cars with fast 0-60 times because they need less throttle to accelerate slowly.

And I drive SLOW cars! My 1966 Thunderbird did 0-60 in 11 seconds when new, and almost certainly isn’t that fast now, but I’ve never had trouble getting up to highway speeds on the on ramp when flooring it, even uphill. My other car is a 1990 1.6 Miata, the slowest of all Miatas, which is faster than my T-bird but still not as fast as a modern minivan can be. But if there is any car in front of me, regardless of what it is, I cannot accelerate as fast as my Miata is capable.

In an EV? Just tell the owner that on the on-ramp they need to put the pedal all the way down and it won’t hurt the car. Treat it as an on/off switch, so to speak. Fourteen seconds 0-62 in an EV that won’t be damaged by full throttle is PLENTY.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Austin Vail

I take major issue with you calling 11 seconds 0-60 not just a slow car, but a SLOW car. Because that’s a fast car.

Believe me, when you drive a car that does 0-60 in 14 seconds or more, you will get opportunities to drive it flat out behind other traffic.

I once 0-60 tested my pickup at a stoplight. I was really wringing it out, revving it to redline, slam shifting, and it was so forceful that I literally blew off my(badly and loosely connected) exhaust. And the entire time, I was staying in perfect formation with the minivan next to me, the occupants of which were watching Trolls on the built in TV. It was hilarious, and the driver of the minivan was rather confused.

A lot of people routinely accelerate slower than that, but a lot of people routinely accelerate faster. When I take my relatively faster car, I hit 0-60 in under 14 seconds nearly every drive.

Last edited 1 month ago by Rust Buckets
Tsorel
Tsorel
1 month ago

I remember when the eGolf was going for something like $16,000 after incentives and tax rebates or whatever, that’s how much my coworker paid for a new one. I think the Fiat 500e was also cheap. Why didn’t those cars do well in the US? Something is different now than in 1968 when VW could sell as many Beetles as they could figure out how to make. People now don’t want to be seen as cheap. They want others to think that they can afford the $100k ev, even though they are completely under water and overextended on their payments. It’s just like instagram, people want to make it seem like they are rolling in it. It’s no longer hip to be frugal or simple. These cheap cars won’t do well here, even if it’s what people actually need.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Tsorel

You know, it’s interesting, because tiny houses are the perfect example of it absolutely being hip to be frugal and simple. But when it comes to cars, that is not a common viewpoint at all in 2024.

05LGT
05LGT
1 month ago

Too soon for jokes at the expense of “the real” Top Gear. Grand Tour was always nothing more than a morose plate of leftovers. Top Gear without the lads? I’d rather hear the stig host interviews. Not that Jezzer wasn’t an A-hole, just that what his narcissistic aggression robbed us of had value.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 month ago
Reply to  05LGT

That was the first thing that I thought of. I can’t remember how many times they said “There’s a new Dacia”

BubbaX
BubbaX
1 month ago

Good for Dacia, the cheapest of the cars you can buy in Europe. I look at the maintenance issues, and as a brand the Romanian Renault has by far more issues. But everytime I visit Romania, it’s a nicer place; their education system is quite good, and I’m sure that Dacia quality will eventually improve, possibly to the level of the Czech Volkswagens.
As for this thing: it’s cheap and a city car. Who cares if it loses some trim? Plus, that clearance means it can handle going over a few sidewalks. The question is how it will handle city charging.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago

It goes to show you can have a perfectly capable FWD BEV with less than 100 HP.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Most Americans would not consider a car that does 0-60 in “under 20 seconds” perfectly capable. In fact that sounds like it would be rather miserable in my kind of usual driving.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

To me what matters is being able to put power down to the ground, the higher the HP and Torque the easier it is to break traction when all other factors remain the same.

This becomes especially relevant when in the snow and ice, and that is one of many reasons why I prefer lower HP cars to higher HP cars.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Uhh yeah but it’s nice to be able to get on the freeway at the same speed as traffic. And traction is just a non issue in 99% of driving situations.

Geoffrey Reuther
Geoffrey Reuther
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Getting up to freeway speed was never an issue for me when I owned cars in the 16 second 0-60 range. It’s only dangerous if you try to drive a 16 second car like a 7 second car.

Now, as this article is about an EV, it’s worth pointing out that the instatorque of an EV, if not properly matched and mapped for the particular vehicle, can cause traction issues WAY easier. I have some first-hand experience in this matter (thanks, Kia, for making my Niro’s throttle so damn twitchy at low speed)

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

The 65hp model does 0-60 in 14 seconds, which is…fine. It’s certainly quick enough to be safe, and useful.
It’s not exciting sure, but this is a cheap car, you can save money for your more exciting weekend car.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Phuzz

I should know, I daily a vehicle that does 0-60 in about 14 seconds. It’s not unsafely slow, but it is annoyingly slow, and is marginal in a lot of on ramps. Lots of people would call it dangerously slow, even thought they’re wrong.

Scootershapedmotorcycle
Scootershapedmotorcycle
1 month ago

I grew up in underpowered cars, not just all that malaise era crap my parents drove, but over in Europe in my aunt’s Diane, my uncle’s Lancia with the floor rusted out (a few bars of rebar resting on other more solid parts kept his seat from falling through), an uncountable number of Beetles and Type 2 buses, and then diesel anythings from the late 70s and early 80s. Another uncle’s vans were always underpowered because it cost in taxes to have a stronger engine. Honestly, the biggest thing we got wrong when engines got more power was letting them have all that power. There’s nothing wrong with slow speeds when everyone is driving slowly. We could have super efficient engines, but no, we decided that a Camry needed to accelerate faster than a 1982 Porsche 911. Whatever. I’m fine with 45 or 65 HP, I’m happy on my scooter rather than some crazy pocket rocket (an 300cc engine will still get you on the highway just fine), and I think commuter cars are fine when they are underpowered. This car would be excellent for a ton of people. Ah well, not in this world of power everything and truck behemoths.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago

> my uncle’s Lancia with the floor rusted out

Wow, your richy-rich uncle could afford a brand new Lancia, eh?

Scootershapedmotorcycle
Scootershapedmotorcycle
1 month ago

Ha. Junkyard vehicle. He replaced it with a Volvo made of two junkyard pieces, the thing lasted 100k km and cost him roughly $600. He loved making junk work.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

I rather like the bumper detail…hey: it’s actually got some clearance! Wonder how it would handle a fire road? Unabashedly cheap & cheerful—this thing isn’t exactly whispering beguilingly, but it’s definitely talking to me

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 month ago

Dacia needs to sell their cars here. They can even rebadge them as Mitsubishi.

Dacia/Mitsubishi
Renault/Nissan

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
1 month ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Dacia cars are branded as Renault outside of Europe. Can’t imagine Renault ever letting Mitsubishi or Nissan get a taste of Dacia…

Toyec
Toyec
1 month ago

Nissan had the first gen Logan in Mexico, called Aprio, the first gen Duster in India and Russia, called Terrano, and the popular NP200 of South Africa is a Logan Pick-up

Clupea Hangoverus
Clupea Hangoverus
1 month ago
Reply to  Toyec

In the EU the Colt is now a rebadged Clio and ASX (Outlander sport maybe?) is a Captur…

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

I hope Dachia is not paying you to increase sales. How often have you had to merge onto interstate traffic going 65 mph+. This calendar of speed is not safe. Weren’t EVs heralded as speed monsters, no gears just pedal down and you can outperform a dragster? Why are these so slow? Would a transmission even 2 gears get it to outperform a paraplegic in a wheelchair?

Fjord
Fjord
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Fine for people who don’t set out on an interstate for months at a time, or have a second car. Also, it’s slow because 65 hp isn’t much power for a >2000 lb car. Basic physics.

TheHairyNug
TheHairyNug
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I see that you’ve never attempted to be informed of how a lot of Europeans live

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  TheHairyNug

How does that matter for this car in the USA?

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

It doesn’t. Like any and every other cheap car than can’t do 0-60 in under 8 seconds…there’s no point sending it to North America because you won’t buy it. And there’s no way a new car that can do 0-60 in under 8 seconds will ever be affordable. So, North America…it’s your move.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I can—and did for many years-live with 0-60 around 14 seconds. Where I live, I can just take local highways: takes a bit more time, but it’s less stressful. And, with only 126 miles of range, it’s not like I’d road-trip it.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

So I not any longer and add another 6 seconds

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I don’t know about calling that unsafe; there are plenty of cars in the US slower than that, and Jason daily drives several.

Phuzz
Phuzz
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Or rather, he would drive them if any of them were running right now.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

But are any of Jason’s safe?

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Fair point, but he hasn’t died yet, and I don’t think the horsepower/speed is really why those cars are unsafe.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Well since they all have the tensile strength of tissue paper hurts safety

D-dub
D-dub
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

It’ll still be fast enough to get stuck behind a RAV4 driver that doesn’t know what an onramp is for.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  D-dub

Ooh don’t get me started on idiots and on ramps.

PresterJohn
PresterJohn
1 month ago

The vast majority of cars would not be better as EVs, but not for the stereotypical “car guy” reasons. EV ownership is too complicated right now for the majority of people. They don’t have easy home charging.

That said, I don’t mind this car at all. If you’re going to have crap range, at least be cheap. I’m likewise interested to see if the VF3 pulls this off

Edit: just noticed the top shot lol

Last edited 1 month ago by PresterJohn
David Escargot
David Escargot
1 month ago
Reply to  PresterJohn

The Dacia Sandero has been delayed…

David Escargot
David Escargot
1 month ago

“but let’s be honest, how often does the average driver open the taps all the way?”

Far far more often than I need to… and probably nearly as far as I should…

But its good to see cheaper cars that can go into all the cities with the new emissions regulations etc

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  David Escargot

Hey merging on the interstate. With this you have 3 choices park until traffic clears, pull-out and hope the vehicles who have right of way move over and let you in or die.

David Escargot
David Escargot
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

There is that… just other opportunities also present themselves where it is unnecessary… people doing 85kmh in a 110kmh zone and either a known passing spot or an overtaking lane… I live in a place where the main highway is mainly two lanes

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago
Reply to  David Escargot

And it comes to if it doesn’t work in most situations it doesn’t work.

David Escargot
David Escargot
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Yup

J Hyman
J Hyman
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

Am hoping username checks out. After all, the idea that a city car is not optimized for interstate speeds should surprise and disappoint exactly no one.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  J Hyman

Not to put words in his mouth, and lord knows he and I don’t usually agree, but I think his point is that these aren’t a realistic option to bring to the US (which the article and/or comments are hoping happens), because our distances and the attending need to merge onto highways is much greater than in Yurp.

It’s kind of the same reasoning (backwards) that made Continentals non viable in Europe where the average parking space is the size of the Continental’s trunk.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Hey we now have a Venn diagram with intersecting pie charts. Wòooooooo ò

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Sarcastic
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

What flavor pie?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
1 month ago

Well my side is Turtle Pie Marie Callendars

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