In December of this year, I took delivery of my Dacia Spring. I had never driven in a Dacia. Yet the lure of an all-electric vehicle with a range of over 230 km and the subsidies prompted my wife and I to take the plunge.
About two weeks and 500 km later, the car has more or less ruined my desire to drive any other vehicle. The Dacia Spring offers solutions that seem revolutionary to me, and more surprisingly, make me wonder about “Why hasn’t it always been like this?” »
Sound control and battery level
This is done through the dashboard; it’s virtually flawless and requires no other dedicated device. If you install the My Dacia app (equivalent to the My Renault app for Dacia) on your smartphone, you will only need a few minutes to plan your next trip.
Other cars behave similarly with dedicated buttons, but who wants to do otherwise when I already have a computer with all sorts of connectivity options in my pocket? That’s what Renault did: eliminate something that I used to use.
The funny thing is, I never really thought about using those dedicated buttons until I didn’t have to anymore. Now that I don’t have to, when driving my wife’s car, I’m very happy to have these features in my pocket.
The ride is effortless, quiet, and addictive.
Seriously addictive, even.
I arrived at the Dacia Spring after driving an economy sedan. So the difference for me is bigger than for someone who may have had another better performing vehicle. But, wow! The ride is just great.
Best of all, it’s all done with no apparent effort. When I get into another vehicle and step on the pedal, I feel like everything is working so hard to achieve what the Dacia Spring does instantly and almost noiselessly (just an appealing engine hum that reminds me the Tumbler in stealth mode in Nolan’s Batman series). Acceleration is powerful and instantaneous.
Thus, when someone in a combustion engine vehicle passes by revving its engine, it strikes me as an anachronism. Especially in the streets of Paris!
The entire brake system does things right.
Thanks to magnetic braking, I usually only have to use my physical brakes at a speed between 4 and 6 km/h to come to a complete stop, instead of braking the vehicle from 40 or 45 km/h, which leads to much greater wear and tear on the braking system.
All electric vehicles offer significant regenerative braking, which can be activated or deactivated. It may be hard to imagine, but the car produces negative energy which allows the battery to recharge in this phase of deceleration which provides unmentionable pleasure.
Now when I’m driving another car and I take my foot off the accelerator, I get grumpy because I have to press the stupid brake pedal (what’s that, 50s?) to really slow the car, instead of the car doing it automatically.
Speaking of boring things you do in your car without thinking about it, how about driving with a futuristic design?
The Dacia design which allows you never to confuse this car (we don’t really do it, but we notice it from afar because it has the merit of breaking codes, including design) and appreciating it (we don’t not really, just let your friends tell you). Any manufacturer could adopt this compact design but it is a bias that should bear fruit.
Note, however, that as you get used to this stuff, you’ll likely leave your other cars idle. My wife caught me several times getting out of our other car without a smile. Sorry, I didn’t see the design as that important.
I loved the interior ambience
It took me about 10 minutes to get used to enjoying this very simple interior, there is color and exactly the number of buttons needed instead of getting bored with a lackluster interior, and (you have to admit) about a week to stop showing every passenger the mood-changing ride mode trick, but everything is so clean and vibrant.
Navigation is fantastic with a good accessory to hold your cell phone, and the Tuner FM system working well. Initially I was worried that I would run out of screen (and honestly I still think for this car it should be possible to fit an extra screen in there).
Climbing into a more conventional car now feels like an anachronistic exercise, with dozens of dials, gauges and buttons vying for my attention, and LED lights coming from all directions. Driving the Dacia Spring, especially at night, I feel much more connected to the outside world due to the minimal distractions in the cabin.
How much does gas cost right now?
Honestly, I don’t know, but until January, I always had an idea of the price of gas, because I was filling up every ten days. Best of all, my wife doesn’t have to fill up more than once a month because on weekends we both cram into my car for pretty much every trip (us plus our three daughters).
Our other vehicle (a Hyundai Kona) is relegated to times when the four of us have to go somewhere or when we’re driving a long enough distance that having three kids in the back leads to arguments.
Otherwise, even if the children have much more space in the Kona, they prefer to be on board the Dacia Spring. This leads me to share with you another reason why this car made me lose my taste for other cars.
Sure, I need to recharge, but I just plug in when I get home. No more freezing up while refueling in the middle of December.
I’ve also lost about 25% range during the winter months due to the cold, but that’s not a big deal when you can fill up every night (by programming electricity prices by off peak hours with EDF) if you’re worried about range, and the car is filling up while I’m reading, spending time with my wife and kids, or sleeping.
And the interview?
I had a slight squeal coming from the rear wheels in reverse (common issue) and my horn only sounded when I pressed the right side (again, common). I was once in the garage.
I’m worried about the wheels and the windshield washer fluid but my wife tells me that I’m overdoing it because we just bought it. It will take 25,000 to 30,000 km to start watching. But what do you want, it’s hard to get used to anything else…
|Vehicle name||Dacia Spring|
|Battery life (WLTP)||230km|
|Battery capacity (usable)||26.8kW|
|Battery Type||lithium ion|
|Power (in horsepower)||44|
|Power (in Kw)||33|
|Maximum load ac||6.6kW|
|Max load dc||100KW|
|Number of places||4|
|Maximum speed (in km/h)||125|
|Reload time 0% to 100%|
|Domestic socket 2.3 kWh||1:19 p.m.|
|Domestic socket 3.7 kWh||8:17|
|Terminal 7.4 kW (32A)||4:38|
|Terminal 22 kW (ac)||4:38|
|Terminal 100 kW (dc)||1h4|
|Terminal 250 kW (dc)|
|Terminal 50 kW (dc)|