Categories: Tests

Dacia Spring 65 hp (2023) test: finally a suitable engine?

The Dacia Springreleased in 2021, has already been sold 110,000 copies. This success is due in particular to a very aggressive pricing policy for an electric vehicle. As a reminder, “only” 16 990 € (excluding bonuses) were claimed at its launch, a derisory price compared to the 20 800 € requested today…! Another feature that explains its success is the gigantic sales network Daciawhich allows the small Spring to stay a long way ahead of any potential competition. And that’s good, she’s coming! Between Chinese manufacturers, such as Leapmotor and its T03 or future European city cars (Renault R5 or VW ID.2), the electric market under €25,000 will be largely upset in the months to come. To avoid being worried, Dacia draws after two years of marketing a welcome major technical update: a new 65 hp engine! With this new block, the Romanian manufacturer is correcting one of the biggest flaws of its electric city car when it was launched, namely a really weak and above all limiting motorization… But is that enough?

Design: copper brown for the Extreme version

After a first aesthetic update last year, the Spring offered a major technical restyling. At the end of 2022, the entire Dacia range was able to benefit from the new visual identity of the Romanian brand. This shows in particular the new modernized logo on the grille but also the name of the brand written in full on the tailgate. The Spring is no exception to the rule and adopts these admittedly minor but welcome changes. In recent months, a new finish called Extreme has also come to complete the top of the range of Dacia models. On the Spring, this replaces the Expression finish and oversees the range, still alongside the 45 Essential version. The Extreme finish brings several touches of coppery brown, which can be found for example on the false roof rails, the mirror capsTHE wheel centers, or under the headlight units. We also note the presence of stickers on the front doors and door sill protectors with a topographic pattern specific. Finally, this update inaugurates a new body color called Ardoise Blue, a color billed at €550 like the four other choices available (Cenote Blue, Goji Red, Lightning Gray or Khaki Lichen inaugurated with the Extreme range).

Interior: no changes

If the exterior of the Spring evolves slightly, the interior does not change an inch. With this Extreme finish, however, there are several additions to the basic Essential version. It also incorporates a 7-inch central screen with system of navigation GPSa reversing camera and finally some electrically adjustable mirrors. As on the outside, we also note the presence of touches of coppery brown in the passenger compartment. They are present on the front door panels, around the air vents, around the central screen and even the topstitching of the seats. On the other hand, the general presentation remains quite dark and still as austere. The materials do not change with always a lot of hard plastics, and the comfort equipment does not evolve either. We always keep a manual handbrake or an ignition key to turn instead for example. At the rear, no changes, the space remains as cramped as before, making it difficult to install two adults for long journeys. Good news, however, the trunk volume does not change (270 l).

At the wheel: finally more power!

In addition to the aesthetic changes, it is the modifications made under the hood that interest us today. With the release Electric 65, the block of the Spring goes from 33 to 48 kW, the equivalent of a power of 65 hp. If it may seem weak on paper, it changes everything at the wheel! The electric city car weighs only an additional 5 kg, with 975 kg indicated on the scale. In reality, it is a profound modification of the electrical block. New internal bearings take place to reduce friction, but above all, a new reducer is installed, allowing the engine to go from 8,200 to 14,000 rpm! On the road, the changes are felt at the slightest touch of the pedal. The Spring leaps from the asphalt and accelerations, especially at red lights, are really twice as fast as before. The 0 to 50 for example is done in 3.9 s against 5.8 with the Electric 45. Even more impressive, the 0 to 100 is shot in 13.7 instead of the previous 19.4 s… Finally, the last figure is that of times: the 80 to 120 km / h is almost halved (13.5 s against 26.2)! As a result, we have a Spring that really catches the eye, and driving in town is extremely pleasant. The car weaves its way everywhere, picks up very well and brakes rather hard! Also, the approval beyond 80 km / h is radically different. Fast lane insertions are much safer, and overtaking is all the more fluid with this new block. Finally, Dacia has made some improvements in road handling. Rather good news as the Spring left with gaps at this level. If the braking remains unchanged, work has been done on the shock absorbers for more comfort at low speed, and a more rigorous heading then. We gain both in comfort but also in behavior at a faster pace. Also, better tuning on the steering has been done, with better consistency than before. On the other hand, Dacia did not touch the braking, and above all kept the same Chinese Linglong tyres, which spoil the game a bit. Already observed during our previous testthe latter offer mediocre grip, which is limiting on our Electric 65 version. Finally, at faster speeds, some parasitic air noise disturbs the passenger compartment.

In terms of autonomy, no changes! We stay on a 26.8 kWh battery like the Electric 45 version. The WLTP autonomy loses 10 km: we go from 230 to 220 km. On the other hand, in urban cycle, good news we stay on 305 km! Dacia explains staying on this battery so as not to explode the price of its low-cost city car. He explains this choice all the more by the fact that the vast majority of owners of the Spring travel only 31 km per day on average. And recharge at night on a wall socket. Precisely, on the charging side, the Spring still accepts 7.4 kW with the on-board charger in a Wall-box socket, which allows you to recharge your batteries to 100% in 4:51. The DC fast recharge, pack billed at €600, allows a 0 to 80% in just 51 minutes.

Verdict: the ideal secondary car

With its new 65 hp engine, Dacia corrects one of the biggest flaws of its little Spring. With the Electric 45 version, getting out of town was really unsuitable and above all not reassuring as the pace was winded. With this improved version of the engine, the accelerations are straightforward and the car is even more agile than before. We gain in versatility, and without losing autonomy (or almost). Another good news is on the price side. This Extreme version, the top of the range offered by Dacia with the Electric 65 engine, is only charged an additional €1,500 compared to the 45 hp block, which is not as well equipped. From €22,300, this Spring and its new engine thus goes to €17,300 with a bonus deducted, and constitutes a first-rate alternative to the entry-level at almost the same price.

Read also :

Abarth 500e test (2023): the first electric Abarth is still making noise!

Match: can the Leapmotor T03 dethrone the Dacia Spring?

Renault Austral (2023) test: what is the entry-level worth?

Data sheet of the trial version:

  • Version : Electric 65
  • Finish: Extreme
  • Colour: Slate Blue (+ €550)
  • Prix : 22 300 €
  • CO2: 0
  • Bonus : 5 000 €
  • Motor: 1 permanent magnet synchronous electric block
  • CV : 2
  • Battery: 26.8 kWh
  • Power: 65 hp (48 kW)
  • Couple : 113 Nm
  • Fuel: Electricity
  • Transmission : Traction
  • Gearbox: Automatic, 1 gear
  • WLTP autonomy: 220 km (305 km in urban areas)
  • Accél. 0-100km/h : 13,7 s
  • Length: 3.73m
  • Width: 1.58m
  • Height: 1.51m
  • Poids : 975 kg

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