The Spring’s steering is responsive but not always precise and the brakes are spongy.
The interior is extremely spartan. The steering wheel is not adjustable, there are no touchscreens just buttons and switches that make a cracking sound when used rather than a click. Because it has few driver assistance systems, the Spring earned just one out of a possible five stars from EuroNCAP.
How does the Spring perform outside the city? It can reach 100 kph (62 mph) quite easily, and at that speed it is quieter than a comparable combustion-driven car.
Mind the range
Its official WLTP range estimates at a full charge are 230 km for mixed highway and city driving and 305 km in the city. Winter’s cold temperatures further reduce range in most EVs so I feared I wouldn’t be able to make the 180-km roundtrip from Milan to Lake Maggiore and back without recharging.
I did some research on Dacia website where I found a very useful page on how the Spring’s range varies. I learned that if I traveled at 90 kph at a temperature of 5 degrees Celsius a full charge would last for a meager 107 km. At the same speed at 20 C range was forecast to jump to 189 km.
Actual conditions were 10 to 15 C. I drove at 100 kph most of the way and burned 50 percent of the charge, leaving me at 89 km of range.
An estimation of a 180 km range in these conditions is not far from real, and it was confirmed by the return trip.
In city driving the Spring can quite easily travel more than 200 km with a full charge, helped by the car’s regeneration braking.
At the relatively slow 6.7-kilowatt-hour pace of the AC charger, it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes to add 15.73 kWh and bring the charge to 94 percent from 38 percent.
The model I tested was not equipped with the option to use DC recharging, which would get the battery back to 80 percent charge in less than an hour.
Living for one week with a full-electric car also allowed me to check the state of the recharging infrastructure in Italy, which I first described last year.
Not much has changed. Recharging an electric vehicle here is always interesting and can sometimes turn into a sort of treasure hunt.