Up front, a fixed steering column and a driver’s seat that lacks for any adjustment beyond the bare minimum make finding a satisfactory driving position a little testing – but not impossible. Perceived cabin quality is one of the ways that Dacia plans to improve the car for the 2024 facelift, talking about a similar leap to the one the current-generation Sandero showed relative to its predecessor.
You can see why they might consider it a weak spot, although exceptionally low price positioning in any new car makes such criticisms feel a little mean. Even in the upper-level model, with its copper-coloured trim accents, the Spring’s fascia and door mouldings are quite hard and shiny, although they feel well enough secured.
Will Dacia be able to do anything about the hollow, reverberant ping that the doors make as they close, or the gentle rattle of the rear window trim as the car zips along? You’d think it unlikely. However you dress it up, I suspect the Spring will always betray its bargain status somehow.
Not that too many will hold it against a car that, on the road, has a breezy, agile and energetic way about it that speaks of its lightness and compactness more than many compact, affordable EVs have managed to. It’s got a pretty familiar city car dynamic character – although that electric motor makes it quicker than most ICE equivalents up to about 50mph, and a little slower and less assured thereafter. It’s fast enough for both urban and inter-urban motoring, though, at least in the case of the upper-level model.
Powertrain refinement is good, the car’s heating and ventilation system being significantly louder, when running, than the drive motor, and while the car’s ride on its 14in steel wheels is a little noisy over coarse surfaces and lacks isolation over sharp edges, it’s comfortable, controlled and pleasant otherwise.
Get up a head of steam and the car handles naturally and quite keenly, with decent lateral grip and body control – avoiding the sense of lolling long-wave body movement and punitive weight that some compact EVs show. The steering is medium in its weighting and pace but intuitive enough to make the car easy to position.