Full Throttle

Road Test and Review: Renault Fluence

Clint Thomas
Full Throttle

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By all means, Fluence was the perfect car to mark Renault’s entry into Indian market. Even though it didn’t sell in huge numbers, Fluence left an impression with its massive road presence and impeccable driving dynamics. As Fluence gets a second chance, the French marque’s roots have grown deep enough to make the car a comeback kid. Lets find out what’s new in the new Fluence.

Design

Always a graceful car, the Fluence now gets a new front-end treatment with the Renault family face integrated into it. New glossy black grille now houses a large Renault badge and headlamps get projectors and shiny black mask with chrome eyelashes. All-new front bumper is complete with daytime running lights, fog lamps and new air intakes. Body-coloured side cladding and new alloy wheels are a welcome change in profile.

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There are minor yet noticeable changes on the interior, too. A silver insert across the dual-tone dashboard looks elegant and upmarket. There are silver touches on the steering wheel, around the gear knob housing and speedometer. Ah, the fantastic deign of the speedometer is gonna sweep you away, especially during night driving.

The Renault Fluence scores over its competitors in terms of space, however, rear headroom is inadequate for tall passengers.  At 530 litres, the Fluence boasts of the second biggest boot in its segment. Top variant comes with dual zone climate control and leather upholstery while rear A/C vents, sunblinds and 8-speaker music system come as standard.

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Performance

The new Fluence is available only in diesel – a 1.5-litre dCi delivering 110PS and 240Nm. It may be the least-powerful engine in the segment, but it isn’t as bad as the figures suggest. Turbolag under 2000rpm is annoying, especially in the city. There’s a sudden surge in power past 2000rpm, but you need to keep the engine on the boil to keep you entertained. It might not be as much fun to drive as many competitors, but on the flipside you get an impressive fuel economy of 20.4kmpl (ARAI tested).

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Ride and Handling

I admire this car for its handling prowess. Hurl it around corners and the Fluence remains composed and planted to the ground. Steering precision and high-speed stability are equally impressive. Ride quality and overall refinement are completely acceptable, with the engine and road noise remarkably isolated.

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Safety

Safety is top priority as Fluence gets two front and two side airbag, rain sensing wipers, dusk sensing headlamps, ESP, Traction Control, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist. Fluence also gets an anti-rust warranty of 5 years / 1 lakh km and best in class warranty of 4 years / 80,000km.

Bottom-line

When Fluence was first introduced, Renault had just 14 dealerships, and now, they’ll have up to 175 by the end of the year. The grand success of Duster helped the company build a stronger presence in the industry, too. In this better environment, the Fluence is sure to garner success it always deserved.

The new Fluence is priced at Rs 13.99 lakh for the base E2 variant and Rs 15.49 lakh for the top-end E4 variant.

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