The French auto maker, Renault made its debut in India in 2005 in collaboration with Indian auto major, M&M. Mutually they produced Logan sedan which proved to be a dud seller, however in 2010, both the companies parted their ways and Renault decided to solo in the domestic market. In 2011, Renault asserted to launch five new cars in India. Renault started its second innings in India in 2011 with D segment sedan Fluence. Fluence was initially launched in petrol and diesel variants; however, the petrol variant was discontinued after some time. Despite being endowed with enchanting looks, the sedan could not rope in impressive sales in the Indian automotive industry. In 2012, the sedan received a mild facelift followed by a recent tweak. At the 2014 Auto Expo, Renault launched tweaked Fluence, modifications have been made on both the exterior and interior front. Currently Fluence is being offered in diesel version only in two variants viz; Fluence E2 D and Fluence E4 D. The premium sedan comes packed with a robust 1.5 litre DCi motor which is capable of producing a high power of 110 PS along with a peak torque of 240 Nm. The diesel engine is capable of delivering an impressive fuel economy of 20.4kmpl which is excellent for a D segment premium saloon. The engine is mated to a six speed manual transmission; absence of an automatic gearbox is conspicuous across the Fluence line-up.
Fluence undoubtedly has impressive looks that can besot anyone easily. The sedan looks beautiful from front, rear and side profile as well. Fluence’s facelifted version comes with a black front grille with a chrome Renault logo affixed on it. The front fascia also boasts of LED daytime running lights with a distinctive chrome garnish and a pair of avant-grade halogen projector head lights. Among the new additions made to the exteriors of the luxury saloon are the new R16 Kaleido alloy wheels that further enhance the overall exterior look.
Interiors are soothing and come equipped with several comfort and convenience features like rear parking sensors, steering mounted audio controls, engine start/stop button hands free telephony and many more. Various significant safety features are available in Fluence sedan like the Anti-Lock-Braking-System with EBD, Anti Slip regulation, airbags, electronic stability programme and several others.
Renault Fluence faces a tough competition from other cars in its segment like Volkswagen Jetta, Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Corolla. Base model of Fluence is priced above Rs 14 lakh, however, the top-of-the-line trim is around Rs 1.60 lakh expensive than the basic version (please note that price is subject to change therefore we have not mentioned the exact price here).
The Renault Fluence is the D-segment sedan that has elegant and distinctive appearance. At the recently held Indian Auto Expo, the French automaker introduced the facelifted Fluence, which looks more premium than its predecessor. This sedan now features the company's family face. The new design has been lifted from the Zoe EV concept, which is now visible on all Renault cars. The front fascia of the sedan now comes equipped with all-new bumpers, a new grille that houses a more prominent Renault badge. The vehicle also gets new headlamps, tail lamps that further add to its elegance. There are a plenty of chrome touches at the front to offer a more premium look to the vehicle. The side profile of the sedan looks identical to its predecessor, however, it now sports all-new alloy wheels. The vehicle comes equipped with electrically powered outside rear view mirrors and silver finish door handles. At the rear, the sedan has large tail light cluster and appealing boot gate. The tail lamps cluster is positioned across the tail side and tailgate.
The new Renault Fluence is being offered in 4 different shades- glacier white, pearl black, ash beige and platinum. It measures 4618mm in length, 1813mm in width and 1488mm in height. With a large wheelbase of 2703mm, the sedan offers an impressive leg, head and shoulder room to all five passengers. The vehicle has 170mm of ground clearance which is sufficient enough to drive through Indian roads.
Inside the cabin, the new Renault Fluence offers space to seat five adults comfortably, thanks to its big seats and ample leg room and shoulder room. But on design front it lacks when compared to its competition. Moreover, the new diesel model misses out on several features which were available with its petrol version. The features includes climate control, leather wrapped steering and seats, rear AC vents, auto headlamps and auto wipers.
The fit & finish and material quality in the interior is top notch. The front cabin gets the quality upholstery and Electric Variable type (EPS), which is a speed proportional power steering with tilt and telescopic features. Audio controls are mounted on steering wheels, which allows driver to change music according to his/her choice without keeping eyes off roads. Its instrument cluster looks impressive with bright backlight. There are a plenty of utility spaces in both front and rear; it has illuminated glove box, storage box & cup holder at the front arm rest and few others.
This sedan comes equipped with driver lumbar support, rear arm rest with cup holders, head restraints for two rear passengers and flat backrest for middle occupant. Seat belts for all five passengers come as standard. The new Fluence comes equipped with infotainment system with LCD screen, front and rear parking sensors and automatic parking brakes.
Engine & Transmission
Renault has packed Fluence sedan with a 1.5 litre direct injection diesel powertrain which comes with four in-line cylinders and 1461cc displacement. A maximum power output of 110 PS at 4000 RPM and a peak torque of 240 Nm at 1850 RPM is generated by the diesel motor. The engine is mated to a six-forward and one reverse manual gearbox.
Performance & Handling
The Renault Fluence is powered by a 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine producing 110Ps and 240Nm of top torque. Available in two variants, the sedan accelerates to 100kmph from standstill in just 14 seconds and attains a top speed of 180kmph.
This sedan features an improved suspension mechanism, which offers hassle free drive on Indian roads. The front axle of the car features the McPherson type with coil spring, stabilizer bar and double acting shock absorber suspension system, while the rear axle gets a trailing arm type with coil spring and double acting shock absorber suspension.
The vehicle has minimal body roll while going around corners. It has electrically powered steering wheel which gets light on low speeds and gets stiffer on high speeds to offer more stability.
The Renault Fluence has good braking mechanism. The wheels are fitted with large disc brakes, which offer high safety. The front gets the ventilated disc typre brakes, while the rear is fitted to disc brakes. It also comes equipped with Anti-lock braking system with Electronic brakeforce distribution and ESP (Electronic stability programme) system. The combination of ABS with EBD provides safety to its passengers and avoids skidding and wheel locking during sudden brake application.
Renault Fluence is available only in diesel version and is housed with a 1.5 litre diesel engine. The 1.5 litre, DCi motor with 110 PS maximum power output and 240Nm peak torque return best-in-class fuel efficiency of 20.4 kilometers in a litre.
The new Fluence gets an array of safety features like aspherical driver side ORVM, front & rear disc brakes, speed limiter, safety belts with pre-tensioner and force limiter, ISOFIX, engine and transmission guard and anti-pinch windows. Significant safety features like anti-lock-braking-system with EBD, brake assist, electronic stability programme and anti slip regulation are on offer with the car. Fluence comes with an anti-rust warranty for five years/1,00,000 kms whichever comes first. SRS airbags on the driver and passenger seats along with side-chest level airbags in the front seats are also offered on the Fluence saloon.
The Fluence is an excellent car to drive home. The vehicle scores high when it comes to looks, ride and handling as well as performance. However, when it comes to interior it misses out on some features and gizmos which its competitors have. Its high fuel economy of around 20kmpl and its performance makes it a good product. The sedan also comes equipped with several advanced safety features such as ABS, EBD and ESP to keep the car and its passengers safe.
In India, buyers have a plenty of options in the D sedan segment to choose from. Renault Fluence gets a tough competition from the likes of Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla Altis, Chevrolet Cruze, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Jetta.
Hyundai Elantra and new Skoda Octavia are the two closest competitors of the Renault Fluence in the Indian car market. While Hyundai Elantra gets the 1.6-litre engine that develops 128PS and 260Nm of top torque, the Fluence is powered by the 1.5-litre k9k engine producing 106PS and 240Nm of top torque. The third model Octavia has 2-litre TDI engine that produces 143PS and 320Nm of top torque. Clearly, the Skoda's D segment sedan offers more power and torque figure.
When it comes to fuel economy, Hyundai Elantra scores high with an impressive 22.7kmpl of fuel economy, while the Fluence and Octavia returns 21.8kmpl and 20.5kmpl of mileage, respectively.
Elegant styling, spacious interior
No petrol engine, diesel engine offers less power as compared to its competitors