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Renault Fluence Detailed Expert Review - April 17, 2014

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Introduction

Apr 17, 2014 : Expert Review By

Renault Fluence Facelift Review

Renault Fluence, which marked the company’s solo entry in the Indian car segment, was as an important model. It was a gutsy move for the company to enter the D segment of sedans post its dissociation with Mahindra.

Renault Fluence Expert Review, Fluence Road Test - 205794 | CarTrade

It may not have managed to do great numbers in terms of sales but then it surely garnered lot of attention and appreciation for its design and performance. Many loved the relaxed design lines and the peppy diesel engine of this car.

The car which was sold in international markets had already got a makeover and it was obvious that even the Indian version got it too. Renault had showcased the new Fluence at the 12th Auto Expo in Delhi. The new design makes the Fluence look bolder and sharper than before. We test drive to find out more. 

Exterior

Renault Fluence looks different from other sedans and similar to the Koleos, the design is very subtle and elegant. The new Fluence gets a sharper and bolder design compared to the earlier version.

Firstly, like any other important facelift update, the Fluence too gets a new radiator grille. The grille covers the width of front face and the Renault logo which takes the centre position is very dominant in between. The front bumper now features DRLs and also faux air vents. The headlights too have been tweaked as a result they have got longer and sharper. It has built in projector lamps enhancing visibility.

Similar to the Koleos, the Fluence too gets new R16 Kaleido alloy wheels which add to the dynamic look of the car. There is a chrome line running along the side window and even the door handles are chrome finished. The Fluence looks visually longer than its actual dimension and it is because of the lines flowing. It has a very relaxed shoulder line. Except for these changes, rest of the design is similar to the previous model.

 

Interior

There are no evident changes inside the cabin except for the additional refinement done to the interiors trims, leather seats and music system.The cabin space is enormous. This is due to the long wheel base. In long distance commuting, the Fluence would always have an advantage. The generous headroom and legroom makes you distract away from the suffocating cabin spaces.

The new Alpaga leather seats are very comfortable, especially the driver row, which has a lumbar support adjustment. Even the rear row seat with a 27 degree angle takes care of the bumpy rides very well. The cushioning of both row seats is decent. The beige interiors look classy indeed but on the low side they have a tendency to quickly attract dust and in Indian conditions, this happens often.

The instrumental cluster has a digital speedometer and an analog tachometer and sadly the exciting colors of the earlier model have been replaced by the conventional reds and blacks. The speedometer has got a minor shade update and is brighter now. A small window adjacent to it shows essential information. There is a small gear position indicator on the tachometer which helps the driver change gears according to the engine speed.

It has a Dual Zone Auto Climate control. This helps adjust individual temperatures for the driver and co-driver side. It cools the cabin quickly. Rear passengers have a convenient access to the AC vents mounted between the front row seats.

Entertainment inside the Fluence comes in the form of 3D Surround Sound Technology by Arkamys. This system is better and also delivers great sound quality. One can connect a USB or an Aux-in and control it via the media rack mounted on the steering wheel column.

The glovebox has an internal light to help the passenger easily access it. It has many practical storage options inside the cabin. It also has a luxurious 530L of boot space and the 60/40 split folding rear seats adds more room to the storage space.

 

Performance

It is just the exteriors and interiors which have been refined but then under the hood the story is same. The New Fluence too comes with the popular 1.5dCi diesel engine. I say popular because you will find the same unit plonked on many Nissan Renault cars with different tunings.

Interestingly, the automatic petrol unit has been axed in the new model and thus it comes only in a manual diesel option. The 1461cc diesel engine produces 110 PS of power at 4000 rpm and 240 Nm at 1850 rpm. It is only offered in a 6 speed manual transmission.

The engine dynamics remain the same. With a strong mid range delivery, it flexes its muscles only past the 2000 rpm mark. Prior to that, it might not feel very peppy but then get the throttle to do higher speeds and the torque makes sure there is enough performance.

We have never had any complains about the ride quality of Fluence and the reason being it is one of the most stable cars on highways. The Fluence does not have a sporty motor but then at the same time it is a great highway cruiser. The motor holds on to higher speeds with great ease. The suspension manages to take the bruise of rough roads easily. Even at high speeds, it holds on to the corners which is great for a car of this size.

It gets two front and two side airbag, rain sensing wipers, dusk sensing headlamps, ESP, Traction Control, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist among other safety features.

 

Specifications
Technical Specifications
 Make Renault
 Model Fluence
Variant Diesel E4
Engine Capacity (L) 1461
Power (PS) / rpm 110 / 4000
Torque (NM) / rpm 240 / 1850
Gears 6/M
Groud clearence 170
Length mm 4618
Width mm 1813
Height mm 1488
Wheel Base mm 2703
Claimed fuel efficiency kmpl 20.4
Tyre size 205/60 R16
Renault Fluence Competitors
Competition Specifications
Specifications
Renault
Fluence
Chevrolet
Cruze
Toyota
Altis
Variant Diesel E4 LTZ D4-DG
Fuel Diesel Diesel Diesel
Enine capacity 1.5 L 2.0 L 1.4 L
Power in PS 110 150 88.4
Torque in NM 240 327 205
Transmission 6/M 5/M 6/M
Fuel efficiency Average kmpl 20.4 17 14
Length  4618 4597 4540
Width 1813 1788 1760
Height 1488 1477 1480
Wheel base 2703 2685 2600
Ground clearence 168 165 175
Tyre size 205/60 R16 205/60 R16 195/65 R15
Safety features ABS,Dual airbags ABS,Dual airbags,Emergency exit systems ABS,Dual airbags
Upholstery Leather Monotone titanium jet black Leather
Conclusion

The new Fluence comes with a 2+2 years or 80000kms warranty which is impressive. Renault has also increased the number of dealerships in India and with new launches it is also working on improving the post sales experience thus increasing its foothold in the Indian market.

With the new changes and additions, the Fluence stands a better chance in competition. It is priced at Rs.13,98,362 for the Diesel E2 variant and Rs.15,49,205 for the Diesel E4 variant. (ESR Mumbai).

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