The Fluence was French car maker Renault’s best offering in the Indian car market and it certainly played the part very well. The sedan was a great combination of typically French style, robust build quality and good features. The older Fluence, despite being a very good car, never really caught on in India primarily because Renault was new to the country and did not have strong brand awareness and secondly due to the fact that the diesel version of the car was nowhere as well equipped as the petrol version. But after the resounding success of the Duster which catapulted Renault into the limelight in the Indian automotive scene, the company has launched an updated, face lifted version of the Fluence and we must say, it’s even better now.
The looks of this car may be different from those of its predecessor but, under the bonnet, it’s the same 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder diesel power plant. The engine is also equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger which boosts the power output to 108.5 bhp. It also generates a torque output value of 240 Nm @ 1,850 RPM. The engine is reasonably smooth for a diesel and the power delivery has improved by leaps and bounds when juxtaposed with its forerunner. The power is channelled to the front wheels via a 6 speed manual transmission. The drivetrain is so well developed that the Fluence returns an excellent fuel economy figure of 20.4 kpl. The Fluence has McPherson struts with coil springs, stabiliser bar and double acting shock absorbers at the front and trailing arms with coil springs and double acting shock absorbers at the rear. The technical jargon might be quite heavy but all you need to know is that, as is the hallmark of any French car worth its salt, all that engineering makes for a wonderfully comfortable ride quality.
When it comes to safety, Renault has not skimped and therefore, the Fluence comes loaded with disc brakes on all wheels, ABS with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and brake assist, anti slip regulation (ASR), dual front airbags and an engine and transmission guard. In addition to all this, the top end variant also receives electronic stability programme (ESP) and side chest level airbags at the front.