Nip/Tuck for Renault Fluence

The Renault Fluence was first launched here back in 2010.

The Renault Fluence was first launched here back in 2010.

It sits above the Megane in the Renault line-up and since its launch it has proven to be a hit for Renault

both here and abroad. Fundamentally the Fluence is all about great packaging with excellent value.

With competitive pricing, a four door saloon shape (which is more popular in Ireland than hatchbacks), great finance packages, and a 5 year unlimited warranty it has a lot going for it.

For 2014 the Fluence has been re-styled and upgraded with better specifications and so this week I am road testing the 1.5 dci Fluence.

There are three engine options, two diesels and one petrol, a 1.5 dci 90 bhp, a 1.5 dci 110 bhp and a 1.6 petrol.

The revised style still manages to look fresh and contemporary. The major changes are to the front with a new grille, new bonnet leading edge and a new headlight assembly. It is distinctive and manages to look very elegant particularly in some of the attractive new metallic colours of which there are now nine to choose from.

The cabin is very good. The new dashboard and steering wheel look great. The layout is clean and concise, while the materials used feel top class. The fit and finish of everything is beyond reproach and the ergonomics of the design means everything is perfectly placed for ease of use.

The driving position is very good with height adjustment for both the seats and steering wheel allowing one to get the best seating position possible.

Standard equipment really is comprehensive on the Fluence with multiple airbags, ISOFIX, ABS, ESP, EBD, power windows remote key card entry with push-button start, climate control, cruise control, multi-function steering wheel, an up graded audio system which is MP3 compatible and has USB and AUX ports, auto wipers, auto lights, Bluetooth, remote audio controls, LED day running lights, and alloy wheels.

The cabin is very roomy seating four big adults in great comfort, additionally the boot is huge, though I note there is no spare wheel, not even a spacesaver. The compressor and tyre sealant provided is useless for anything other than a small puncture, I know from experience. So Renault please give us a spare wheel for the Irish market!

The 1.5 dci diesel powering my test car produces some 90 bhp (a more powerful110bhp version is also available). I found it to be a pretty good performer. It is mated to a slick 5-speed gearbox which is light and easy to use with well chosen gear ratios.

Over my 500km or so it burned just 6.1 litres per 100km of diesel which is very good.

In less mixed conditions you will achieve below 6 litres per 100km which is excellent.

The car feels nimble and agile through corners. In fact it is actually good fun to drive with surefooted handling, high levels of refinement and great comfort.

This Fluence is one of the quietest cars in it’s class making it a very refined motorway cruiser.

The revised Renault Fluence is an excellent all round package. It looks good, it is very economical, has a comprehensive warranty and comes very well kitted out. With prices starting at €19,960 it is well priced too. The 1.5 dci tested costs €21,090. I think the Fluence will continue to be a hit for Renault, and it deserves to be!