Such low noise levels mean that this is a very relaxing, low-fatigue car to drive on a long journey.
Comfort and Refinement
The Fluence’s cabin is roomy and quite well-appointed, with comfortable, well-shaped seats and an agreeable pastel décor. Refinement is excellent, cabin noise is very low, with virtually no sound from the electric motor and minimal wind noise. Being an electric car, engine noise is absent. When you press the throttle a very faint noise can be heard as the electric motor comes on, but it is distant and muted, like the slight whistle of a kettle coming to the boil in another room behind a closed door. The most obvious sound is from the swish of the tyres on the Tarmac.
Such low noise levels mean that this is a very relaxing, low-fatigue car to drive on a long journey. So it’s a pity that you can’t expect to do much more than 100 miles before you have to stop somewhere and plug in the car at a power point to recharge, which takes considerably longer than popping into a filling station.
Safety and Security
The Fluence has not been tested under Euro NCAP, but the Megane on which is it based is a five-star car. Standard safety equipment includes front, side and curtain airbags, Isofix child safety fixtures, anti-lock braking with electronic brakeforce distribution, and electronic stability with anti-skid regulation.
The Fluence comes equipped with a 4x15W radio CD player with Bluetooth & AUX connectivity, and sound quality is pretty fair. Other standard equipment includes dual zone climate control, Carminat TomTom Live satnav, split-fold rear seats, rear parking sensors and cruise control with a speed limiter function. The car comes with four years’ warranty cover including roadside breakdown assistance.
- Nissan Leaf
- Vauxhall Ampera
- Chevrolet Volt
- Mitsubishi i-Miev
What We Liked
- Reasonable price after eco grant
- How quiet it is
- Its roominess, practical space for a family
- Practical boot size
- Good all-round vision
- Easy and undemanding to drive
What We Disliked
- Pedestrians do not hear it coming
- The range limitation, maximum 115 miles between re-charges
- Less range if you use the performance liberally
- No towing ability
What We Would Like To See
- Some kind of warning sound to alert pedestrians in urban areas
- Longer range on a single charge
Electric cars have their drawbacks, range limitation being the main one. But if an electric car and the distance it can travel between recharges could fit in with your lifestyle, here is an EV worth considering. Renault’s battery rental scheme overcomes any concern about battery failure. The Fluence is roomy and civilised, pleasant to drive and blissfully quiet. But beware, the quoted range of around 115 miles on a single charge may prove optimistic if you have a heavy right foot.26 November 2012
Renault Fluence Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Renault Fluence Dynamique E.V.|
|Body Type||4-door Saloon|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||13.7 Seconds|
|Top Speed||84 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Euro NCAP Rating|
|Warranty||4 Years / 100,000|
|Price (when tested on the 26/11/12)||£23,395|