Renault Fluence Road Test (2012)

Renault Fluence (Interior View) (2012)
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Renault Fluence Review

Renault Fluence ReviewRenault Fluence Review  | Part Two

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.

Infotainment

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.

Rivals
  • 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
Conclusion

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 Sue Baker
Renault Fluence ReviewRenault Fluence Review  | Part Two
Renault Fluence Road Test Data
Model ReviewedRenault Fluence Dynamique E.V.
  
Body Type4-door Saloon
ColourEnergy Blue
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph13.7 Seconds
Top Speed 84 mph
  
Transmission1-Speed Auto
  
Fuel TypeElectric
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urbann/a
Extra Urbann/a
Combinedn/a
  
Insurance Group19
Euro NCAP Rating
Warranty4 Years / 100,000
Price (when tested on the 26/11/12)£23,395

The information contained within this Renault Fluence review may have changed since publication on the 26 November 2012. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Renault dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2017