Renault Fluence 1.6 Review: Gallic In(Fluence)

Renault Fluence 1.6 Review: Gallic In(Fluence)

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
28 Nov 2010
What we like:
pros
Styled differently from hatch
pros
smooth transmission
pros
generously proportioned inside and out
pros
well equipped and priced
What we dislike:
cons
A bit slow off the line
cons
looks a bit dated from the front

Inside, the Fluence shares its dashboard architecture with the Megane III models. The flowing design looks attractive enough but the ergonomics aren't exactly perfect - some of the switches are either set too low on the dash or just illogically placed. The driving position is spot on though - there's no offset foot pedals layout like Renaults of yore and the driver's seat plush and comfortable.

Rear passengers will have hardly anything to complain about. The Fluence's extended wheelbase liberates noticeably more legroom over the Megane III hatchback and headroom is not a problem even for the average tall Singaporean. The boot is significantly more voluminous than the hatch and offers a well-shaped loading area with minimal wheel arch intrusions as well as a low loading sill for easier, bumper level loading and unloading. The rear seats also split/fold to provide an even larger, almost flat boot floor.

Overall build quality is above average for a Renault - its alliance with Nissan has obviously helped to improve the quality of Renault models inside and out, which was a major cause for concern when buying a Renault in the past.

The Fluence's generous standard equipment list includes ESP, cruise control, six airbags, keyless operation, factory stereo with external MP3 player connectivity, trip computer, two-zone electronic climate control, electrically foldable wing mirrors, rain and light sensors, a TomTom navigation system, leather upholstery and so on.

At just a couple of grand more than a popular Cat A model like the Toyota Corolla Altis, the Fluence represents good value for money, considering that it is more generously proportioned and is better equipped than Singapore's perennial favourite saloon car. In addition, the Fluence has that certain Gallic charm and character about it that its Korean and Japanese rivals will never possess.

Credits: Story by Raymond Lai Photos by Jarvis Mun

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