The Renault Fluence has been seen quite often near its factory in Chennai and is likely to be launched in April 2011. The first thing that strikes you about the Fluence is its design. It’s quite curvaceous and stands out among its peers.
The Fluence in India may come with a 1.6 litre petrol or 2 litre petrol engine, beside a 1.5 litre diesel engine (the same engine that powers the Nissan Micra and the Mahindra Logan). We expect Renault to price the Fluence in the Rs. 12 lakh to Rs. 14 lakh range.
The Renault Fluence has a very curvaceous design, with smooth flowing lines. The swept back headlamp and the extended bonnet make it look very aerodynamic. It has a rather small front grille, with a large air dam under it.
In profile the Fluence’s flared wheel arches and high belt line are easily noticeable. The tail-lamps wrap around from the rear fender and are high set. The car’s C pillar swoops down into the boot, adding to the aerodynamic look.
Viewed from the front the Fluence’ muscular fenders can be seen with the bonnet getting lower in the centre and rising towards the sides. The twin projector headlamps though, do not look very aggressive. The bumper has round fog lamps integrated in it, which breaks the general design theme.
Viewed from the rear, the Fluence has a design theme that could be mistaken for a Honda or a Toyota. The large tail lamp wrap around from the rear fenders and are split with the boot. The number plate is integrated in the boot lid and there’s a subtle crease at the top of the lid that looks like a mini spoiler. The bumper gets inset reflectors.
The Fluence has a high waist line and short glass area, giving it a sporty stance. Externally, it looks like a car that may have limited headroom, but that’s not the case, as the seats are deep set. The car also has other subtle touches to aid in aerodynamics. The wipers, for instance, are parked below the bonnet line to not only improve visibility, but prevent drag as well.
The dashboard of the Fluence is very contemporary, yet simple. Renault has used a dual-tone design for the dashboard, with a faux wood band running across the middle. The car features climate control and an integrated stereo, but audio controls on the steering wheel appear to be missing. It may offer a navigation, multimedia system as an option on high-end models.
The instrumentation on the Fluence is quite simple, with the panel housing a large speedometer flanked by a tachometer and a multi-information display on either side. The multi-information display is also the fuel gauge, besides also being an odometer and trip meter. The various warning lamps are housed within the speedometer and the tachometer dials.
Renault has tried to make maximum use of cabin space with the Fluence. By setting the seat lower, it has maximized headroom for rear seat passengers, despite the sloping roofline. It has ample elbow room as well (Front: 1,480mm, Rear: 1,475mm).
The seven-spoke alloy wheels will probably be offered as an option on the higher end variants. The alloys give the Fluence an air of sophistication. The indented crease in the doors gives the car some added muscle.