1 Nov 2010
The Renault Fluence, launched in November 2010, was a stylish and spacious replacement for the polarising Megane. Despite being well-specified and comfortable, with a good ride and handling balance, the Fluence struggled to trouble the stat sheet where it counted – sales.
Even though it was larger than its boxy predecessor, its 103kW produced only 5kW more than the superseded 2.0-litre Megane sedan, meaning performance was never anything more than leisurely. Renault claimed class-leading interior spaciousness and size, with an overall length of 4618mm and wheelbase of 2072mm, enabling it to comfortably carry five adultThe range kicked consisted of two models – the Dynamique and the Privelege. The Dynamique started at $22,990 for the six-speed manual with $2000 extra for the CVT automatic, while the CVT-only Privelege came in at $29,990. All three models managed a claimed 7.8l/100km fuel consumption.
Safety features in both model levels included large disc rotors front and rear, backed by ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist, electronic stability control with an understeer control feature, five inertia-reel lap-sash belts, pretensioners and load limiters, and six airbags.
Also standard were automatic headlights and wipers, cruise control with speed-limiter (CVT-equipped variants only), fog lights, dual-zone climate control, Renault’s unique smart key card, an engine stop/start button, four-speaker (plus two tweeters) sound system with a single CD/MP3 player, alloy wheels (6.5x16-inch on the base Dynamique model, shod with 205/60 R16 rubber), rake and lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat and a reach/rake steering wheel.
The flagship Privilege model added 17x7-inch alloys shod with 205/55 R 17 rubber, black leather trim, upgraded audio, rear parking sensors, integrated satellite navigation with multimedia connection box, an electric glass sunroof and the same level of seat adjustability for the front passenger. It also had class-leading elbow room (1480mm at the front, 1475mm at the rear) as well as lots of rear passenger legroom and knee room (238mm). The boot swallowed 530 litres of luggage.
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