Monday, March 18, 2013

Renault Fluence E4 diesel-on road price, test drive notes

A colleague took a quick test drive of Renault fluence and I accompanied him. Drove the car for a km or two and below are some quick notes from our relatively brief test drive experience.
When Renault had originally launched Fluence in India, the diesel version was a stripped down variant with most of the features missing. Soon Renault made the corrections and introduced more features in Fluence diesel. However, salesman insisted that there was no such thing.
Salesman also couldn’t tell the difference between SRS airbags and SRP airbags. (Even I didn’t know till I googled it later). He said SRP is just another manufacturer or airbags. I read later that SRP is slightly better technology in airbags.
Reportedly a fluence facelift is expected in June. As expected, sales man didn’t talk about it, as his objective is to sell a car NOW.
Renault Fluence onroad Prices in Chennai: (Ex-showroom+insurance+tax=Onroad price)
E2 Diesel: Rs 1386300+49789+220945=Rs 1657034
E4 Diesel: Rs 1549100+55494+245365=Rs 1849959
E4 Petrol: Rs 1556200+60517+246430=Rs 1863147
Good things:
  • Sleek look, nice speedo console
  • SRP airbags, which are believed to be a bit better than SRS airbags
  • Lots of boot space 
  • Lots of features, including tilt and telescopic steering, cruise control, smart card access and so on.
  • Smart card access is fairly impressive
Bad things:
  • No touchscreen entertainment system or reverse camera (even under 10 lakh tata Manza has got them) Note: the next refresh of Fluence is likely to get this.
  • Only 4 people can sit conveniently. For the 5th person, sitting in the middle of second row, seating position is likely to be very inconvenient.
  • As Fluence comes via CKD route, a big chunk of your money goes towards tax. If it was locally manufactured, Fluence would have been priced at par with Hyundai Verna or Toyota Corolla probably
  • Fluence is very soft and smooth, which is great for European roads, but may not survive well on Indian roads.
  • No sunroof
The 110 PS power comes from same 1.5 litre engine, which is housed in 3 times cheaper Pulse. The engine is also doing duty on Duster. Even fluedic verna 1.6 is more powerful and is lot cheaper.

Fluence didn't impress me overall. Fluence is NOT worth the 18 lakh plus price tag it carries for top end variant. With that kind of money, one can get a nice SUV like XUV500 or Tata Aria. Or buying a used C-Class at 20 lakhs will be a much better option than buying fluence. If you'r particular about D segment sedans, Cruze is a great choice if you enjoy driving. If it is the backseat where you'd sit most of the time, Jetta can be considered, or wait for the new Octavia


fundoos said...

I think is a the price tag of fluence big drawback for this elegant car.

Vishal Rathod said...

Nice review , bad things are more than good ones

Travel India

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Vishal

Fundoos: yes