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Driven May 2011
If you came expecting any French eccentricities, go away, because the Fluence is a straight assault on the segment-leading Toyota Corolla Altis. Well, that doesn’t say much but works as a good start for Renault.
Based on the more charming Megane hatchback, the Fluence sees a seamless addition of a big boot. Designwise, there’s more to like about the car than hate it. It’s got a more feline and curvaceous design compared to its typical German counterparts. Actually, as novelty value, that works well.
But what you should be more pleased about is that it feels as tough as them. Interiors are pleasing to the eyes but have a hint of retro at places – like the centre console – which we are not too sure of. Equipment levels are decent though not the best in class.
This is a comfortable place to be in, handling isn’t bad for a car this size but ride is exemplary – especially high speed. You can choose between a 1.5 diesel/6-speed manual transmission combo or a 2.0-litre petrol/automatic. We recommend the previous one despite the fact that it lacks a bit of the feel-good goodies.
The Fluence isn’t the kind of car that you want to have a fling with. It’s more the type you marry and take home. Now, which one interests you more?