Renault South Africa has added a competitively positioned, even more affordable new derivative to its Renault Fluence sedan range. The newcomer offers even greater value in the rapidly growing C-segment. The Fluence was launched in South Africa in March 2011, and has become an integral part of Renault’s local model portfolio. It fills an important niche as a smart, large-boot sedan, providing attractive levels of space, comfort and sophistication, linked to a compelling sense of value.
“Around the world, the C-segment sedan continues to gain market share as buyers demand greater practicality and overall value,” comments Xavier Gobille, managing director of Renault SA. “This trend is being mirrored locally as motorists make more informed, budget-conscious decisions. “As a versatile and practical sedan that suits their everyday needs, the Fluence is perfectly suited to the family motoring role. The Authentique model places even greater emphasis on value, which will not only benefit private buyers, but will also attract fleet customers,” Gobille adds.
The addition of the Fluence Authentique expands the range to four models (1.6 Authentique, 1.6 Expression, 1.6 Dynamique, and 2.0 Privilege), while retaining all of the stand-out features that have made this attractive sedan such a popular choice. Efficiency and the total cost of ownership are primary considerations for both fleet owners and private buyers. The Fluence features the latest engine technology for impressive performance matched to low consumption and emissions, while the industry-leading Renault Confiance after-sales programme guarantees ultimate peace of mind.
SOPHISTICATION AND SPACE
The Renault Fluence certainly sets a high standard for style and sophistication in the C-segment, offering a distinctive, fluid design that endows the sedan with an elegant, modern appearance. Its generous, class-leading dimensions – including an overall length of 4 620 mm and a 2 700 mm wheelbase – contribute to the impressive interior space and comfort of the welcoming cabin. The Fluence boasts best-in-class shoulder and elbow room all-round, along with outstanding leg and knee room at the rear. The back seat is also inclined at an angle of 27 degrees for added comfort.
Up front, the steering wheel can be adjusted for both rake and reach, while the driver’s seat can be individually tailored in terms of height and lumbar support. The cabin provides more than 23 litres of practical stowage space, complemented by a 530 litre luggage volume – one of the largest in its class. The folding rear bench seat is split 60/40 for added versatility.
The Fluence combines appreciable style with intuitive ergonomics. Quality materials add to the upmarket ambience, complemented by the adjustable air vents in the back – a unique feature in this segment.
HANDLING AND PERFORMANCE
As with the rest of the Fluence range, the Authentique offers a balanced combination of ride comfort and road holding. The independent MacPherson-type front struts are linked to rectangular lower arms and an anti-roll bar for accurate steering and handling precision. A programme-deflection flexible beam is used at the rear, all of which imparts the Fluence with impressive ride characteristics and low levels of noise and vibration. The variable electric power steering further enhances the driving experience, producing precise feedback and smooth control.
The Fluence Authentique features the same 1,6-litre engine used in the current Expression and Dynamique models. This refined and efficient 1.6 16v unit produces maximum power of 81 kW at 6 000 r/min along with 156 Nm of torque at 4 400 r/min. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, allowing for a 0-100 km/h sprint time of 11,7 sec and 185 km/h top speed. Fuel consumption is rated at 6,5 litres/100 km in the combined cycle, with a corresponding 159 g/km CO2 emissions rating. The top-line Fluence Privilege is powered by a 105 kW 2,0-litre 16-valve engine.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
Industry –leading safety is a key priority for Renault, and the Fluence has been rigorously engineered to ensure optimum levels of protection, reliability and durability. All models, including the Authentique, are equipped with ABS brakes with emergency brake assist (EBA) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Six airbags are standard across the board, comprising dual front, side and curtain units. ISOFIX child seat mounting points are also equipped to the outer rear seats. The Fluence Authentique boasts the Renault keycard system for easy access and start-up, bolstered by central locking, auto-locking on pull-off and a factory-fitted alarm and immobiliser system. A full-size spare wheel is provided for added peace of mind.
FEATURES AND VALUE
Despite its high-value orientation, the new Fluence Authentique has an impressive level of standard features. The main differentiating items between the Authentique and the more expensive 1.6 16v Expression are the deletion of the front fog lamps and Carminat TomTom navigation system, and the use of 15-inch steel wheels with full covers instead of 16-inch alloys.
The new entry-level model still boasts air-conditioning with passenger compartment filter, electric windows all round (including a one-touch function in front) and a 60 watt RadioSat Classic audio system which includes fingertip satellite controls located on the steering column, and a MP3-compatible CD player.
The Fluence range, including the newly added Authentique model, is sold with Renault’s unrivalled Confiance package of value-added after-sales services included in the purchase price. This comprises a reassuring five-year/150 000 km mechanical warranty, a cost-saving five-year/100 000 km service plan and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service intervals are every 15 000 km. Full around-the-clock roadside assistance is provided for five years/150 000 km, along with fixed-price servicing and guaranteed spare parts availability for ultimate peace of mind.