Feeling the in-Fluence of the sunlight
For some odd reason, when I first heard the word Fluence, I knew it had something to do with science. I was not the most attentive science student but some things stuck. Be proud, my teachers!
So I went and looked up the meaning of the word Fluence and apparently it is a measurement of energy over area. So when I spent some time with our long-term Renault Fluence, that definition was at the back of my mind.
I was trying to figure out why Renault named this car Fluence and whether it had anything to do with the scientific definition.
For some odd reason, when we think of energy, we think of it in high volumes. So I guess I was expecting that kind of energy from the Fluence. Well, I was disappointed.
I am not saying it is a bad car; just that it is an okay car. Maybe they called it Fluence because they wanted it to be an energy saver.
It is elegant and can I honestly picture my mother driving it. It competes with the likes of Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Corolla and the VW Jetta and, although it is good enough to be on this list, it lags behind.
The Cruze looks stunning, the Corolla is reliable and the Jetta has street cred.
The Fluence had to come in with something different that was going to make us take a second look and, just like most French cars, it does have a peculiar look.
But I am a patient lady and will give myself time to get to understand this sleek French car. The interior looks like the downgraded version of the Megane, but it is neat and well put together.
Renaults are always very tidy and the Fluence does not stray from that. It feels as if you are driving in a greenhouse because the Fluence designers have somehow managed to make sure maximum sunlight shines in. It comes in two versions, namely the Expression, which is priced at R199900, and the Dynamique at R224900.
The Dynamique comes with great features such as dual-zone air conditioning, speed-sensitive automatic windscreen wipers with rain sensor, leather seats and 17-inch alloy wheels, as opposed to the 16-inch alloys on the Expression.
It is okay on fuel as Renault claims a fuel consumption figure of 6.5l/100km and CO2 emissions are rated at 159g/km.
My 24-year-old brother looked at it and passed without flinching. He later took a closer look and just said that the car was just so bland and boring.
Sure, he is definitely not the target market, but you would think that, if Renault can make the Megane hatchback beautiful they would put more effort into the Fluence too.
It is very simplistic and the white pearlescent sheen gives it a little bit of edge.
I don't hate it - in fact quite the contrary, I do like the Fluence, but not for me; probably for my mother. If we were to measure the Fluence's energy over an area, I know it would not score very highly.