You read it first on MotorBeam. Renault will launch the facelifted Fluence in India in the last week of September. The French automaker gave the Fluence a facelift last year but the company didn’t rush the India launch as it was busy counting the cash registers which the Duster set ringing. Now with the Ford EcoSport’s arrival, the Renault Duster is seeing a decrease in sales, which will further go down once Nissan launches the Terrano as it is sure to cannibalise the French SUV. Thus to keep the momentum going, Renault will launch the facelifted Fluence which will continue to be assembled via the CKD route.
Renault sold just 10 units of the Fluence last month, which is largely not due to decrease in demand but also due to supply constraints. The Renault Fluence is currently imported from the company’s plant in Bursa, Turkey. Renault India has exhausted all the CKD kits, leaving them no option but to upgrade to the latest model. If the automaker is serious about sales in the D-segment, they should start increasing local content on the Fluence. The current model has very little localisation, resulting in the high price. Renault launched the Fluence to do brand building but now it needs to start selling the car too.
The Renault Fluence is a fantastic vehicle, offering terrific dynamics but hasn’t caught up in India as many didn’t like the styling. The facelifted model looks way better than its predecessor and the company has also boosted equipment levels. Another issue with the Fluence is the engine. While it has sufficient pep, many don’t even consider the vehicle as it uses a 1.5-litre diesel engine (110 PS and 240 Nm) while competitors are using bigger 2.0-litre motors with much higher outputs (140 BHP and more).
Hopefully Renault offers the 1.5-litre k9k diesel engine in 130 BHP set of tune. The said motor returns a claimed mileage of 17.86 km/l. A 2.0-litre petrol engine will also be offered, which will be carried over from the pre-facelift model. The petrol Fluence produces 137 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque, coupled to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The exteriors of the facelifted Renault Fluence get an updated front-end (with daytime running lights), new alloy wheels and new tail lights. On the inside Renault has updated the upholstery, instrument cluster and multimedia system (now gets a touchscreen and can be operated by voice commands). The vehicle also gets automatic parking brake which might not make its way to India. Do you think the facelifted Renault Fluence can compete with the likes of the Skoda Octavia, Hyundai Elantra and Chevrolet Cruze?