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Old 24th May 2011, 10:02   #76
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

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Curious strategy indeed, Stratos. Excellent review & equally good pictures, rating 5 stars!

The Fluence – especially in diesel form – seems like a solid workhorse; however, it should have been priced as one too!! And man, the bare basic equipment level is a downer.

European manufacturers always find it a challenge to price their cars well in the cost-sensitive Indian market. The primary reason for the Logan’s initial failure was that it, as a workhorse, cost 1 lakh rupees more than the other workhorse (Tata Indigo) at the time of launch. I was hoping Renault would play it super-conservative and price the Fluence well. Unfortunately, they’ve missed the mark. I wouldn’t want to drive around in a 15 lakh rupee diesel car (on the road) that does NOT even have leather seats or a proper AUX / USB input for my iPod!! Plus, it’s only got a 1.5 liter engine. Then, there’s the fully loaded petrol which has a long list of kit. Unfortunately, with petrol at 68 bucks a liter, few will be interested in a petrol + CVT Automatic that really won’t be fuel efficient either. Look at where the Honda Civic sits with its petrol sales. Plus, the petrol Fluence is more expensive than the Civic AT and nearly on par with the Altis AT. The former, especially, gets better equipment and the T badge.

The Chevrolet Cruze was a case study in itself; GM knew it didn’t have the brand value to compete with segment-leader Toyota. Hence, it came to the battleground with a powerful engine, fully loaded equipment list and a marketing message that emphasized on power & performance. The Chevy Cruze took over the lead from the Altis in some months! I'm afraid Renault has not done its homework, nor has it positioned the Fluence properly.

Well said GTO. Completely agree with you on all points. I think Renault has not learned from the failure of the Logan and is commiting the same mistake with the Fluence.
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Old 24th May 2011, 10:07   #77
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

Very nice review! And great pictures.

It feels as though Renault engineers simply looked at vacant slots in the whole cabin to fit the various switchgear and functionality without caring about ergonomics
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Old 24th May 2011, 10:53   #78
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

God only knows who will buy this car in India after there initial failure. Its a overpriced product for sure. For diesel there are better options like Cruz, Laura. Even one can think of Linea, Vento top end diesel instead of going for Renault. In Petrol there are better options like Civic, Corolla with brand image & proven track record. I dont think that Renault has any brand image at least in India & nothing great all over globe.

Instead of Top to bottom approach, they should have taken bottom to top approach IMO. Means launching low end car first around 3-4 lacs, generate some volume, build some brand image, develop network, trust & then start with some bigger cars. What say guys?
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Old 24th May 2011, 10:53   #79
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

The problem with French automakers is that they actually believe they are doing Indians a favor by launching their products here. It was the case with the 309 Peugeot too. I had a conversation with a French engineer in 2008 at a bar in Bombay - he was working for Renault and he genuinely spoke as if the French firm was doing a favor to Indians by launching the Logan! It was not racism at all - it came naturally to him and was more prejudice. Compare this outlook to the Americans and the Japanese/Koreans who have tried to understand the Indian market.
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Old 24th May 2011, 10:56   #80
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

Its a pity that they killed such a good car with the wrong pricing. I actually like the looks of the car. It looks so different from anything else on our roads. RIP Fluence.
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:10   #81
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

Excellent review Stratos, rated it 5 stars!

I must say I'm really disappointed by the pricing as well as the complete lack of equipment on the Diesel. What are they thinking in this day & age? The Cruze has just re-established itself as the better option, apart from the cabin space! Siggghhhh.....just when I thought that my woes had ended. Its a pity 'cos it looks good.

Last edited by suman : 24th May 2011 at 11:11.
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:14   #82
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
The Renault Fluence has been launched in India at a price of 12.99 - 14.40 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you’ll like:

• Solid build quality. Feels sturdy enough to withstand abuse
• Very spacious interiors. Easily the roomiest from this segment
• Balanced ride & handling package
• Well-equipped petrol variant (including 4 airbags, ESP, dual zone climate control, digital speedo etc.)
• Choice of smooth & revv-happy petrol, or economical diesel
Nice review.

Was looking forward to a few more words on how this car handles. [Ford owner you see ]

Also probably was looking for these points in your future reviews:
How you got this car.....Where all were you able to test this. Other experiences that you had in this car. How does the petrol sound? How good is the ICE? etc etc
We all like stories don't we?
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:25   #83
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

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Nice review.

Was looking forward to a few more words on how this car handles. [Ford owner you see
The Fluence has balanced mannerisms in-terms of handling but its definitely not a car for the driving enthusiasts.

Quote:
How you got this car.....Where all were you able to test this. Other experiences that you had in this car. How does the petrol sound? How good is the ICE? etc etc
I drove the petrol from Chennai to Pondicherry and diesel on the way back to Chennai. Most of your remaining doubts have already been answered in the review, please refer to it.
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:27   #84
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

6 pages into the thread and the Team BHPians are unanimous about 2 things:

1. Excellent review

2. No one will buy this car

If I had 14+ lakhs to spend on a car, it would definitely not be Fluence Diesel. The new Verna and Fiesta have engines comparable or better than Fluence, equipment list is way ahead and they are priced well below. Only one choice - Definitely not Renault Fluence.
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:31   #85
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

I think its a marketing research disaster for Renault... well said GTO
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:54   #86
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

Am I the only one who likes the black interiors of the diesel? The creamy dull beige colours on the petrol variant looks quite odd.

When a car is fully imported, then it attracts 110% import duty. What about Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits like the Fluence? When they start sourcing components from Indian auto ancillary companies, how much fall in prices can one expect?
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Old 24th May 2011, 11:58   #87
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

Very presumptious advertising campaign.

Various pictures of concept cars and a statement asking you to book a Fluence.

No pic of the car, no details of where one can go to test the car, view it. How does a layman even know what the car looks like?

People never buy a house like this, i doubt they'll do this for the second largest purchase that they make
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Old 24th May 2011, 12:05   #88
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

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No pic of the car, no details of where one can go to test the car, view it. How does a layman even know what the car looks like?
Exactly what I thought while reading today's Times of India. Almost every page has a Renault concept car picture ad at the bottom. I expected the last page to have, if not a huge, atleast a small picture of the Fluence, but that was not the case. I really do not understand this strategy.
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Old 24th May 2011, 12:05   #89
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

I think pretty much most of us are unanimous on the view that Renault was flawed in its strategy behind launching this car as there next platform to establish as a serious contender in the Indian market. there are more cons than pros for this car.

However few things that I liked about this car
  • Design is definitely fresh and modern. Rear is the best part in my opinion as well has the side profile. Front seems little disconnected in the grill treatment
  • Interior space from the pictures definitely seems to be better than the competition or likes of altis, civic and cruze
  • Center console on the high end petrol has a simplistic look which is good in a way and not over complicated with too many buttons
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Old 24th May 2011, 12:17   #90
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Default Re: Renault Fluence : Test Drive & Review

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Originally Posted by Stratos View Post
Exactly what I thought while reading today's Times of India. Almost every page has a Renault concept car picture ad at the bottom. I expected the last page to have, if not a huge, atleast a small picture of the Fluence, but that was not the case. I really do not understand this strategy.
They don't have a strategy in first place and thats why we can't understand. As GTO has rightly said, a marketing research disaster! Interiors are also a big let down even if we don't consider the competition, they just lack common sense. They repeated the same mistakes as they did in Logan conversion
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