Renault Fluence Z E review (2012 onwards) MSN Cars UK

13 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Renault Fluence Z E review (2012 onwards) MSN Cars UK отключены
Electric Cars

Renault Fluence Z.E. (2012 onwards)

What: Fluence Z.E.

Where: Portugal

Date: October

Price: £22,850 (£17,850 £5,000 government electric grant)

Available: May-June (tbc)

Summary: The Nissan has put electric cars on the map in a big way — how the first effort from partner Renault fair by In more ways than the Fluence Z.E. is a car defined by its


There’s no getting from it — the Renault Z.E. is a funny looking Not funny looking in the way a Chrysler is funny looking, but rather in the of a subtle optical illusion: about it just isn’t right.

And there’s a reason for The regular Fluence is a Turkish-made saloon based on the Mégane we’re not much interested in compact saloons in the UK, so Renault has bothered trying to sell it to us.

now. The Fluence Z.E. getting is the Zero Emissions — which is to say it’s an car. In order to accommodate the required to drive the 95hp electric motor, Renault has forced to make it longer.

The resulting bulbous back end the Z.E. to retain some space — though not as as you might think, since a 280kg battery pack behind the rear seats and match the interior room of the car.


Add a smattering of blue details, and you’ve got a assault on the fledgling electric (EV) market. And it is potentially an with prices starting at £17,850 it’s some cheaper than the £25,990 Leaf (both with government EV grant).

The value is aggressive; even once you the cost of leasing the battery unlike Nissan, Renault include the power pack in the of the car — it remains a more solution.

But is more affordable the early adopters of the EV world want? Sure, we all love a but the Fluence is not only ordinary-verging-on-ugly on the it’s decidedly unexciting on the as well.

With the drama of the new for two of Renault’s other forthcoming efforts, the Twizy and the Zoe, and the taken care of by another, the Z.E. electric van, the Z.E. is apparently an electric car for the



Not that anything wrong with we just find ourselves exactly who is going to buy it. It does a slightly greater range the Leaf — 115 miles 109 miles — but as with all electric cars (sorry), it not take you as far as the relatives, let alone continents.

Obviously, that isn’t the But given the range-related limitations, you want to feel like piloting something a little bit The interior certainly isn’t to give you this impression, so about the driving experience?

is very much a.n.other car in terms of straight-line performance. pick-up is exceptionally good, the motor develops 166lb ft of instantaneously, and with basically a gear, acceleration is seamless.

off the radio and you’ll be treated by a electric whine, but refinement is impressive — and given no vibrating fossil burner the bonnet, it should be. Top speed is but it’s keenest up to around

Ride and handling


in an undemanding fashion on the dry, roads of Portugal, the Fluence is comfortable and competent, with a amount of lean through the and good bump absorption.

But it is a weird. Renault says to the suspension mean the Z.E. just like its more Fluence brethren, yet there is now weight up front (the motor being lighter the internal combustion equivalent) and 280kg battery pack at the

This sees its 1,605kg weight split 736kg and 869kg rear, and since the are positioned in an upright stack, the of the vehicle is considerably altered to the original. It feels far from from the driver’s seat.

harder and the steering weight artificially exacerbated as if compensating for the mass over the driven while the back end feels cumbersome. The car resolutely refuses to though, which is credit to the engineers. Or whoever sorted the control.


Step a Leaf, a Vauxhall Ampera or its the Chevrolet Volt, and you’ll know you’re in something — these electric go out of their way to ensconce you within a futuristic environment.

There are no graphical flow-charts or animated consumption diagrams — the screen reserved for the Carminat satellite navigation system. And this has special Z.E. ours was still displaying station locations for some

Plymouth Electric Cars


Keeping the car so ordinary no helps to keep the costs But again it’s clear the Fluence Z.E. isn’t out to early adopters in the way other EVs It has the look and feel of a boring car, so no surprise Renault is to sell 70% of them to fleets.

said that, it is a full Rear legroom isn’t but it offers marginally more than the four-seater Ampera/Volt making the accommodation back comfy enough for medium trips (which, let’s it, is all the Z.E. can offer anyway). about some of the plastics.

given just how much is occupied by the battery pack, included no pictures of the boot in the photography. This still 317 litres storage, however, so it’s smaller than the of the car would suggest it’s not

Economy and safety


The range is calculated using the principles as modern fuel — so you can expect reality to be variable in comparison to that figure. Electric cars are more susceptible to driving weather and environment, so the difference potentially be dramatic.

Given the European daily commute is that 60 miles, the Fluence could serve perfectly as a daily driver for many Driving it produces no emissions recharging it inevitably will), and on present electricity prices costs are much cheaper petrol.


Recharging the Fluence takes six to eight hours a home Wall-Box (£799 installation by UK partner, British or public charging point, or 10 to 12 using a suitably robust three-pin socket (requires a cable, priced at £414).

costs are said to be 20% less in a conventional car since there are moving parts, while the lease is between £69 and £120 a depending on the length of the term and the of miles you’re expecting to each year.

In terms of the car comes with electronic control and traction control both of which are handy for the electric motor’s instant — plus six standard

The MSN Cars verdict

The Fluence is, you sense, a car Renault is selling in the UK it can. Globally, EV network Better Place is committed to 100,000 of these cars the next five years so building a few for other markets ours isn’t going to Renault too much hassle.

You won’t actually be able to buy one until the middle of next however, by which point will already be selling the Z.E. van and the radical Twizy. In own individual ways, both a better case than the seems to.

The fourth and final in Renault’s initial EV attack is the Zoe set to arrive in October 2012. promises to be much more in with UK buying tastes and significantly alter the electric landscape. This is the Renault superstar we’re all waiting

But we shouldn’t dismiss the Fluence altogether. If nothing else it one of the most cost effective EV around at the moment — and for eco conscious buyers perhaps really is enough.

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