Renault Fluence ZE review Expert and user reviews carwow co uk

29 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Renault Fluence ZE review Expert and user reviews carwow co uk отключены
RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars

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Very clever tech on offer

Spacious cabin and boot

Looks like a normal car…

….albeit a rather bland one

Limited range

Long recharge time

It may look like a rather dull normal car, but don’t let first impressions deceive you! The Renault Fluence is, in fact, the world’s first electrically powered saloon, and one of the only electric cars on sale in the UK.

It does have its obvious limitations, especially regarding range, but the critics reckon it’s quite a good car, if one that is a bit tricky to recommend over its hybrid, diesel and petrol powered rivals.

Interior

Whereas the Nissan Leaf, a car that shares quite a few mechanical components with the Fluence, has a futuristic and distinctive dashboard design, the Renault’s cabin is more contemporary in comparison, with only a few badges on the dash hinting that it’s powered by electricity.

The Fluence shares its platform and interior with the Renault Megane, so it’s built to a high standard, because it’s a big saloon car, there’s lots of room in the front and rear. To compensate for the space consuming battery packs, Renault stretched the regular Fluence by 13 cm so you still get a decent sized boot.

Driving

The testers were generally quite satisfied with the Fluence on the road, though there was a mixed response regarding the ride quality – one thought it was too firm, whilst another reckoned there was too much body roll. In most cases, the ride suits most road conditions, and the light steering makes it easy to drive in town.

The regenerative braking system works extremely well, but some testers were quite startled that it’s automatically activated when you take your foot off the accelerator! Also, because there’s no intrusive engine noise, it’s an incredibly refined and relaxing car to drive. However, at higher speeds, the electric motor requires a lot of juice to run, so the range will shrink massively on motorway journeys.

Range is of course the big worry with electric vehicles. The official range is 115 miles, though Renault admit it could be as low as 50 miles with spirited driving.

Engine

There are normal engines available, but only outside of the UK, we’ll only be getting the electric version. However, the critics didn’t think that’s too much of a bad thing, as it’s more refined and, in some cases, notably faster than the petrol and diesel variants that you get on the continent.

Also, because all the torque arrives at virtually no revs, acceleration is brisk, though the power does start to wane noticeably at higher speeds. As a result, the top speed is limited to 84 mph.

RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars

Value for money

The Fluence is fairly cheap to buy, given that it does come with the latest electrical technology, as well as a decent serving of standard kit, such as cruise control and a TomTom satnav. The government rebate knocks £5,000 off the asking price don’t forget.

As it’s charged through the mains, it’s also incredibly cheap to “fill-up” – at off peak times, it can cost as little as £3 to fully charge the battery.

That being said, the charging process takes up to twelve hours, the claimed range of 115 miles does limit the Fluence’s use, and because it’s new technology, no one really knows how much it’ll be worth in the near future.

Worth noting

Unlike with the Nissan Leaf, you don’t buy the battery packs that come with the Fluence – instead, you lease them from Renault, at £81 a month, with a mileage allowance of 9,000 miles (the UK average per driver is 10,000). That price includes breakdown cover, which also covers you if the battery runs out!

Annoyingly there will only be 20 Renault dealers who can service the Fluence Z.E. so you may have to travel a long way to get it serviced.

For charging, there are 3 ways: Through a wall box that costs £799 and take 6-8 hours to charge, with a conventional plug which takes 10-12 hours, or from public charging points.

Conclusion


Though it does have its obvious merits, the compromises that come with it are too great at the moment for us to recommend the Renault over its more conventional rivals. In reality, until the infrastructure is sufficient enough, the Fluence is relegated to the role of the second car – unless you can fit your lifestyle around its limitations, or live close to charging points, a petrol or diesel car will be far more suitable in everyday circumstances.

RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars
RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars
RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars
RENAULT Fluence Electric Cars

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