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electricdream 09-30-2014 07:02 AM

Happy Anniversary
Today is exactly 1 year since I put a £300 deposit down on my Fluence. All in all Fluence ownership has been a positive experience. No real issues with the car, only thing that really gave me grief was the argument (still ongoing) over the servicing package.

I have travelled over 13,000 miles in the car and I still find it a blissfully rewarding driving experience.

I have only ever looked under the bonnet once (which I feel guilty but very satisfied about). Really need to check those fluid levels!!

Here's to the next 13,000 miles of zero emissions. Think we may be in for a harsh winter though considering the fantastic summer we have had.

MichaelPowell 10-09-2014 04:18 AM

RE: Happy Anniversary
Well said, there will always be more complaints on a site like this than people standing up to praise. Let them build a car and see how well it behaves!!

We've managed 500 miles per month over our first six months. It's still great to drive the Fluence, and it's the car of first choice when we leave home. Everywhere we go seems to have a charge point in case we get caught short of a few miles, but we never have needed to charge away from home, ever.

Naturally we have checked we can do it, just as well because the plug on the granny-cable was very stiff and had to be lubricated with silicone spray. But once sorted, we were able to test out using a blue commando to 13a adapter using power points at our marina.

Slow charging it may be, but that's exactly what 99% of charge points in homes, offices, cafés and hotels offer. That's fine, you're never going to need more than an hour, and eight more miles. In fact, I always spend many hours at the marina, so the battery was full when I'd finished.

Otherwise it's a smooth, quiet and relaxing car to drive. It looks fabulous in its elongated form, and pristine white paint. The sat nav is better than most, and the controls are just right for a get-in-and-go car meant for in-county trips. It's difficult to fault. The interior is simple and nicely done, close to being elegant. It avoids much of the vulgar embellishment that seems to be in far eastern, and German cars these days.

My mother in law complained she might not be able to get her golf sticks plus cart with batteries in the boot, but we refused to allow her try such a bizarre idea. It managed easily her two huge suitcases when we collected her from the station. But it's not a car for going to France on holiday, so we wanted five seats more than a big boot, and that's why we chose Fluence over Zoe. Zoe was really good, but for us, Fluence is the better choice.

The ride is good enough, but not as supple and compliant as French cars should be. The noise levels are especially low, it's surprising how much noise a petrol engine, and especially, it's screaming manual gearbox can make. It's even quieter than a petrol automatic in fact. Compared to a 2litre petrol, it's noticeably quicker, even though the Fluence is not intended to be a racer.

We have bought winter tyres, but they have not yet been fitted. I expect the range to decline, but that shouldn't affect any of our normal drives, which are close to 40 miles all in. In any case we have already determined that driving a little slower to stretch the range is effective, and even more relaxing.

We start the day, every day bar none, fully charged. That gives 80 to 100 miles, far more than most petrol or diesel cars. Most of them seem to be running on empty, and when I see them at filling stations they put in £10 or £20 worth, barely enough for 100 miles in most cases. No wonder the petrol stations are so crowded, it's the car leasers buying piddling amounts of fuel daily instead of filling the tank weekly.

All that mayhem is avoided with our car.

All in all we are very please with our Fluence. We paid cash so we aren't concerned about leasing residuals, and the high costs of finance. It wasn't much cash, either since we traded in old two cars we didn't need. It was a great deal, old lamps for new. All our garage mechanics have been shown the car to ease their concerns. Our MoT station is looking forward to getting the car in next year, and they were entirely unfazed and knew exactly what bits they needed to look at, and which to ignore. Presumably it's the same charge for a shorter job, so why wouldn't they be happy?

We have agreed with our local garage, not a Renault franchise, a "village garage", a simple safety check routine at tyre swap tine twice a year, November and April. It may not have engine components to look at, but there are still brakes, steering and suspension items to wear out. I hope that people who never have their cars maintained from one year to the next don't end up not bothering at all, but fear they will. I suspect that some Fluences will not have been maintained at all in their first three years.

Sure, you can get away with it, but why? It's not surprising that some Renaults are sickly in later life, but it's always the car or the dealer who gets blamed and not the feckless early owners. Our Renault Vel Satis has just gone for its first major work, a cam belt and pulleys, and on schedule, after twelve years and 121,000 miles. Only the V6 engine has ever given us concern, and that was built in Japan by Isuzu. The rest of the fifty buttons on this Magnum Opus all work as intended.

Bravo, Renault, still the best car company in the world.

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