For every successful roll of the motoring dice there are umpteen abysmal failures.
But when Renault released what they believed to be an ideal car for the Irish driver, they got the snake eyes they were looking for as soon as they brought the Fluence to the table.
This is a car that takes real-world driving and gives it the five-star treatment.
There is a particular route that I drive to get a feel for a car – and it’s not without its challenges; think poor road surface, badly-sequenced traffic lights, blind corners, hairpin bends, steep hillstarts and you’ll get the idea.
I often find it incredible at how some very finely-tuned motors, geared for performance and ‘real’ driving, completely come apart at the seams on this route.
Take them on the motorway to Cork and you can find something special, but drive them to work and you’ll be shaken within an inch of your sanity.
Not so with the all-new Fluence.
Renault are on the money with this car, and what I consider the most successful aspect of it is its suspension.
Purists might call it soft or spongy, personally I found it like driving on a cloud – nothing short of perfection for Irish roads, and that’s what 99% of people want.
Believe me, I’ll chomp at the bit for something low, balanced, tuned to perfection and positively bulging with excessive horsepower, but in the morning, I just want a comfortable car to drive.
And that’s what the Fluence offers.
The quality doesn’t stop there. The interior has enough style and build quality to satisfy the most discerning eye, with points of contact including the steering wheel and gearshift really adding to a sense of reassurance.
The leather seats in the model I test drove would give their GT-spec cousins a real run for their money, pure comfort, and very easy on the eye.
The cockpit has been given a modern makeover, without being too fussy, and the driver is treated to digital instrumentation.
The boot is still one of the biggest in its class easily fitting two sets of golf clubs.
New look Fluence features Renault’s new styling identity. Its front end has the vertically-set logo at the centre of a broad black strip picked out by chrome beading which provides the car with a dynamic stance. The LED daytime running lights and chrome/gloss black inserts also contribute to the newcomer’s modern appeal.
A choice of petrol or diesel engines, with automatic transmission, are available. All diesel engines, either manual or automatic have CO2 emissions below 120g, so belong to the lowest tax band as per today.
The Fluence has a raft of on-board, connected technologies and innovations including numerous driver-aid technologies – Bluetooth compatible radio, six airbags and hands-free card with remote central locking standard all across the range, LED lights, rear parking sensors, cruise control, dual zone climate control and a brand new multimedia system available depending on trim level.
The new Fluence is priced from €19,690 and comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty and Renault Finance will offer finance packages from €199 per month with Renault ReFlex, a personal contract plan which provides Irish consumers with reassurance and flexibility when financing a new Renault.