Carving a unique niche in the ever and quite fast evolving auto industry in India is becoming more difficult. Under-four meter segment is witnessing a gamut of new launches every now and then and is creating challenge for luxury sedans and SUVs alike. But there are many people who love everything from power to performance and rich features which can be found in mid-range luxury sedans. In addition to this, they come with awesome pricing to suite the professional class. Renault Fluence and Skoda Octavia, two top D segment luxury cars, are among such cars having a large fan club in the Indian market. Here's a comparison.
Also check:Compare Renault Fluence and Skoda Octavia
Renault Fluence was launched in May 2011 and was the first product from the company after parting ways from Mahindra & Mahindra. Renault Fluence got a couple of updates during its Indian tenure and last month it got its second major update. This new facelift was showcased to the world two years back in late 2012 at Istanbul Auto Show. And this time Renault seems to be banking high on Fluence with extra touching to the exteriors and interiors to show the powerful brand identity. Starting with the exteriors, the front profile of the sedan is smiling and has now newly designed grille, headlamp cluster, LED daytime running lights on the front bumpers and more noticeable companys logo. Rear profile remains the same as of previous one.
On the other hand, Skoda Octavia was launched in the Indian market in October last year and superseded the second-generation nameplate Laura. Octavia is a renowned nameplate in the overseas market participating in motorsports as well. The all new Skoda Octavia received a lot of changes on the exterior front and is more refined this time around. It now boasts of new badge of the company that will be placed on all future models. New Skoda now sports LED daytime running lights, the first car from the company to have this feature. The rendered grille section is accompanied by the radiant headlights boasting of style statement. The side profile is enhanced with pair of 5-spoke glittering alloy wheels claiming authority on roads. The rear profile is equally fabulous that contains Lauras tail lamp cluster and twin exhaust outlet.
The new Renault Fluence has alluring interiors where cabin is dressed in black and beige color scheme packed with quality fabrics. There is new infotainment system with navigation functionality and R-Link multimedia system with Arkamys 3d surround system enhanced by eight speakers. The car has AC with Auto Bi-Zone climate control and the rear AC vents give that added comfort to the rear passengers. The all new Fluence is loaded with several advance features like automatic headlamps, follow me headlamps, rain sensing wipers, push start/stop button, illuminated glove box, electrically adjustable ORVM, etc. Standard safety features offered are 4 airbags (2 front and 2 rear), ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, ESP and also anti-rust warranty of 5years or 100000km whichever is earlier. Security is further enhanced with disc brakes, seat belts and head restraints and central locking system.
Skoda Octavia is also head to head with Renault Fluence when it comes to defining the richness inside. The new Octavia is well polished than the previous one with cabin outfitted with combination of premium fabric and plastic. There are plenty of comfort features in the third generation Octavia like electrically adjustable drivers seat in 12 different ways along with three programmable memory functions, air conditioner with dual zone climatronic and AC vents for rear passengers. A rich 6-inch touch screen infotainment system provides updates about the journey while the advance stereo system with USB, AUX-In ports takes care of entertainment aspects. The car comes with panoramic sunroof and bi-xenon headlights as well. Time and again Skoda vehicles have been proved superior in terms of safety. The unique safety features include nine-airbags, ABS with EBD, Lane Assistance, intelligent light assistance, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, etc.
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Renault Fluence is now only available in sole diesel engine option. Previously, it came with an automatic petrol variant. The diesel powered Fluence sports 1.5L K9K diesel turbo engine that produces 108bhp and 240Nm of max torque paired to a six-speed manual transmission system. The new Fluence delivers ARAI certified mileage of 20.4kmpl.
The new Skoda Octavia, on the other hand is offered in three different engine options which consist of two petrol and one diesel powertrain. The range starts with 1.4L TSI petrol engine generating 138bhp and 250Nm of torque while the more better 1.8L TSI mill seen in Laura and Superb, returns 178bhp. The diesel powered Skoda is loaded with 2.0L CR engine that belts out 141bhp and 320Nm of torque. All the trim lines come in choices of 6-speed manual and automatic transmission gearbox. The diesel variant of Skoda Octavia gives ARAI certified mileage of 20.6kmpl which is neck to neck with Renault Fluence.
In terms of pricing both the vehicles are competitively priced in the market. Renault Fluence comes at a starting price of INR 13.99 lakhs while the Skoda Octavia comes with a starting price tag of INR 13.95 lakhs and the top-end model costs INR 19.45 lakhs, (all priced ex-showroom, New Delhi). Skoda Octavia is a new nameplate with bunch of exciting features and several variants in the line-up while new Renault Fluence is also a capable car with lot of strong points and poises itself as a worthy alternative up against the Octavia.