The stylish Renault will be taking on the big guns in the fiercely competitive compact SUV market and doing so with confidence. It looks great, is feature-rich, economical to run and drives well too.
The goodEconomical, stylish and lots of personalisation options
The badCompeting against strong opposition
Renault Captur (2017) – first drive
Renault’s baby SUV – the Captur – has been given an impressive makeover and now boasts a more assertive appearance which brings it closer in style to its crossover siblings, the Kadjar and Koleos.
New techno treats include front and side parking sensors, blind spot warning, hands-free parking and the option of a fixed glass panoramic sunroof. On the design front, the car has lots of new styling including a fresh-looking bumper, new fog lights, running lights, headlamps, tail lights and wheels.
Customers can choose from five generously-equipped trim levels, including a new range-topper called Signature S Nav and there are four powertrains to select from. The petrol versions are TCe 90 and TCe 120 while drivers who prefer diesel-powered cars can choose between the dCi 90 and dCi 110 options.
And with carbon emissions as low as 95g/km and fuel economy up to 78.5mpg, the Captur is sure to gain attention for anyone looking for a versatile car that won’t break the bank. Prices start from £15,615 and rise to £23,405. Prices have increased between £700 and £1,300 since the Captur was first launched back in 2013, but the car now boasts far more kit.
The Renault Captur was Europe’s best-selling B-SUV in 2016 with 215,679 cars sold and after a quick look round the vehicle it’s easy to see why. Renault does the simple things very well. For example, the boot has a dual-height floor with reversible section – that means when you are carrying muddy boots you can use the wipe-clean surface and when more delicate items are being transported the standard carpet surface is more appropriate. The boot capacity is a fairly generous 455 litres which is perfect for carrying the weekly shopping. This limit is easily increased to 1,235 litres with the 60:40 split folding rear seats dropped flat.
Another clever feature is the seat covers, which can be unzipped and washed to keep a fresh feel to the car. I actually tested this out on a Captur once to see if the whole operation was as simple as the manual claimed – it was. The front seat covers were removed in a couple of minutes and took only took a fraction longer to re-attach and the back seats were equally easy to detach and re-fit.
Then there is the coloured band in the instrument panel that glows from green to amber to red depending on how hard the car is being driven. Staying in the green will assist fuel-efficient driving.
I tested out the Dynamique S Nav model which carries a £21,075 price-tag. This particular model is driven by the 1.5-litre dCi 110bhp diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It is the most powerful diesel engine available delivering 260Nm of torque which helps the Captur sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 11.0 seconds and onto a maximum speed of 109mph. On the economy front, it can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 76.4mpg with carbon emissions of 98g/km.
Despite its impressive running costs, the Captur had plenty of gusto as it zipped along the country lanes with ample power on tap to overtake slower moving traffic. The acceleration was smooth and responsive through the six speeds and the road-holding was nicely assured.
There is a slight amount of body roll if driven hard into tighter bends and the noise levels within the cabin also increase at high-end speeds, but generally the Captur is nicely refined and the effective suspension set-up helps to iron out the bumps and dips along the way.
The cabin is bright and spacious with ample leg, head and shoulder room for back seat passengers. One gripe that I carry forward from the earlier models is the unpractical cup holders. They are too shallow and small and it would take a very brave person to carry a hot drink with an ounce of confidence. But elsewhere, the storage options throughout the car are generally good with deep door pockets and a large lidded tray on top of the dashboard.
The latest Captur also features new upholstery and the general build quality within the car feels more upmarket with improved infotainment options too.
One feature customers look for in a compact SUV is the option to personalise and the Captur doesn’t disappoint. There are three new colours to choose from, along with extra two-tone options and seven interior packs. In total, there are 30 possible colour combinations to select from.
All in all, the latest Captur has been given quite a make-over and the additional technology and bolder design will help keep its popularity rantings high amongst potential buyers.
Renault Captur Dynamique MediaNav dCi 90
Renault has very high hopes for its latest sharply-styled, feature-rich compact crossover, the Captur, and it’s a confidence that is well deserved.
For the Captur is a striking looking car with bundles of all-round appeal. But its trump car is the personalisation opportunities which means owners can mix and match from three themes – Arizona, Manhattan and Miami – to create specific upholstery, trim details, wheels, external styling features, bodywork decals and paint colours. And for extra added impact, two-tone paint finishes can be specified with contrasting colours for the roof and body.
And if you become tired with the upholstery it can be zipped out and machine washed or replaced with a fresh new design.
The Captur looks great from any angle and the test car featured a Tahoe Blue body with Ivory roof, 17-inch alloys, body-coloured bumpers, body-coloured door mirrors and handles, black side protectors, chrome headlight surrounds, front fog lights, plus plenty more besides.
The interior is richly equipped and boasts a hands-free keycard with push-button start, electric front windows, an impressive infotainment system with TomTom sat nav, a 7-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity and those fabulous washable seat covers.
The Captur really offers an ideal all-round package because it has the high-seated driving position of an SUV, the space, flexibility and practicality of an MPV and the driving dynamics of a hatchback – quite an achievement.
There is ample room for back seat passengers inside the four-door Captur and the generously-sized boot can swallow up 377 litres of luggage, which can be increased to 1,235 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats folded flat.
There are numerous storage compartments throughout the cabin and a deep under-floor section in the boot.
The interior is simplistic and clutter-free with all dials and controls ideally positioned for ease of use, meaning the driver can concentrate on the road ahead.
The test car was powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine that offered good acceleration as it sprints from a standing start to 62mph in 13.1 seconds and onto a top speed of 106mph.
According to Renault, it can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 76.4mpg which is very impressive, with carbon emissions of 95g/km which means a whole host of money-saving rewards.
The five-speed manual gearbox was nice and smooth although at times there was a little body roll especially when attacking bends at pace.
But that small gripe aside, the Captur certainly impressed. And as one would expect, Renault has packed the car with a very comprehensive range of safety features, including anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assist, cruise control with speed limiter, electronic stability control, hill start assist, automatic headlights and wipers, numerous airbags and lots more.
All in all, the Captur is a great new arrival and with its attractive asking price of £16,395 (£18,695 with a few optional extras), the test car was a true pleasure to drive.