|Economy / CO2:||45mpg/122g/km|
Review: Renault Captur (Overall score 3.5/5)
The second-generation Renault Captur has just been announced and it’ll be here next year, with a revised look. In the meantime, we’re putting the current model through its paces, and while the Captur Mk1 may be showing its age from some angles, from others it’s still in pretty good shape. What’s more, with the new incarnation imminent, you should be able to strike a great bargain at the dealership for one of these before they go.
The biggest disappointment with the Captur is its cabin, which features lots of cheap-looking plastics; even the synthetic leather trim of our test car didn’t feel like a high-quality covering. Newer rivals feel more upmarket and many of them have more cubby hole space too; the Renault doesn’t have many places to stash small items. But perceived quality aside, the Captur’s cabin still works well, with a dashboard that’s easy to use while still entertaining a degree of flair, although the placing of some switchgear is haphazard.
The instrumentation is clear and simple, and the R-Link touch-screen multi-media works brilliantly, with its appealing graphics and decent sound quality. Along with this, the TomTom-based navigation is excellent. The front seats are supportive and comfortable, while rear head and leg room levels are more generous than you’d expect – although the flat style rear seats lack support.
French cars are renowned for their soft suspension, so that and the Captur’s raised ride height could have been a recipe for disaster, but Renault has done a good job with the chassis set-up. Roll in corners is minimised, yet the ride isn’t crashy. Refinement is fine (if unexceptional) and performance is adequate too. However, aside from the ride/handling balance, which is better than you’d expect, the Captur is otherwise dynamically pretty average. The turbocharged 0.9-litre petrol engine provides reasonable performance with decent flexibility, smoothness and economy, but it’s not as perky as you might expect. The five-speed gearbox has a slick enough change and the rest of the controls are light; it’s a car that puts the emphasis on ease of driving rather than fun.
Renault offers four trim levels for the Captur (Play, Iconic, S Edition, GT Line) and three engines: the TCE 90 three-cylinder 898cc and TCE 130 four-cylinder 1333 petrol units (TCE 150 if an automatic transmission is specified), along with a dCi 90 1461cc diesel powerplant.
Even entry-level cars get automatic lights and wipers, DAB radio, hill start assist, air-con, 16″ alloy wheels, powered windows all round, plus electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors.
‘Iconic’ adds climate control, seven-inch touch-screen with navigation, rear parking sensors and 17-inch wheels. The ‘S Edition’ has Alcantara trim and LED headlights, while the ‘GT Line’ adds self-parking, folding door mirrors, front parking sensors, blind spot warning, synthetic leather trim and heated front seats. The cheapest Captur is the TCE 90 Play at £15,730, but we’d opt for a Captur with Iconic trim; this costs £16,930 with a TCE 90 engine, £18,330 in TCE 130 spec, while the dCi 90 is priced at £18,490 (or £19,730 in auto form).