Renault Captur review

Our Rating: 
4
4.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Renault Captur is a supermini sized crossover, which combines 4x4 looks with supermini dimensions and running costs

For: 
Stylish looks, practical interior features, plenty of scope for personalisation
Against: 
Dull to drive, diesel lacks power, drawer glovebox only on left-hand drive cars

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The Renault Captur is based on the fourth generation Renault Clio supermini, but it's aimed at the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Kia Soul and other small crossover SUVs. Likes these rivals, the Captur offers chunky styling, and 200mm of extra ride height.

The Renault Captur is available in four trim levels - Expression, Expression +, Dynamique MediaNav and the flagship Dynamique S MediaNav. The entry-level Expression model gets 16-inch alloy wheels, plus all-round electric windows and body-coloured bumpers and handles as standard. All models also benefit from cruise control and hill start technology.

The Expression + comes with air conditioning, and a chrome exterior gloss pack as standard, while Dynamique MediaNav and Dynamique S MediaNav models feature climate control, a Tom-Tom sat-nav, plus a raft of interior and exterior colour packs.

It is worth noting that despite its 4x4-inspired appearance, the Renault Captur is front-wheel-drive only. Buyers do, at least, have a choice of three engines. Petrol buyers can choose between an 88bhp 0.9-litre or a 118bhp 1.2-litre petrol unit, but the latter is only available with the six-speed EDC automatic gearbox. The only engine diesel buyers can opt for is the 88bhp 1.5-litre unit, which is also available with the automatic transmission.

Our choice: Captur Dynamique Nav 1.5 dCi

Styling

3.8

The Renault Captur is certainly a distinctive looking compact SUV with its rounded shape displaying a number of striking styling cues. Up front, the Captur features a large Renault badge, the narrow Renault 'bow-tie' grille and a pair of smart headlights - these all come together to give the Captur the rakish look of a slightly taller and beefier Clio.

The SUV-inspired touches such as the the chunky rubbing strips on the doors and bumpers also suit the Renault Captur well, but what really makes the Renault Captur stand out is its broad range of personalisation options.

Renault fits the Expression model with grey gloss interior trim, which is mounted on and around the centre console, speaker and air vents. The Expression + gets the same, but it features a chrome exterior pack, which sees a chrome gloss strip fitted to the front grille, fog light surrounds, side sill protectors and boot lid.

The Renault Captur Dynamique MediaNav builds on the features found on the Expression and Expression + models, but it has chrome gloss trim, and a seven-inch touchscreen. This features a clear display, but navigating through the various menus takes a little getting used to.

On the Dynamique S MediaNav models, Renault offers buyers the chance to choose their Captur's 17-inch alloy wheels with standard silver, black or orange inserts. Other bold styling moves include Renault painting the roof and door-mirrors in a contrasting colour to the body.

Gloss black trim is added to the centre console and steering wheel on the Renault Captur, but the trim on the wheel wraps around where you would position your hands, which makes the wheel feel slippery. Tinted rear windows are also fitted as standard across the range.

Step inside the Renault Captur Dynamique S MediaNav, and the trim surrounding the centre console, speakers and air vents can also be specced in orange, blue or green - However, much of the switchgear found in the Renault Captur (irrespective of trim-level) has been taken from the Renault Clio and this means that some of it is slightly cheap in feel.

While the Dynamique and Dymanique S come with the bolder colouring features as standard equipment, the colour packs are also available as options on the lower end models and Renault groups them into three packs - Manhattan, Arizona and Miami.

One neat option on the Renault Captur range is the zip-fastened seat covers, which will make it easy to clean spills on the upholstery, while the elastic straps on the backs of the front seats are also a clever design feature.

Driving

3.5

The Renault Captur is a comfortable car with a fairly soft and supple suspension, but there's quite a bit of body roll in corners and generally not a lot of steering feel. In town though, the steering’s lightness makes the car easy to drive and it's comfortable enough at motorway speeds.

The 0.9-litre and 1.2-litre petrol engines offer better performance than the diesel – especially the new 1.2-litre unit. Unfortunately, that 1.2 is only available with the EDC dual-clutch gearbox. The 1.5-litre dCi diesel is the Captur’s best performer in terms of economy though.

Overall, visibility from the Renault Captur is decent, but the chunky A-pillars can be obstructive at junctions.

Reliability

4

The Renault Captur ranked an excellent ninth overall in our 2014 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Owners praised its low running costs and reliability.

As the Captur uses much of the same tried and tested running gear found in the Renault Clio and comes with Renault's excellent four-year warranty, it should prove relatively worry free.

The Renault Captur should prove safe too, thanks to its five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP. It scored well for adult and child occupant protection as well as its high-tech safety systems.

Renault fits the Captur with six airbags, and Isofix points are attached to the two outer rear seats and front passenger seat. Drivers are also unable to completely switch off the stability control in the Captur.

 

Practicality

4

The Renault Captur has a 377-litre boot and that’s pretty big for this class of car. The boot area also features a false floor, which provides a flat load bay when the rear seats are folded flat. The space is eaten into though, should the buyer opt for the space saver spare wheel, which costs around £95.

Renault hasn't sacrificed rear passenger comfort for boot space in the Captur, so while headroom is fine, legroom is a bit of a squeeze.

There’s lots of black plastic and dark fabric, too, and the tinted rear windows make you feel hemmed in. Storage in the Renault Captur is reasonable, with a dash top cubby and small cup-holders dotted around the cabin.

Running Costs

3.7

None of the engines in the Renault Captur range should prove overly expensive to run, with the most economical engine in the range being the 1.5-litre diesel - this particular unit returns 76.4mpg and emits 95g/km of CO2.

The petrol engines are either an 88bhp 0.9-litre or a 118bhp 1.2-litre unit. The 88bhp manages 56.5mpg and emits 115g/km, while the 1.2-litre petrol emits 125g/km and returns 52.3mpg. However, the latter engine is only available with the dual clutch semi-automatic gearbox.

Disqus - noscript

What's a glovebox draw? Do they mean drawer?

Very Stylish - well done Renault!

The 2008 Should be shaking in it's boots...

Dutch design... Wasn't expecting too much from Laurens van den Acker as he didn't do a good job at Mazda, but this isn't half bad actually.

Not sure about the reliability though. It's still a French car.

I don't like this one little bit, it looks tacky beyond belief. All of that "pie in the sky" stuff about changing body panels...where have i heard that before? ah yes it's another silly car like the Citroen Pluriel, tomorrows secondhand bargain basement special.

We've changed from an A Class Mercedes to the Captur. What an improvement. all the extras for no extra. 57mpg out of the blocks on eco drive and no road tax! Nice high driving position, slick gearbox and quiet to drive and far better prices. You can't criticise if you haven't driven one. We don't all get the cars of our dreams on expense accounts. As far as reliability goes it's not Italian!

Last updated: 29 May, 2014
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