Renault Captur review

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

The Renault Captur is a compact crossover, combining 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 a high-riding crossover model that’s designed to rival the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Ford EcoSport.

Using the same underpinnings as the Renault Clio supermini, the Captur is a compact machine that aims to deliver tough SUV styling cues with low running costs. It’s also available with a wide range of customisation options for both the exterior and interior, enabling owners to personalise their cars.

There are four trim levels available – Expression, Expression+, Dynamique Media Nav and Dynamique S Media Nav. All versions get alloy wheels, cruise control and electric windows. Expression models add desirable extras such as climate control, while the Dynamique versions are fitted with a TomTom touchscreen sat-nav system.

Even in entry-level guise the Renault Captur looks distinctive, with its combination of high ride height and sloping roofline turning heads. Yet it’s possible to make your Captur even more eye-catching courtesy of a range of personalisation options, including contrasting roof colours, bold bodywork decals and larger alloy wheels.

It’s a similar story inside, where bright colours and distinctive seat trim help create a cheery atmosphere. As with the exterior, there’s plenty of scope to give the Captur’s cabin a personal touch. For instance, the seat covers can be unzipped, allowing you to change them for a different design, or wash off any dirty marks or stains.

The rest of the interior will be familiar to Clio owners, as you benefit from the same digital speedometer and gloss black centre console that houses the infotainment system. At a glance it looks classy and upmarket, but there are plenty of cheap-feeling plastics used lower down in the cabin.

There is a choice of two petrol engines – a 0.9-litre three-cylinder and 1.2-litre four-cylinder – and a 1.5-litre dCi diesel. All the units are mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, apart from the larger petrol unit, which gets a six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission.

With its high-riding suspension set-up, the Captur is geared towards cruising comfort rather than delivering driver thrills. Even so, with its compact external dimensions, light controls and high-set driving position, the Renault is extremely easy to drive and place on the road.

Our choice: Captur Dynamique Nav 1.5 dCi

Styling

3.8

The Renault Captur is certainly a distinctive 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 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.

Renault Captur rear view

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 make it easy to clean spills on the upholstery or change the look of the interior with different coloured covers. Another neat touch is 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.

Yet while it’s not a car that encourages you to have fun, the Captur always feels composed and secure. It also does a decent job of soaking up bumps and potholes, and only really poorly surfaced roads will send a shudder through the Renault’s cabin.

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. And while it lacks the outright acceleration of the petrol cars, its muscular 220Nm torque output results in effortless real world pace.

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. However, unlike some rivals, there’s no option to add big car features, such as lane departure warning and forward collision alert.

Practicality

4

The Renault Captur has a 377-litre boot and that’s pretty big for this class of car – it certainly gives it the upper hand over rivals such as the Nissan Juke and Ford EcoSport. Also included is a neat a false floor that helps create a flat load bay when the rear seats are folded flat, or can be removed entirely to increase the boot capacity to a generous 455-litres. However, this underfloor space is eaten into if you opt for the £95 space saver spare wheel in place of the standard repair foam.

Renault hasn't sacrificed rear passenger comfort for boot space in the Captur. Yet while headroom is fine, the Renault betrays its supermini roots with a lack of legroom for taller passengers.

Renault Captur automatic 2014 interior

There’s also lots of black plastic and dark fabric, which combine with the tinted rear windows to 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. Yet like many French machines, the Renault’s glovebox is rendered almost useless by the intrusive fusebox.

Running Costs

3.7

None of the engines in the Renault Captur range should prove to be costly to run. The most economical engine in the range is the 1.5-litre diesel, which promises to return 76.4mpg and emits just 95g/km of CO2. This unit can also be specified with Renault’s EDC six-speed twin clutch gearbox, which delivers remarkably smooth shifts but increases fuel consumption to 72.3mpg and CO2 emissions to 103g/km.

The petrol engines are either a three-cylinder 88bhp 0.9-litre or a four-cylinder 118bhp 1.2-litre unit. The smaller petrol engine manages 56.5mpg and emits 115g/km, thanks in no small part to the addition of efficiency boosting stop-start kit. The 1.2-litre petrol is only available with Renault’s EDC gearbox, but still manages respectable claimed figures of 52.3mpg and 125g/km of CO2.

As with Renault’s other models, the Captur should be relatively cost effective to service, thanks to the option of a pre-paid servicing pack. Sign up to one of the brand’s 4+ finance schemes and you can include the cost of maintenance into your monthly repayments.

The Captur should also represent a decent long-term investment, with our experts predicting the car will retain around 45 per cent of its new value after three years.

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 Sep, 2014
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