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Small SUV of the Year 2020: Renault Captur

The Renault Captur is the 2020 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the Ford Puma and Kia Soul EV commended

Taking much of the magic that’s made the latest Clio such a success in the supermini category, Renault has expanded the same recipe for its second-generation Captur – and with similar success.

Thanks to its chunky body, this is a bigger, heavier car than the Clio, so the TCe 130 engine is the one to go for. It offers plenty of punch, giving ample performance, as well as the same great level of refinement we’ve come to expect from Renault’s latest products. However, it’s the Captur’s space and flexibility that make it a great small SUV and an Auto Express Award-winner.

With sliding rear seats that let you prioritise either boot space or legroom, depending on your needs, the Captur will fit into your family’s life seamlessly.

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Boot capacity stands at between 422 and 536 litres depending on where that rear bench is set and, with it somewhere in the middle, there’s still ample legroom for rear-seat passengers. Slide it all the way back and there’s enough space to rival cars from the class above, just as the load bay does in its most spacious setting, reinforcing the Captur’s usability.

Of course, other small SUVs offer this trait, but what separates the Captur from them is that it combines this flexibility with ride comfort and composure that its rivals can’t match at a price that’s hard to argue with. Plus, great deals on finance – which is how most buyers purchase a car in this class – add to its appeal.

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As in the Clio range, the mid-spec Iconic model is the best-balanced package. It gets those smart rear seats, high quality inside, and a level of kit and tech that’ll make life with this small SUV superbly easy.

A high-res seven-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, parking sensors, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and climate and cruise control are all standard, while there’s potential to personalise and add options, such as a rear-view camera.

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The way the Captur combines all these elements in one mature package is why it’s our favourite small SUV.

Our choice

Renault Captur TCe 130 Iconic (£21,995)

Strong monthly deals make it even easier to own the pick of the Captur range. The smooth power delivery of the TCe 130 engine is balanced by strong efficiency, claiming up to 44.1mpg, while the level of standard kit on offer means this is the obvious choice.

Commended

Ford Puma

The Puma name returned recently on a small SUV that packed some practical touches, with its Mega Box boot, and mild-hybrid tech to help efficiency. It’s the sharper, more fun alternative to the Captur that keen drivers will relish.

Kia Soul EV

Kia’s latest Soul EV is funky and fresh – yet another great EV from the brand that gives owners plenty of freedom thanks to its great range and impressive recharging ability. It’s only available in high-spec and more costly First Edition trim at the moment, though.

New Car Awards 2020: the winners

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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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