Renault Captur (2013-2019) review - Engines, performance and drive

Small range of engines and none are particularly powerful

If you've driven a Clio, then the Captur will be very familiar to drive, as the two share the same platform, engines and mechanicals. Renault kept things simple with the 2017 facelift, so while there’s a new look and more kit, under the skin it’s not that different to the company’s original Clio-based SUV.

Admittedly the Captur isn’t the most exciting car to drive, but it's easy and fairly smooth, suiting its positioning as an upmarket supermini alternative well – and also making it a viable grown-up competitor to more mainstream family hatchbacks.

While the car is pretty comfortable on most roads, significant imperfections in the surface tend to upset the Captur, particularly when the chassis is already loaded up through a corner.

Where the Captur falls behind the best small SUVs (like the Peugeot 2008 and Mazda CX-3) is the way it handles. Body roll is noticeable, the steering isn't very direct or feelsome, and the gearshift is quite notchy and obstructive. 

Indeed, the Captur feels made for the city; its raised height, good visibility, space-efficient interior and compact dimensions make it easy to understand why Renault dealers have no problem convincing upper-range Clio customers to make the switch.

Engines

There are three petrol engines and one diesel in the Captur range. The TCe 90, TCe 130 and TCe 150 get 89bhp, 128bhp or 148bhp respectively, while the dCi 90 diesel produces 90bhp. The diesel is the best choice if you plan to take on lots of long journeys, while the entry-level 89bhp petrol is enough for town driving, but feels pretty lethargic on the open road.

We are yet to test the more powerful petrol offerings, but these are very similar to the 1.3-litre units found in the latest Nissan Qashqai and Mercedes A-Class. In those applications the unit works well, offering a good balance between performance and economy.

The sole diesel engine is Renault's familiar 1.5 dCi with 89bhp. It’s a little clattery by modern standards, but it still performs okay in action and owners of older diesel cars won't have cause for complaint. You can have the EDC auto here too; performance is pretty lethargic as a result (0-62mph takes 13.8 seconds), so choose carefully. 

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