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In-depth reviews

Renault Captur review - Engines, performance and drive

Renault’s new Captur comes with capable petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains, but it’s best to avoid the underpowered 1.0-litre engine.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£14,860 to £30,295
  • Competitively priced
  • Great safety kit
  • Comfortable
  • Not the most dynamic drive
  • High insurance premiums for top-spec models
  • Underpowered 1.0-litre engine

The all-new Captur is based on the sweet-driving Clio five-door hatchback, which is a definite plus point. The steering feels precise and allows you to push on with confidence, while the soft suspension makes the Captur much more relaxed than many of its rivals. There’s a degree of body lean, but any roll is well damped, and the pay-off is a comfortable ride, even on rougher surfaces.

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Overall, the driving experience is defined by the high levels of refinement - the suspension does a grand job of soaking up road imperfections, while the light steering means it delivers more fun from the driver’s seat than you might expect. It’s not exactly thrilling to drive, but it handles well enough, majoring on comfort rather than seeking to mimic the dynamic credentials of its Ford Puma competitor. The engines, on the whole, are quiet and smooth and the six-speed manual gearbox’s shift action is fine. We’d avoid the underpowered 1.0-litre 99bhp engine, however, it’s great for the smaller Clio, but feels very pedestrian when powering the Captur.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed

There’s a total of six engines available, some of which you’ll find shared with Renault’s Alliance partner, Nissan. The petrol options are made up of a 99bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and a 1.3-litre four-cylinder with either 128bhp or 153bhp. The 1.0-litre TCe is particularly slow, with only 160Nm of torque and a sluggish 0-62mph time of 13.3 seconds. While the five-speed manual box is nice and slick, the engine needs to be revved hard in low gears to pick up speed.

The sweet spot in the line-up is the TCe 130 petrol engine - offering an extra 29bhp and 80Nm of torque, it’s likely to be a popular choice. The six-speed manual variant completes the sprint from 0-62mph in a more respectable 10.6 seconds, while the seven-speed dual-clutch auto shaves a further second off this time. Those seeking extra performance have the option of the 153bhp version.

Renault offers a single 1.5-litre Blue dCi diesel unit with two power outputs - 94bhp or 113bhp. With 0-62mph times of 11.9 and 11.0 seconds respectively for these engines, the focus here is more on economy rather than outright pace.

The greenest choice is the E-Tech plug-in hybrid model, powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine with a 9.8kWh battery and two electric motors, producing a 158bhp total output.

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