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Crossover Renault Captur’s the imagination

07.05.2015

WHAT is our new found fascination and favour with crossover vehicles? The B-segment for small utility vehicles is the fastest-growing sector in the local automotive realm. As such, Renault has entered this segment with the Captur, a Clio-based vehicle aimed at the Nissan Juke, Ford, EcoSport, Opel Mokka, Citroen’s new Cactus and the upcoming Jeep Renegade.

Captur-ing it in a nutshell

The Captur - as I understand it - has been designed to combine attributes from three vehicle segments into one vehicle. It is said to have the style of a hatchback, the versatility of an MPV and the added ride height associated with an SUV.

Has it worked from the outside?

Well, in my opinion, yes. It’s a very good-looking car which, in the metal, is actually more compact than it appears at first glance. There’s the distinctive Renault corporate front grille with low-set daytime running lights, while the side profile gives the impression of length with smooth flowing surfaces. At the rear I noted a combination of Koleos, Clio IV and Fluence design queues, which sums up a mature rump.

Captur’d inside

The interior is very similar to that of the current Clio with which it shares its instrument cluster, steering wheel, infotainment system and switchgear. The Captur does present the occupants with more space than the hatchback alternative, while also providing better seats, that raised driving position, easy-to-use infotainment system and climate control as standard. The standard audio system is much improved versus other Renault products, too.

Various parts of the interior are more plastic than perhaps I had expected however after driving the car over rumbling dusty roads for several kilometres, I have to concede that the build quality is decent in both units I piloted. The boot is also flexible with 377 litres split by a two-position boot floor which, when removed, creates 455 litres of space.

Engine range

Powering the Captur range is a pair of small turbocharged petrol motors. For those seeking a five-speed manual transmission there’s the 66kW/135Nm 900cc turbo model with a 15Nm overboost function. This engine is available in two specification grades namely, the lower Expression and better-equipped Dynamique and will consume a claimed 4.9 litres/100km.

For those looking for an automatic option there’s the 88kW/190Nm 1.2 model, which comes with the brand’s Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) transmission for a fuel consumption figure claimed at 5.4 litres/100km. This is most certainly the pick of the range as it delivers enough power in what is a fairly substantial car, while the powertrain refinement means the car feels smooth in urban and open road scenarios.

What do I get?

Well, on the Expression model you’ll still get climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, front LED lights,  electric side mirrors/windows, automatic headlights/wipers, cruise control with speed limiter as well as safety items like ABS with EBA, an ESP programme, hill start assist, Isofix mounting points and front/head/chest airbags.

The Dynamique specification adds things like the bi-tone body colour with around eight possible variations, tyre pressure sensors, LED daytime running lights, cornering fog light activation, 17-inch wheels, exterior chrome accents, zip collection covers on the seats and a leather steering wheel

Verdict

The small crossover segment is becoming akin to that of the B-hatch segment with several options to choose from, all of which offer something unique to the buyer. The Captur is a very strong competitor with competitive pricing, that all-important automatic option, a lengthy warranty and that kerb-side appeal that seems to shift so many cars from the showroom floor.

Warranty and service plan

The Captur comes standard with a five-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a three-year/45 000km service plan.

Pricing:

Renault Captur 66kW Expression R219 900
Renault Captur 66kW Dynamique R239 900
Renault Captur 88kW EDC Dynamique R279 900

Article written by Sean Nurse
07.05.2015
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