Road Test: Renault Captur
The B-SUV pioneer is back, with an improved package that still appeals, reckons Martyn Collins.
The original Captur broke new ground. At launch back in 2013, it had just one rival from its own stable – the Nissan Juke. Six years on and with 137,000 sold in the UK alone (including a significant number to fleet), there’s a new Captur – but the pressure is on as the rivals now total 20!
The latest Captur gets the same CMF-B platform that underpins the new Clio. Lighter and stronger, this platform also equals 17mm extra knee room in the back and boot space of 536-litres.
Of more interest to fleets, this latest platform can be hybridised, with an E-Tech plug-in-hybrid due after its early 2020 launch. It will be capable of covering 28 miles in full-electric mode.
According to Renault, 42% of current Captur buyers choose this SUV on its design alone. They won’t be disappointed with this second-generation version, as it’s more evolution than revolution. Biggest change at the front are the headlights, which like the rear is now LED-lit and feature Renault’s ‘C’-shape driving light design. Elsewhere, there’s some elaborate metal sculpting on the bonnet, giving a more aggressive look.
At the side, there’s a raised beltline, sculpted flanks and curvier floating roof which, like before, can be painted in four different finishes, using Renault’s own ‘Colour Touch’ customisation options.
The more distinctive shoulders of the new design are obvious at the back, together with the curvy new rear light design.
The Captur’s exterior is an evolution, but the interior is a revelation. There’s a big improvement in material quality, with soft-touch trim for the dashboard and front doors. Plus, the ‘Smart Cockpit,’ fitted to the range-topping S Edition, includes a 9.3-inch vertical infotainment screen, with a 7-inch TFT screen that replaces the instruments. A 10-inch version is an option.
Like the new Clio, Renault has its sights on a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, so standard safety kit includes lane departure warning, lane departure assist, Traffic Sign Recognition with speed alert, cruise control with speed limiter function and an Active Emergency Braking System.
Priced from £17,595, Captur is available in Play, Iconic and S Edition trims, Standard equipment includes EasyLink multimedia with 7-inch touchscreen, electric front and rear windows, 17-inch alloys and driver’s seat height adjustment.
It’s available with five petrol and two diesel engines, the former comprising the TCe 100, TCe 130 and TCe 155, and the diesels taking the form of the dCi 95 and dCi 115. The TCe 100 is expected to be the fleet favourite, but just the 130 manual and 155 auto were available to drive. The TCe 130 is willing and refined – yet speed is slow to build. The TCe 155 is a gutsier performer, well matched to automatic transmission, although the changes are harsher in Sport mode.
On the road, the Captur’s ride is impressively refined, although it is upset by the biggest bumps. The handling is confident too, with plenty of grip and roll kept under control. The steering helps the package, being well-weighted and precise.
Key Fleet Model: TCe 100 Iconic
Strengths: Tidy Drive, quality cabin, technology
Weaknesses: Too similar to the previous model?
Trailblazing B-SUV adds clever technology, and a forthcoming hybrid version to make sure business users take note.