Funky European styling, lots of standard kit and sharp prices mean Renault’s all-new Captur makes an enticing entry to the burgeoning compact SUV/Crossover segment. Priced from $22,990 the Renault Captur takes fair aim at the likes of Ford EcoSport, Holden Trax, Peugeot 2008 and even the Juke from sister company Nissan.
The Captur is Renault’s first compact SUV and it has received the thumbs-up in international markets, racking-up more than 114,000 sales since its launch last year. Fresh from a record sales year in 2014, Renault Australia reckons the Captur will play a big role in its plans to grow sales again by as much as 20 per-cent this year.
To ensure it gets a spectacular start, the Captur will enjoy more investment than any other previous model Renault has launched in Australia. There will be a clever Captur television commercial, a digital marketing campaign and a strong presence at the Australian Grand Prix where Aussie Daniel Ricciardo will spearhead the Renault-powered Red Bull team.
The Renault Captur comes from the plant in Valladolid, Spain. Impressively 16 per-cent (32kgs) of the plastics used are sourced from recycled materials.
Renault Captur Overview
In keeping with the hip styling we’ve seen from Renault since Laurens van den Acker took the helm of the design studios, the Captur arrives with multiple customization options including two-tone colour schemes and a raft of colours to highlight the interior and exterior. It’s a compact SUV/Crossover with room for five people, a clever sliding rear seat and ample luggage space – so it gets the practicality tick of approval.
There’s a choice of two turbocharged petrol engines and two specification grades – entry level ‘Expression’ and range-topping ‘Dynamique’.
All Renault Capturs come with satellite navigation, a reversing camera and front parking sensors. The hip newcomer scored the maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP.
And here’s one from the ‘Why Didn’t They think Of That Before’ department – your Renault Captur can include removable zippered seat covers which can be machine-washed after a weekend adventure or spill from a youngster (or adult).
Amongst its extras, the Renault Captur ‘Dynamique’ adds those washable seat covers as standard, 17-inch alloy wheels, cornering function front fog lights, some extra chrome inside and out, roof-coloured exterior mirrors and tinted rear windows,
The full lineup is:
|Captur Expression TCe 90 (five-speed manual)||$22,990|
|Captur Expression TCe 120 (six-speed dual-clutch automatic)||$25,990|
|Captur Dynamique TCe 120 (six-speed dual-clutch automatic)||$27,990|
Renault Captur Engine
There are two turbocharged petrol engine choices – the excellent 0.9 litre, three-cylinder TCe 90 (exclusive to the entry-level ‘Expression’ model) which drives exclusively via a five-speed manual transmission or a 1.2-litre four-cylinder (‘Expression’ or ‘Dynamique’ grade) which drives through the six-speed dual-clutch automatic sourced from transmission specialist Getrag.
Renault’s turbocharged three-cylinder delivers 66kW of power at 5250rpm and peak torque of 135Nm at 2500rpm. Combined-cycle fuel consumption is impressive – rated at just 4.9l/100kms.
The 1.4-litre four-cylinder is good for maximum power of 88kW at 4900rpm and peak torque of 190Nm arrives from 2000rpm. Combined-cycle fuel consumption scores 5.4l/100kms.
Renault Captur The Interior
Raised seating positions are the go in this segment and despite its compact overall dimensions, the Renault Captur doesn’t miss-out. In fact its 655mm hip-point is identical to the excellent Renault Scenic people mover (unfortunately not sold in Australia).
Just as you can customize the exterior hues of your Renault Captur, the interior too can be tailored with highlights in either orange, chrome, blue or green, two upholstery patterns as standard or five shades to choose from in the ‘Zip Collection’ removable seat covers (standard in ‘Dynamique’ or optional in ‘Expression’). As well, you can choose two themed trim packs (‘Corsice’ or ‘Paris’) which enhance the looks of the steering wheel and upholstery.
Overall the Renault Captur delivers an immensely practical interior with design themes reflecting its lifestyle aspirations. There’s mesh pockets in the seat backs (flowing from the highly-praised Captur concept car) which reflect a nautical theme and the dashboard takes-on the theme of an aircraft wing.
That practicality is highlighted by the sliding rear bench seat (it slides through 160mm to provide up to 218mm of rear seat leg-room and luggage space of 377-litres – 455-litres) and the 60:40 split-fold function. With the rear seat folded flat, the Renault Captur provides a handy 1235-litres of cargo space.
And that cargo area has a multi-position floor to handle varying loads plus a hidden storage area under the boot mat. Cleverly that multi-position floor is reversible with one side trimmed with carpet and the other in plastic which can be washed clean with a wet sponge (just the thing for say mountain biking, wet beach gear or those sports boots in winter).
The height-adjustable driver’s seat and rake/reach adjustment for the steering wheel provided a nice driving position and we liked the contemporary look for the instrumentation which was finished with nice, colourful graphics.
To the left is the 18cm screen for audio, reversing camera and navigation. NAVTEQ maps are standard or you can option Renault’s excellent R-Link system
Renault Captur Exterior & Styling
Production versions of the Renault Captur closely follow the well-received Captur concept car. In fact the same team of designers crafted the production car in the same studio as the concept.
It’s compact, only marginally longer than the Renault Clio at 4.12-metres, with lots of curves and a forward position for the steeply-raked windscreen. Clever too with the base of each door shaped so you don’t get those annoying dirty marks on your trousers when climbing-in.
The Captur is from the ‘Explore’ chapter of Renault’s life cycle design strategy - the idea is to be sporty and fun with an invitation to “explore the world”. Up-front is Renault’s latest corporate style with the large badge positioned vertically with a gloss black background.
Muscle comes in the form of side contours and bulging wheel arches. And we really like the rear view which again looks muscular and sporty.
But it’s the customization options which enable your Renault Captur to stand-out from the crowd. Look for a two-tone finish with contrasting colours for the roof, windscreen pillars and mirror housings and black, orange, ivory or chrome inserts for the grille, fog-light housings, lower protection strips on the doors and rear number plate light.
Then there are orange, ivory or black highlights for the 17-inch wheels and even decorative graphics for the bonnet, roof and tailgate.
Renault Captur On The Road
We got to drive both the ‘Dynamique’ Renault Captur with the 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine and the entry-level ‘Expression’ with the 0.9-litre three-cylinder powerplant. Of course the ‘Expression’ rides on 16-inch alloy wheels with 17-inchers for the ‘Dynamique’.
The Captur scores Renault’s B-segment platform as used for the Clio and actually shares its MacPherson strut front/torsion beam rear suspension with the excellent Clio Estate model which is not sold here. However Renault gives the Captur a unique calibration for roll stiffness and suspension to cater for its 163mm ground clearance.
Over the twists and curves up to Mount Macedon and back we did prefer the extra pulling power of the 1.2-litre engine which was nicely mated to the Getrag six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. That’s not to say we weren’t fans of the three-cylinder – just in that environment you did need to whip the five-speed manual regularly to maintain momentum when climbing hills.
Renault’s suspension engineers have done a good job with body roll – the Captur remained impressively flat even when pushed and the Michelin rubber afforded plenty of grip even when conditions got slimy in the annoying summer drizzle. Ride was typically European with a noticeable level of firmness appreciated by sporty drivers.
In the city, our car was the Renault Captur ‘Expression’ and the three-cylinder had more than enough response when accelerating away from the lights. The 10.4-mere turning circle was great for maneuverability.
Renault Captur Issues
Our only complaint after our initial drive of the Renault Captur over those twisty roads was the front seats which seemed to be a tad lacking in lateral support around the corners – admittedly we were pressing-on hard.
Renault Captur Verdict
Mark us down as fans of the Renault Captur. We love the work of Laurens van dan Acker and his styling team and they’ve excelled with the Captur – very modern and on-trend but still with distinctive European class.
And we liked the drive. Yes we’d go for the larger engine if we’re buying but city dwellers will be well-served by the three-cylinder and its impressively low fuel consumption.
Best of all we reckon Renault has the Captur very well equipped and very sharply priced. And by the way, amongst its key rivals, Renault Captur is the only one with a five-year warranty with roadside assistance.
Renault Captur The Competition
Ford EcoSport was created in Europe and is a terrific drive thanks to underpinnings shared with the excellent Fiesta hatchback. Prices start at $20,790 and you can choose from a 1.5-litre four-cylinder or the cracking 1.0-litre three-cylinder. Without breaking-out our micrometer we suspect the EcoSport may be a smidge out-done by the Renault Captur for interior space.
People either love or hate the looks of Nissan’s British-sourced Juke (we love it). Plenty of go from the naturally-aspirated or turbocharged 1.6-litre engines. Prices start at $22,090 and the range-topping turbocharged Ti-S ($32,490) is very fast…but for us let down by the CVT automatic.
Renault’s French rival Peugeot is a must-consider with the sharply-priced (from $21,990) 2008. The entry-level 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine is a beauty, there’s also a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel. Terrific to drive, the nicely-styled Peugeot 2008 is only let down by its four-speed automatic transmission.