What is it?
This is the follow-up to Europe’s best-selling B-SUV – that’s small crossover to you and me. It’s all-new, from roof to tyres, and shortly to be offered with an especially ingenious plug-in hybrid option. Mainstream engines include three- and four-cylinder petrols and diesels ranging from 94 to 153bhp. A seven-speed auto is optional.
This new Captur rides on a new platform, and within its shapely new bodyshell is an interior that Renault claims to be “revolutionary”. The new Captur is a little bigger (the greatest growth benefiting rear leg room), while its CMF-B platform is considerably stiffer and has been engineered to provide a wide range of driver assistance systems as standard, with scope to increase the car’s autonomy in later life.
The essential Captur formula remains unchanged, however – a sensible decision given that sales of the outgoing model have risen every year, despite its age, and the fact that there are now more than 20 competitors. When the original was launched in 2013, its only rival was the Nissan Juke.
It’s inside that the biggest changes are to be found, although you’d hardly call them revolutionary. The two standout features, literally, are the optional high-mounted 9.3in portrait infotainment screen and, beneath it, a pleasingly shaped peninsula providing a platform for the gearlever, be it manual or auto. Forward of this is a phone-charging mat, and beneath this another storage tray. Left-hand-drive Capturs have a roomy pop-out drawer where you’d usually find the glovebox lid, which is what right-hookers will get because the conversion can’t be effected.
‘Life on board’ (an obsolete Renault strapline, you may recall) is further enhanced by a generous splurge of soft-feel materials that substantially improve the interior’s ambience. If you like your cabins colourful, you can order an orange interior pack providing slightly metallic-looking, soft-feel inserts and other sun-hued trimmings that give it a considerable lift. Frustratingly, however, it’s available only on the range-topping S-Edition.
The powertrain most likely to propel this freshly confected Captur here will be the 100 TCe, its 1.0 99bhp triple paired with five-speeds. The test model closest to it was the four-cylinder, six-speed 128bhp 130 TCe finished in a trim equivalent to the mid-level Iconic – Play and S-Edition are the lower and upper levels – riding on 18in wheels.
These are suspended by MacPherson struts up front and a twist-beam axle at the rear. The electric power steering is an enabler for a suite of assistances including lane-keeping, which corrects a drift beyond a white line, and lane-centring, which keeps the Captur plumb in the middle. These are standard, together with autonomous emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. Optional on the TCe 130 and 155 automatics is a so-called Highway and Traffic Jam Companion that controls the car’s speed relative to the vehicle in front, besides automatically advancing you in jams.
A 360deg parking camera and assisted parking are also optional and, more vitally, all Capturs are Apple CarPlay and Android compatible.