It can facilitate modern safety and assistance systems and can house a broad range of powertrains, including those with substantial battery packs. Engine insulation is also said to have improved noticeably, despite the platform weighing 50kg less than its predecessor. More weight has been saved by using an aluminium bonnet and a composite bootlid.
At its launch, the Captur will be offered with three petrol turbo engines and two diesels, all of which are new. The entry point is a 1.0-litre TCe petrol triple with a respectable 99bhp and 118lb ft, although a four-cylinder petrol is available with either 129bhp or 153bhp and as much as 199lb ft. The diesel options, both powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, develop either 94bhp or 113bhp, and each touts the best fuel economy of the traditional options, at 58.9mpg combined. However, when the 158bhp Captur E-Tech arrives (for which 150 patents were registered), with its two electric motors, dogclutch gearbox, 9.8kWh battery and 29 WLTP miles of electric range, it will become the first plug-in hybrid available in this class and will head the range for spec-sheet efficiency.
Our test car comes in 129bhp 130 TCe trim and with an optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox in place of the standard-fit six-speed manual.
The Captur has grown considerably in length – by 110mm, with the wheelbase accounting for 20mm of that. It is also taller and wider than the car it replaces and will be one of the largest cars in the class. The design itself, with its ‘floating’ roof, is an evolution of the original (which, for the record, was one of the first cars of its kind with a floating roof), although every body panel is new and the belt line higher.
Beneath the body, the suspension is carried over from the Clio, with a torsion beam at the rear and pseudo-MacPherson struts (in which a lower wishbone is fitted and the anti-roll bar done away with) at the front. Wheel sizes range from 16in to 18in.