What is it?
Renault has done well out of the modern love affair with the compact crossover hatchback. It got in on the scene early, in 2013, with the original Captur, and has made plenty of hay since.
Would you believe that the car outsold the Nissan Juke across Europe by almost 5-to-1 last year? It has been the continent’s top-selling car of the breed for several years, proving that smart looks and good value are more than half the battle where commercial success in this class is concerned.
The new version has just landed in the UK. Echoing the theme of its lower-rise supermini sibling the Clio, it’s a slightly larger and classier reinterpretation of what went before on an all-new platform and with new engines. Even so, Renault’s now-familiar blend of curvaceous good looks with straightforwardly labelled value-for-money will, I suspect, continue to be its chief lures.
What's it like?
Having grown by 110mm in overall length, the car now offers very respectable second-row occupant space, which only taller adults will probe the limits of (and more likely to headroom than leg- or knee-). The car retains a useful sliding rear bench seat, and with it moved forwards boot space swells to a very roomy 536 litres. There’s a split-level boot floor also.
Much of the cabin architecture and componentry is shared with the new Clio, but that need be no criticism. You have to climb all the way to the uppermost of Renault’s three-tier trim level range to experience the interior at its plushest, where soft-touch mouldings cover parts of the centre console and the upper doors as well as the upper dash; and if you do, by the way, the Captur is a match on perceived quality for almost anything in the class. Even in mid-level ‘Iconic’ trim, as we spent the longest testing it, the cockpit looks and feels quite tactile and consistently classy, with flashes of ambience-enlivening colour to be had if you want them.
Onboard technology should be more of a strong suit than it ever was before for this Captur. Fully-loaded cars will combine a 9.3in portrait-oriented central touchscreen infotainment system with a 10in fully digital instrumentation screen, the latter conveying navigation instructions and more (although, since it doesn’t arrive in the UK until later this year, we haven’t tested it yet). They will also come with all of the driver assistance systems that Renault can muster, among them autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assist systems, and adaptive cruise control and parking assist systems also, not to mention a ‘level two autonomous’ traffic jam assistance system which effectively guides and drives the car for you in heavy congestion.