What is it?
When the Renault Captur launched in 2013, it only really had one direct threat – the Nissan Juke. Four years later and the compact crossover segment of the car market is flooded with alternatives, meaning the Captur needs to up its game to keep pace with existing rivals and the many more on their way, including the Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic, to name just two.
When you consider the Captur is the biggest-selling model for Renault in the UK, and was the best-selling car in this segment across Europe in 2016, the French car maker can’t afford to rest on its laurels.
So, what has Renault changed? Not much. This mid-life overhaul for the Captur is as mild as they come. Exterior changes include optional full LED headlights to bring it in line with other Renault models. The Captur front end design has been refreshed - it now includes a chrome strip on the grille and new skid plates on both front and rear bumpers - to more closely resemble its big brother, the Kadjar.
The interior has also had some tweaks in a bid to make it more luxurious and there’s more optional equipment available, including blind sport warning, hands-free parking and a fixed panoramic sunroof.
The engine line-up remains unchanged with 89bhp and 108bhp 1.5-litre dCI four-pot diesels and two TCe petrol units: the 89bhp three-cylinder and 118bhp four-cylinder.
What's it like?
We tested the higher-powered dCI. It manages impressive efficiency figures while having enough oomph to handle most situations. Press the accelerator pedal hard and power more than suffices and feels faster than this variant's official 0-62mph time of 11.0sec suggests.
Diesel refinement isn’t bad either, and at the modest around-town speeds at which the Captur will most often be driven, overall noise and vibration is decent. When you get up to 60mph on some Cotswolds B-roads, however, things become a little less pleasant with plenty of road noise and some serious wind effect on the A-pillars.
The Captur, like most compact crossovers, is damped for comfort, favouring absorption of bumps and crevices over any real dynamism. That said, such suspension is often paired with a vaguer-than-vague steering feel but, to the model’s credit, the steering is more precise and direct than expected.
The same applies to the handling, which faired well on every corner we threw it at. But of course, the Captur isn’t meant to be thrown around corners, and is far more likely to be ambling along a high street or covering a few miles on the school run.
As Renault promised, the interior of our mid-spec Dynamique S Nav was better than its predecessor, with good-quality plastics at eye-level and beyond. The Captur gains Android Auto smartphone mirroring, although oddly the equivalent Apple CarPlay system is not included.
Our test car also had the new fixed panoramic sunroof, an unremarkable £400 optional feature, but one no doubt popular for those with children to entertain.
Should I buy one?
This revised Captur will never set hearts on fire but it will fit the bill for many everyday drivers, offering a well-rounded, likeable car.
This diesel is expensive compared to the petrol versions so unless you’re going to recoup some of that outlay by munching miles – and the average Captur driver is unlikely to be – a petrol-fuelled model makes more sense; the more powerful petrol we’ve already tested with the same equipment costs £19,095, some £2000 cheaper than this oilburner.
Renault Captur Dynamique S Nav dCI 110 review
Price £21,075 Engine 4 cyls, 1461cc, diesel Power 108bhp at 4000rpm Torque 192lb ft at 1750rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerb weight 1190kg 0-62mph 11.0sec Top speed 109mph Economy 76.3mpg (combined) CO2/tax band 98g/km, 21% Rivals Nissan Juke, Suzuki Vitara