While the Captur is a reasonably attractive-looking thing from the outside, from behind the wheel there’s much less to get excited about. Plastics - of both the soft-touch and hard, scratchy variety - are used liberally throughout the cabin of our Iconic-specification test car. Combined with a dark colour scheme, it has the effect of making the Captur look and feel particularly dreary and dated - especially when compared with newer rivals such as the Seat Arona, or even the Mazda CX-3.
That said, its driving position and ergonomics are reasonably spot on. The steering column adjusts for both rake and reach, while those who don’t fancy sitting in an overly perched position will find the driver’s seat can be lowered by a useful amount.
Where things really start to fall apart, though, is in the rear seats. With the front seat set to a comfortable position for an adult of average height, leg room in the back is non-existent. In fact, there is so little on offer that you'll struggle to even get into the car; your legs simply won’t squeeze into the gap.
"That’s fine," you might think, "because cars such as the Captur are primarily used for carting kids to and from school, anyway." While there’s a degree of truth to that, any child tasked with sitting in the second row will need to have incredibly spindly legs if they’re going to fit. Ultimately, there’s going to have to be a compromise; you’ll have to sacrifice your ideal driving position and accept the subsequent discomfort if you plan on having any back seat passengers. Considering this is a car aimed at young families, that’s a black mark against it.
Still, at least the Captur drives in a reasonably inoffensive manner. The three-cylinder engine has enough low-down torque to ensure that the task of trundling around town is an easy one, while the pedals are sensibly weighted and far from tiresome to interact with. Overly light steering makes the Captur easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces, too, although a degree of additional weight when travelling at higher speeds would be welcome.
The Captur’s relatively soft suspension translates to a ride that’s comfortable on smooth surfaces, but show it an expansion joint, manhole cover or pothole and proceedings are less pleasant; you’ll certainly notice the subsequent jolt. On lumpier country roads, the Captur’s body control also feels rather loose, giving way to a fair amount of head toss. Lateral roll through faster corners is noticeable, too, and while there aren’t abundant levels of front end grip on offer, the stability control system will step in long before the Captur’s nose begins to press on into understeer.
On the motorway, the three-cylinder engine is impressively hushed, although you’ll need to be prepared to change down a gear if you plan on overtaking with any urgency. While 90% of the TCe 90 engine’s torque is available from a lowly 1650rpm, you’ll need to ensure the crank is spinning at around 2500rpm before the Captur will accelerate with any enthusiasm.
Fuel economy is reasonable, too; we saw an indicated 37mpg after driving on a mixture of town and country roads, with a stint on the motorway thrown in for good measure.