Open the driver’s side door and the relationship between this new Captur and the Mk5 Clio is immediately recognisable. Like that of its supermini sibling, the compact crossover’s cabin has been thoroughly overhauled, and its adoption of Renault’s fresh new interior architecture marks it out instantly as one of the more visually appealing cars in its class.
While it looks smart throughout, the Captur’s interior doesn’t impress consistently under closer tactile inspection. The soft-touch plastics that cover the dashtop and the major clusters of switchgear escape criticism, but your fingers don’t have to stray too far into the cabin’s lower reaches to discover harder, cheaper-feeling surfaces and fixings.
The shifter for the automatic transmission feels particularly flimsy and brittle, and will loudly recoil and rattle around in its housing if you try to put the car into gear with a quick flick of the wrist. For something that will be used so often by the driver, that’s a peculiar oversight in a car in which such trouble has plainly been taken elsewhere to boost perceived quality.
Our testers weren’t universally impressed by the amount of cabin space on offer, either. Our tape measure revealed that the smaller Clio offers 40mm more maximum head room than its larger sibling, although neither feels under-provisioned for it. The sunroof that was fitted to our test car was partly responsible for this deficit, and would be worth avoiding if you’re catering for taller occupants.
The car’s second row is big enough for taller adults – but only just. Even with the Captur’s sliding rear bench pushed all the way back, there’s still only 680mm of leg room to be found, while head room is a pretty average 920mm. Admittedly, that’s more than you will find in the Clio; and the car’s raised hip point is not to be forgotten when accounting for ease of entry and exit. But when a humble Volkswagen Polo can conjure 950mm of head room and 690mm of leg room, the loftier Captur’s efforts are made to look no better than respectable.
Still, there are at least plenty of useful storage bins and trays dotted around the place. The multi-layered peninsula-like console that protrudes from the dash is particularly useful, offering a wireless charging pad and lots of space to stash wallets, phones and keys. Boot space, meanwhile, stands at an impressive 422 litres with the back seats in their rearmost position; 536 litres when they are slid forward; and 1275 litres when folded flat.