IF YOU’RE a volume brand in 2019, it’s vital to offer a supermini-based SUV.
As Europe’s best-selling urban crossover, the Renault Captur is the one that all the rest are trying to beat.
The Captur’s mass appeal can be attributed to its characterful looks, its versatility, some clever interior touches, and a wonderfully-economical engine.
The vehicle takes styling influences from its bigger sibling, the Kadjar.
Its robust stance gives a more imposing road presence than the its dimensions might suggest, helped by the fluid surfacing of the bodywork and the forward position of the steeply raked windscreen.
At the front, the distinctive look is built around the prominent, vertical Renault emblem, while the radiator grille has been modified to bring it more into line with the Renault’s other crossovers, with the notable addition of a chrome strip.
At both the front and rear, the bumper incorporates new skid plates in evidence of the Captur’s adventurer credentials.
Behind the wheel, not much seems to have changed when it comes to the overall driving experience, but it didn’t really needed to.
With technologies such as the ‘understeer control’ system and ‘roll movement intervention’, the Captur handles the corners quite eagerly.
The UK engine line-up consists of the TCe 90 petrol engine and the dCi 90 diesel, with the option of either a five-speed manual gearbox or six-speed EDC automatic transmission.
The petrol version, tested here, proved to be a real gem during my week with the Captur, offering
With a capacity of just 898cc, the surprisingly plucky performance that accompanies the excellent fuel economy figures exemplifies the company’s skills in downsizing.
With a turbo boosting acceleration,the Captur’s performance feels broadly similar to that of a normally-aspirated 1.4 or 1.5-litre engine.
Peak power is a fairly healthy 90hp at 5,500rpm, with 140Nm of torque at 2,250rpm.
More importantly, 90 per cent of that torque is on offer from just 1,650rpm, thanks to a low inertia turbo giving a strong response at low engine speeds.
Meanwhile, the official combined cycle fuel consumption is 52.3mpg and CO2 emissions are 122g/km.
Once inside, there’s no doubt that the Captur’s cabin offers a high level of refinement.
The interior is typified by high-quality plastics and sleek chrome, while the steering wheel is made from upmarket, quality materials and, in higher-end versions, comes trimmed with full-grain leather.
The MPV side of the Captur’s character can be seen in the high-set driving position, 10cm higher than in Clio. Finding a comfortable position is made easier thanks to the generous 70mm travel of the height-adjustable driver’s seat and reach and height adjustment of 60mm and 50mm respectively for
the steering wheel.
The five-seat interior is designed to carry the family in comfort, with generous rear knee room, which at 215mm is 75mm more than in the Clio.
The rear bench is big enough to accommodate three adults, while boot capacity is among the best in the compact car class.
With all seats in place, it ranges from 377 to 455 litres, according to the position of the sliding rear bench.
Fold the rear seats flat, and the Captur will swallow an impressive 1,235 litres, if loaded to the roof.
In terms of technology, three multimedia systems are offered according to equipment level: R&Go®, Media Nav and R-LINK.
Innovative touches (according to version) include dual-height boot floor with reversible section, washable and removable seat covers and sliding 60/40 rear bench
Priced from £15,300 on the road, the Captur continues to offer value for money, practicality and a dash of style to help sustain it at the top of an increasingly-crowded segment.