Renault Captur review


What is?

It’s the second coming of the Renault Captur, a car we probably snored about before driving it, thinking a bigger Clio SUV was a dumb idea that no one would care much about. Oh! It quickly became a resounding success for Renault, becoming the best-selling B-segment crossover supermini in Europe and the third most popular in the UK. Yes, we could categorize newcomers to this class as ‘Juke rivals’, but Renault’s Captur is one of the bigwigs in this pond, and in true style it has outclassed rival Nissan in 2020.

Not that there wasn’t a lot of room for improvement in the old Captur, which had a bumpy ride and a tiny cabin. What bodes well for this Captur Mk2 is that it’s based, inside and out, on the latest Clio. And that means a new platform, more space, more solidity and safety, and a completely renewed cabin.

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I’m guessing it has Clio engines, then.

Absolutely. You’ve got a range of conventional three- and four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines, or a couple of hybrids that combine a 1.6-litre nat-asp engine with electric motors up to 160bhp, with regular and plug-in versions available, both bearing ‘badges from E Tech. Yes, diesel is dead here too.

Renault says the hybrid system is inspired by the energy recovery and utilization systems of its Formula 1 engines, and it’s particularly addictive to put it into B-mode via the gear selector, which increases the level of regenerative braking when ease off the throttle, giving the full plug-in hybrid the option of a pedal drive like a full EV. Intelligent.

What else should excite me?

Check out the new seats that look suspiciously like those in a recent Volvo. There is no higher praise than that, really. In fact, the whole cabin is the title here. It is much nicer inside than the previous one. Sure, that’s like saying a hotel room is smarter than a windswept tent, but still, the Captur doesn’t just look much better on the outside: it’s grown and installed on the inside, and it’s welcome. . Roomier too, but that’s thanks to the swelling of the entire car in all dimensions.

There are plenty of other exterior changes too, with a wider front grille, beefy front and rear skid plates, prominent wheel arch extensions, slimmer LED lights at both ends, and chrome accents to bring it in line with your Clio and Mégane. brothers, with little of the stylistic extravagance suffered by some of their rivals…names are not mentioned. There’s also little to distinguish the electrified version, beyond a subtle badge here and there.

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Prices start at just over £20,000 for the lowest petrol engine, rising to just under £33,000 for the deceptively sporty RS Line trimmed PHEV.

Our choice of the range.

Test of the Renault Captur E-Tech Top Gear
0.9 TCE 100 iconic 5-door

What’s the verdict?

The Jumped-up Clio is a thousand times less metallic than the previous one. It doesn’t break any rules, but it’s beautiful, refined and comfortable.

Whether the Captur is a day-and-night improvement over what it replaces in terms of looks, refinement and cabin quality is not up for debate, supported by the fact that it is the company’s best-selling car in Britain. . Renault has achieved exactly what it needed to with the Captur Mk2. It’s hardly interesting to drive, but then again, there are almost no junctions, and that’s not its purpose either. It is an ideal candidate for the fastest growing car sales segment in the UK.

The appearance and manners on the road are the most outstanding. The spec list is strong and broad enough to justify its existence alongside the Clio. It won’t be the most interesting car you’ll hear about today, but it’s good enough.

Hybrids offer an attractive option, and compared to models like the Kia Niro in the (currently) limited plug-in compact crossover segment, neither is a bad choice if that’s what you’re looking for. However, the Captur can be even more compelling when it can go fully electric, or when Renault launches a very different crossover on battery power alone.

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