First Drive

First Drive: Renault Captur

Renault Captur TCe130 Iconic 5dr manual
The story: The second-generation Renault Captur is based on the same platform as the new Clio and also it’s key rival the new Nissan Juke. The latest Captur is larger inside than before and packed with far more technology than the first gen car.
Category:Supermini SUV
Key rival:Nissan Juke
Efficiency:44.8 mpg
On sale:February 2020

Historically, the Venn diagram overlap of Renault product and company cars has been dominated by the Clio and Megane. However, in the past few years there has been a market shift toward the SUV as user-choosers look for more interesting cars and residual values reflect that.

As a result the Captur is now Renault’s biggest seller both overall and for fleet sales. This makes the launch of the all-new Renault Captur vital for the brand and the market.

What’s also moved on since the first Captur was launched in 2013, is the demand for technology, be that in-cabin connectivity or the need for the most efficient engines.

That’s why Renault has opted for petrol and diesel powertrains plus, later in 2020, a plug-in hybrid. At launch there will be three petrol engines – a 100hp 1.0 and 130 and 155hp versions of a 1.3 – as well as two diesels – 95 or 115hp versions of a 1.5. The lowest-CO2 Captur will be the 95hp 1.5 dCi, which has an official figure of 106g/km.

First Drive-Renault Captur-4th November 2019-Image 1New tech for the new Captur is plentiful. From the driver’s seat the most obvious change is the addition of a 9.3-inch portrait-orientated control screen identical to that in the new Clio. The big screen is, however, only standard on the top-spec S Edition trim level, with the Play and Iconic versions making do with a ‘regular’ 7in landscape control screen. However, the software running the control systems is easy to use and quick to respond to inputs. There’s also Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard across the range, plus four USB sockets – two up front and two in the back.

The new car is 110mm longer than before. This translates into greater interior space, both for the rear-seat passengers and the boot space. As with the first-gen Captur, the rear seats slide forward and back to allow owners to adjust rear legroom and boot space as required. The new minimum boot size is up 45 litres to 422 and with the seats slid forward this rises to a very respectable 536 litres.

First Drive-Renault Captur-4th November 2019-Image 8The cabin is a big step on from that in the outgoing Captur and jumps ahead of many rivals thanks to clever use of higher-grade materials in more visible positions such as on the door tops, steering wheel and dashboard.

On the road, the Captur drives well, proving comfortable without being wallowy. It also feels particularly stable at motorway speeds. Forward visibility is good, although for taller drivers the high seating position and low rear roofline make visibility from the rear-view mirror a little restricted.

The manual gearbox is easy to operate, but the weak point in the range is the automatic gearbox, which feels sluggish from a standstill and has a curiously elastic feel to the way it responds at faster speeds. It was also inconsistent in the way it changed gear, making the car more difficult to drive smoothly.

Tristan young

The verdict

Auto gearbox aside, the Renault Captur is a an appealing car with classy looks inside and out, great levels of tech and is easy to use. The increased practicality from the larger boot just makes the car even easier to recommend.