Renault Captur - GT Line TCE 90
The Captur is Renault’s baby SUV. Gently face-lifted in 2017, its freshened looks - large badge and sharper lights - brought it in line with the wider Renault family. It is a pleasing, smooth shape which stands apart from many of its rivals’ more angular looks. The deep wedge design on its flanks provides it with a bold stance and wheel arch covers and new front and rear scuff plates give a nod toward rugged capability. Don’t be fooled by this: the Captur is very much an urban crossover. Despite the chunky looks and taller profile, all models are front-wheel-drive only.
Inside, everything is fairly conventional and the sweeping dashboard with simple controls is easy on the eye. The main infotainment display is straightforward to navigate and buttons for climate and ventilation are to hand on the facia (rather than being accessed via the screen like the Captur’s main French rivals). Ahead of the driver, the fuel and rev counter sit in deep recesses with a big, bold digital speed readout in the centre.
How economically you are driving is shown by a coloured bar in the driver display. Green turns quickly to orange if you work the Captur a little harder or sit in the wrong gear. There is a more detailed view of your eco driving credentials available in the main display and this trip information is summarised between the dials. A small omission is the clock, which is absent from some of the screens such as this eco display.
Being slightly taller than a regular B-segment car - but with a similar footprint to its Clio sibling - the Captur offers a good forward view although the A-pillars are rather thick, and some head bobbing is needed at junctions. They’re broadest at the bottom so it’s worth cranking up the driver’s seat a couple of notches to minimise the blind spot. Otherwise, the all-round visibility is reasonable and the rear-view camera on our GT Line test car makes good sense.
On the move
Popular in the Captur is the small petrol engine. And it really is small at just 898cc but is boosted by a turbocharger to deliver a respectable 90hp. You’ll have to hunt for it though as it’s toward the top of the rev range. Below 3,000rpm the turbo isn’t doing much, which helps fuel economy. And this is one of the Captur’s big plus points: economy jumps quickly into the mid-50s to the gallon without trying hard. However, the nature of a small engine means that the excellent economy achieved with gentle urban and extra urban driving is eroded quickly with motorway use where a small engine must work harder. For those doing regular motorway journeys, the 1.2-litre petrol or torquier diesel would make sense.
Gearing is on the tall side, making 30mph more comfortable in third than fourth gear. Driving at the motorway limit keeps the revs at a fairly high 3,000rpm, but noise levels remain acceptable.
The Captur has a welcome, supple low speed ride, which absorbs potholes and speed bumps well. While not the sharpest handling, it still manages to be taught enough at higher speeds so overall, it is a well-balanced setup.
There are four trim levels: Play, Iconic, S Edition and now GT Line. None of the levels is short on equipment. All come with two-tone paint, alloy wheels, auto lights and DAB radio. The GT Line tested, comes fully-loaded with keyless start and entry, heated front seats, hands-free parking and all-round parking sensors along with the rear camera. All but the entry Play models now also boast Android Auto phone mirroring as well as Apple CarPlay.
The face-lift wasn’t earth-shattering, but it didn’t need to be: the Captur remains contemporary-looking and its good ride with decent equipment levels make it easy to own. The smaller petrol engine is very much suited to local and extra urban use so think about its intended use pattern before choosing what goes under the bonnet.
About the Author
Andrew is a freelance motoring journalist with a background in IT and the vehicle leasing industry. With a lifetime’s passion for all things automotive, he can be found behind the wheel of everything from vans to supercars. In addition to reviewing the latest vehicles and technology, Andrew also runs a couple of classic British motors. He lives at the edge of the Peak District with his son and cat.