TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR
The Renault Captur crossover is essentially a high-riding Clio and, like the little hatchback, it’s one of the more stylish cars in its class. Fresh from a mid-life upgrade, the Captur now comes in two new spec levels; the entry level Zen and Intens, which are both powered by the Clio’s 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, which in the Intens is coupled with a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.
Renault Australia has issued drive away pricing for the Captur, which starts at starts at $23,990 for the Captur Zen manual. The Intens costs $30,990, with extra features over the Zen including hands-free parking assist, blind-spot warning, large sunroof, leather seats, R-Link satellite navigation, front and side parking sensors and 17-inch alloys wheels.
- It has charming looks and a broad appeal that some crossovers try for but don’t quite achieve.
- The facelifted interior is an improvement over the previous model, with more soft touch plastics and sporty steering wheel borrowed from the Clio.
- The rear seats are comfortable and offer plenty of leg and headroom for two adults.
- It can be a bit sluggish on takeoff, but once it gets going the Captur moves along even if it will never threaten any speed records. That said there’s a bit of power in reserve for overtaking.
- It’s pretty fuel efficient – with an official combined fuel consumption figure of 5.4L/100km. We averaged around 6.1L/100km, mostly around town.
- The ride is pretty smooth, even on the Intens’ bigger 17-inch wheels, and rides over speed bumps particularly well.
- Boot space is a class-leading 455 litres, significantly more than the Mitsubishi ASX (393 litres), Mazda CX-3 (263-litres) and even the larger CX-5 (442 litres). Fold the rear seatbacks down and it carries 1255 litres.
- Cabin storage is pretty good too. There’s a deep centre console bin and a hatch on top of the dashboard reveals a decent space to leave things like sunglasses and phones.
- Bluetooth syncing is very quick and simple.
- The Captur shares the Clio’s 1.2-litre powertrain which brings with it a bit of turbo lag and the added handicap of being 100kg heavier.
- It still lacks advanced safety features such as automatic emergency braking which is now becoming standard equipment in the small-SUV segment.
- The infotainment display is a little dated and the full-screen satellite navigation map view is partially obscured by a menu that can’t be hidden.
- The cupholders are small and poorly placed between the seats slightly behind your hip line and under the armrest so you have to reach back and under to grab your drink. And it was too easy for the driver’s seat cushion to snare takeaway coffee cup lids, with soggy results.
ARE THERE ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER
The Captur still oozes Gallic charm, however, the belated entry of the Japanese and Korean carmakers to the small-SUV segment means it no longer has that unique appeal. Similarly- or better-equipped crossovers for around the Captur Intens’ $30,000 asking price include the brand new Citroen C3 Aircross and Hyundai Kona Elite, Mazda CX-3 sTouring, Peugeot 2008 Allure and Toyota C-HR.