The second generation of the chic mini-Suv
The new Renault Captur certainly has bags of elegance, with clear lines and good proportions making it a great all-rounder. The first-generation Captur has, of course, become one of Renault's best-selling models, and the second has been even further refined. But what about the technology? Read our test report to find out.
Whilst the Captur remains loyal to the mini SUV segment and continues to compete against the Seat Arona, the Hyundai Kona, the VW T-Cross and the Mazda CX-3, the French player has now gained an extra 11cm in length, taking it to 4.23m. In visual terms, the new model features a redesigned front end, a lower roofline and a higher belt line whilst the chrome bar has been removed from the tailgate.
The wheelbase is also larger, but only by 2cm, meaning that the internal dimensions remain virtually unchanged and that the legroom in the back is still not particularly great. Furthermore, the head sits close to the roof brace on each side, which could start to feel a little oppressive, especially on longer journeys. That said, this is, after all, a compact vehicle, and no manufacturer has yet managed to work any miracles.
Moving on to the rear, the new Captur boosts an increased boot capacity, which now stands at 422-1275L as opposed to the 377-1235L of the previous version, according to Renault. The storage space can be adjusted using the rear seat, which slides out 16cm, whilst the height-adjustable loading floor is also practical since you no longer have to lift that bottle rack over a high loading sill and can still store a lot of items beneath the floor.
A passenger compartment full of beautiful details
The new driving position, dominated by a large touch screen mounted upright in the top-of-the-range version, provides comfortable surroundings, with the basic model coming with a 7" system as standard, without a navigation system but with wireless connectivity to Apple and Android smartphones. The optional 9.3" screen resembles a small tablet and is controlled in the same way, using the soft-touch icons or by swiping with your finger to move to the next page.
The first page - the homepage - displays the main function menus, i.e. navigation and radio/music source, whilst the second page allows you to adjust the vehicle’s settings, including the Sport, Eco or Individual driving profiles found under the Multi-Sense settings. The Sport profile ensures a more responsive engine and firmer steering, as well as sportier shifting through the automatic transmission, but there is no way to adjust the chassis like you can with the superior models. Other attractive interior features include the floating centre console, which also provides additional storage space. It is also worth noting that this futuristic bearing system is only available with the electronic selector that comes with the dual-clutch gearbox. If you opt for a manual transmission, the gear lever may feel a little too high, but rest assured that it doesn't interfere in the slightest with its handling.
The door, roof rail and dashboard trim are very pleasant both on the eye and to the touch, with most surfaces padded and 18 colour combinations to choose from to create the exact interior you’ve been dreaming of. The choice of colours for the exterior is even greater, with no fewer than 90 combinations with contrasting roof to choose from in the configuration tool.
A variety of engines to choose from
Just like the Clio, on which its technological features are based, the Captur is based on the new CMF-B platform, which doesn’t yet offer all-wheel drive for the SUV but is lighter and, thanks to its improved electronic architecture, also allows for new assistance systems to be incorporated, generally as optional extras. After all, distance control with congestion assistance, speed limit recognition, lane keeping assist, an emergency brake function, a 360-degree camera, parking assistance and cross-traffic warning systems are not what you would necessarily expect from a small SUV.
On the engine front, Renault is launching it with a choice of three turbo petrol engines (74 to 113kW) and a diesel engine (85kW), and the 96kW/130hp petrol engine won us over completely on our first test drive, running quietly and smoothly with an impressive 6-speed manual transmission to boot. The 113kW/155hp petrol engine is much more powerful, but it will set you back at least €25,504 since it is only available with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and in a high spec.
The Captur's chassis is a far cry from the well-known French ‘sedan chair’ and feels almost a bit too sporty, particularly when it comes to the 155hp petrol engine. The Captur should also be available in a plug-in hybrid version a few months after its commercial launch. The latter will combine a 67kW/90hp 1.6L petrol engine and a 53kW electric engine with an additional built-in alternator-generator that will have a direct impact on the crankshaft. The system offers approximately 118kW/160hp, with an average exclusively electric range of 45km according to Renault, with the possibility for the dual-core Captur to achieve up to 65km in City mode. The maximum electric speed is 135km/h, whilst the accumulator has a capacity of 9.8kWh and should therefore charge in under 3 hours on a 3.6kW charging station.
© Renault / Yannick Brossard