Leading up to the arrival of the Captur, I wasn't sure what to expect. It's a strikingly stylish car inspired by the Clio with a raised body. Yet I was pleasantly surprised by the unique nature of the Captur, with its sprightful engine, pleasant interior, and genuine ease of use.
I must admit, as time passed, my appreciation for Renault has substantially increased. What was once a brand I admittedly undervalued has transformed into a manufacturer whose vehicles genuinely resonate with me. This new Captur is fuel to that growing interest in the brand.
Simply put, the Captur can be likened to a larger and elevated version of the Clio, and I quite like it. The smooth, rounded body shape and stylish bumpers that tastefully use chrome accents are attractive. The 17" alloy wheels perfectly match the car's bold design, while the LED lights provide excellent nighttime visibility.
Some Captur owners may have mixed feelings about the interior. While the abundant use of moulded plastic may not bother families with young children and looking for durability, others who are more particular about their interiors might find it unappealing. That said, the infotainment system in this car scores highly in my books. The screen is big at 9.3" but not over the top, and functions smoothly. It has typical media options like Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Captur comes with three driving modes, all of which are pleasant to use. Eco decreases your revs and inspires you to drive more relaxedly, whereas Sport encourages you to extract all 113 kilowatts with a more spirited driving experience. Lastly, the Captur has an Individual mode, which allows you to customise your driving experience to suit your style. Of course, these modes also change the driver display and ambient lighting, which is further customisable to suit your driving mood.
I want to touch on the reversing camera in the Captur, which is disappointing due to its poor quality and processing delay. As far as the seats are concerned, the cloth seats look rough around the edges in terms of aesthetics, but I didn't have any significant issues with them. However, the rear seats are a bit cramped and lack space, especially for larger individuals, despite being movable. On a positive note, the keyless start/stop and entry feature is reasonably practical.
How does it drive, though? My first impression of the Captur caught me off guard, I was expecting a struggling engine, but that is far from the truth. I was pleasantly surprised by its punchy power output, which comes from its 1.3-litre turbo-charged, Formula 1-inspired motor. Delivering 113 kW of power and 270 Nm of torque, it might not seem impressive on paper, but it's surprisingly spirited in practice.
It is a little loose if you intend to corner quickly, but it isn't necessarily a car designed to do so. On rougher road surfaces, the Captur becomes unsettled. I was also disappointed at this car's slight rattles and noises on bumpier surfaces. The gear selector takes time and may test your patience, as it demands a wait before engaging your selected gear. However, once you've engaged 'Drive', the experience is quite solid, and it's hard to fault the 7-speed gearbox.
The ride quality on asphalt is good, and there's not much wind noise to talk about. This car is an excellent choice for those who like to take road trips, especially considering its good fuel economy, which registered 6.6 litres/100 km. As impressive as this may be, I'm unsurprised since excellent fuel consumption is generally part of Renault's repertoire.
The new Renault Captur starts at an impressive R454,999 with the Zen package, and the top model is the Intens at R499 999. This excludes the metallic paint option, which is an additional R2,999. The Captur comes with a 5-year/150,000 km mechanical warranty, a 3-year/45,000 km service plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty aimed at but not limited to coastal regions.
I enjoyed driving the Renault Captur, with its fashionable looks and surprisingly potent engine. Add to that excellent fuel consumption, giving a sense of calm in an otherwise tumultuous world.
Sure, it has some plastic finishings and rattling issues, but strangely, I found myself admiring it in the parking lot. Not something I usually do with crossovers, and that's saying a lot.