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The Top Gear car review:Renault Captur
For:Looks, multiple options, refinement, economy
Against:Could be more practical, just another car hopping on the bandwagon
1.5 dCi 90 Dynamique MediaNav Energy 5dr
Bandwagon time. Already this year, a total of six all-new, small crossovers have been announced. Clearly, there’s a trend building here. The...
It’s a Clio on Steroids, and it’s pretty good. Bit dull, though…
What we say:
Pretty and perfectly timed Captur is charged with turning around Renault's UK sales. Stands a chance
What is it?
The Captur is Renault’s take on the booming baby crossover market. It was one of six to be launched in 2013 from various different manufacturers, and Renault is hoping that by jumping on this particular bandwagon it’ll help turn around its fortunes. It needs to – sales have been falling recently.
The Captur doesn’t offer anything different to rivals: it’s based on the two wheel-drive Renault Clio but with a raised ride height. Renault has stuck to the script here, hoping that the punchy looks will help the Captur stand out. And it certainly looks exciting, particularly in vivid orange.
Looks are one thing: don’t buy the Captur if you’re after driving excitement. The car is safe, comfortable, refined, but also dull. There is absolutely zero fizz here. Still, if you go into it knowing that, it’s not all bad. Because while the engines look a bit weedy – the most powerful petrol turbo only has 119bhp and does 0-62mph in a mellow 10.5 seconds – in reality they’re perfectly acceptable and can easily keep up with traffic.
The 1.5 dCi diesel probably suits this car better. It has more torque to lug it along and the easygoing nature is in keeping with that safe and comfortable demeanour.
On the inside
A mixed result here. Because while the Captur looks family-friendly, and has got some neat technological touches, in reality it’s not as practical as it should be. Renault pioneered the nifty cubby on the original Scenic MPV, but it seems to have forgotten that heritage here. The boot volume is OK, the rear seat space is fine, but given that Renault deliberately built the Captur on the more practical Clio platform, you’d have thought it would be better.
At least the multimedia system is clever and the design is neat. The big touch screen in the dash looks good and is easy to navigate, plus it’s standard on the top two trim levels. There are useful bits to it, like the actual sat nav, but then there are fripperies, like a horoscope, which the car will even read to you. Marketing overkill.
If economy and safety are your main concerns, then you’ll have no worries with the Captur. EuroNCAP has tested it and it’s come out with the full five star rating (as you’d expect of a Renault). Economy-wise, the engine choice is excellent. The diesels are obviously better, achieving a very impressive best of 76.4mpg and 95g/km CO2, but even the petrol versions are perfectly acceptable. Go for the TCe 90 and it’s 56.5mpg and 115g/km CO2. If you’re a family buyer with a low annual mileage, that’s arguably the one you should go for.