Review

Renault Captur SUV

Price  £14,575 - £21,975

Renault Captur SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Comfortable ride
  • Practical interior
  • Cheap to run
Cons
  • No four-wheel drive
  • Not very exciting to drive
  • Long and expensive options list

At a glance

Our Pick
Dynamique Nav dCi 90 5dr £17,375
The greenest
Dynamique S Nav dCi 90 5dr £18,775
The cheapest
Expression+ TCe 90 5dr £14,575
The fastest
Dynamique S Nav TCe 120 Auto 5dr £19,475
Top of the range
Iconic Nav dCi 90 Auto 5dr £21,975

“The Renault Captur is a practical and comfortable crossover. It’s not that exciting to drive, but its light steering, low running costs and high driving position mean it’s very easy to live with.”

The Renault Captur is part of the growing band of crossovers. These are cars that straddle hatchback and SUV bodystyles, offering the former's low running costs with the latter's ease of access and improved visibility. It's a winning formula, as has been proven by the success of the Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Mokka and Peugeot 2008. While some crossovers (like the Juke) offer a four-wheel drive option, the Captur is front-wheel drive only. Given the majority of these cars stick firmly to tarmac rather than grass, this is an understandable decision on Renault's part.

The Captur is offered with two petrol and two diesel engines, all of which offer decent economy, partly thanks to the use of turbocharging. The entry-level engine is an 89bhp 0.9-litre petrol, which gets the Captur from 0-62mph in 13.1 seconds, returns 55.4mpg and emits 114g/km of CO2, making road tax £30 a year. The more powerful petrol is a 118bhp 1.2-litre engine, which costs £110 to tax and is only four mpg less efficient, yet conveys the Captur with more useable performance, as evidenced by its 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds. You’ll have to pay an extra £2,000 or so if you want this engine, though, partly as it requires specifying a higher trim level.

The diesels are both 1.5-litre engines, one with 89bhp and the other with 108bhp. Both engines are road tax exempt thanks to their low CO2 emissions. Fuel economy is 78.5 and 76.3mpg respectively, while performance is leisurely with the 89bhp engine (0-62mph takes 13.1 seconds) and adequate with the 108bhp, which takes 11 seconds to do the same. Company car drivers may welcome the low 19% Benefit-in-Kind rate these engines attract, while all drivers are likely to appreciate the extra performance of the 108bhp engine. Like the petrols, you’ll have to upgrade from entry-level trim if you want the more powerful engine, meaning in effect it costs an extra £1,800.

The less powerful petrol and diesels get a five-speed manual, while the two more powerful engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox. You can specify the more powerful petrol engine and the less powerful diesel with a six-speed automatic gearbox, but we’d advise against doing so if you can, as it's not particularly quick to change gear.

Depending on how you use it, the Renault Captur can be a very pleasant car to drive. Around town its light steering and soft suspension take much of the stress out of traffic, while on the motorway it's quiet and relaxing. If you want to enjoy a winding B-road or a twisty A-road, though, be aware that the Captur's soft suspension means it leans about a fair bit when corning, while the light steering turns uncommunicative at speed, making it hard to judge where you’re placing the car in a bend. Like the Renault Clio on which it's based, the Captur is comfortable rather than thrilling to drive.

Inside, the Captur offers decent practicality for a car of its size. Front and rear seat passengers are well catered for in terms of headroom, while legroom is aided by the upright seating position. Sliding the rear seats forward or back alters to boot volume from 377 litres to 455 litres, depending on whether you need to prioritise passenger or luggage space. Even in the smaller of these configurations, the Captur has a generous boot, which is larger than the Ford Focus’ or Vauxhall Astra's. Interior quality is reasonable, though (like a lot of cars of similar price) there are a few too many scratchy plastics around for the Captur to be a genuinely inviting place to sit.

Renault offers five trim levels with the Captur. Entry-level cars are called Expression+ and come with air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, LED running lights, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, all-round electric windows and keyless entry. Moving up to Dynamique Nav trim costs around £1,100 and adds a leather steering wheel and gearlever, sat nav and an infotainment touchscreen. Dynamique S Nav costs a further £1,500 and brings with it rear parking sensors and upgraded interior and exterior trim details, while Signature Nav costs £1,500 again, adding part-leather heated seats, a reversing camera, more upgraded trim details (like aluminium pedals) as well as an upgraded media system.

Spend another £500 and you get top-of-the-range Iconic Nav trim, which features an even more upgraded interior. Some of these improvements are best experienced in person, so sit in as many Capturs as you can; many people find Dynamique Nav offers the best blend of affordability and extras, though. Be aware that Signature Nav and Iconic Nav trims come with ‘mud and snow’ tyres, which have a slightly deleterious effect on economy and CO2 emissions.

Renault put in a strong performance in our 2016 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, coming 8th out of 32 brands. The Captur also impressed, with an 18th place finish out of 150 cars. Safety is similarly reassuring, thanks to a five star rating from Euro NCAP.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.2 / 5

Small engines and relatively low weight mean low running costs for the Renault Captur

Engines, drive & performance

2.4 / 5

The Renault Captur isn’t the most fun car to drive in its class, but it’s accomplished around town and on long drives

Interior & comfort

2.6 / 5

The Renault Captur is one of the most comfortable cars in its class, but some of the interior plastics aren’t particularly good quality

Practicality & boot space

3 / 5

The Renault Captur has more room inside than the Clio and you can make the boot bigger than a Ford Focus’

Reliability & safety

2.5 / 5

With six airbags and a few electronic gizmos, the Renault Captur is a safe car. Owners also report good reliability.

What the others say

3.8 / 5
based on 4 reviews
4 / 5
"While it's not a car that encourages you to have fun, the Captur always feels composed and secure. It also does a decent job of soaking up bumps and potholes."
4 / 5
"The Renault Captur is a good car for those wanting small hatchback dimensions and low costs, but with a bit more interest."
4 / 5
"The steering is effortlessly light in town, but a Skoda Yeti is easier to drive smoothly as its pedals and gearshift feel more precise than the Captur's."
6 / 10
"A tidy effort from Renault. If you’re looking for a baby crossover, this is one of the better ones."
What owners say 
3.9047619047619
3.9 /5 based on 21 reviews
81%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
14 Jul 2016
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