Renault Captur SUV
Price £14,295 - £21,195
- Practical interior
- Impressive safety
- Chunky SUV styling
- No four-wheel drive
- Not much fun to drive
- Expensive compared to Clio
At a glance
"The Renault Captur SUV is based on the Clio supermini, but offers chunkier looks and additional practicality, while retaining the Clio's low running costs."
The Renault Captur is one of the newer arrivals in the growing crossover SUV class, which is characterised by chunky, high-riding cars that are more expensive than the conventional hatchbacks on which most of them are based. In the case of the Captur, that hatchback is the humble Renault Clio.
Despite its styling, the Captur is available only with two-wheel drive; recognition, perhaps, that this car and those similar to it are rarely taken off-road. The upsides are that the Captur is lighter and more economical.
Other cars in this class include the Vauxhall Mokka, Fiat 500X, Peugeot 2008 and Citroen Cactus, as well as the Nissan Juke. The latter is bound to be on a lot of potential Captur buyers’ lists, but it's not as comfortable as the Renault, not to mention being in some respects less practical – it has smaller boot, for example.
Talking of boots, the Captur's is quite large. In fact, when you fold down the rear seats, it's bigger than what you get in a Ford Focus. Thanks to its relatively lofty driving position, the Captur offers good visibility, while cabin space is generous, too.
The Captur is more expensive than the Clio, but thanks to its range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, it's at least relatively inexpensive to run. The best version in this respect is the Energy dCi 90, which returns 78.5mpg and, like the other two diesels (an automatic version and the more powerful dCi 110), it costs nothing to tax.
However, even the petrols put in a good show, with the least powerful of the two, the TCe 90, managing 55.4mpg economy and costing £30 a year in road tax. Given the diesel versions’ significantly higher prices, you may want to consider if your annual mileage is high enough to warrant buying one of them over one of the cheaper petrols.
For all its crossover pretensions, the Captur excels at urban driving; its light steering and good visibility making easy work of congested streets. On open roads, it leans a little too much in corners due to its soft suspension. On the other hand, that same soft ride makes the Captur a comfortable long-distance tourer.
Equipment is good, with even the basic Expression+ version having electric windows all-round, air-conditioning and cruise control. However, you only to have to go to the next model up, Dynamique Nav, to enjoy satellite navigation and climate control. Fitted with the dCi 110 diesel engine, it's our pack of the four-trim model line-up.
Renault's record for reliability is improving and while it's still early days for the Captur, we’re confident it should give little trouble. The Captur was awarded five stars by the crash-testers at Euro NCAP. It has the usual mix of safety features, including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and hill-start assistance, but useful touches such as rear parking sensors are reserved for higher-spec models beyond even Dynamique Nav.
Small engines and relatively low weight are a good combination for low running costs in the Renault Captur
The Renault Captur is not the most fun car to drive in its class, but it’s accomplished around town and on long drives
The Renault Captur is one of the most comfortable cars in its class, but some of the interior plastics aren’t particularly good quality
The Renault Captur has more room inside than the Clio and you can make the boot bigger than a Ford Focus’
With six airbags and a few electronic gizmos, the Renault Captur is a safe car. It seems to be reliable, too, although it’s a little early to tell