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In-depth reviews

Renault Captur review – a stylish, good-value small SUV

“The Renault Captur is one of the small SUVs to beat, thanks to low running costs and plenty of style”

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Price
£21,555 - £34,195

Pros

  • Easy to drive
  • Sliding rear bench
  • Good value

Cons

  • Slow TCe 90 petrol engine
  • Imprecise gearbox
  • Digital dials cost extra

Verdict – is the Renault Captur a good car?

The crossover SUV class has become even more competitive in recent years, and buyers are spoilt for choice. Some have more interior space than the Renault Captur, and others, such as the Ford Puma, are sharper to drive, but the Captur sets high standards in many areas, including value for money and reliability. A selection of petrol, hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains also keep running costs down and provide plenty of choice to appeal to both private and business drivers.

Renault Captur models, specs and alternatives

The original Renault Captur popularised the small-SUV formula alongside its rival, the Nissan Juke, but the second-generation model has a tough job on its hands going up against a growing list of competitors. Buyers now have small SUVs like the fun-to-drive Ford Puma, Peugeot 2008 – with great interior quality – and practical Volkswagen T-Cross to choose from. The Renault Captur is much improved over the first model, and you can tell the French marque has put in a real effort to make its Captur the best all-rounder; it won our Carbuyer award for Best Small Family Car in both 2021 and 2022.

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Renault unveiled a facelifted Captur in early 2024 which is due to go on sale later on in the same year. It gets a heavily redesigned front end more in-keeping with the brand’s latest models, with a simpler design and two-piece light clusters replacing the outgoing model’s C-shaped units. Under the skin, the same 1.0-litre entry-level TCe 90 engine will still be available alongside a 1.6-litre E-Tech hybrid model, though it’s unclear whether the plug-in hybrid will make a comeback. There have been some tweaks to the suspension and power steering setups, however, which should make it more agile and responsive.

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Renault has made the Captur slightly bigger inside and out compared with the previous-generation car it replaced, modernised its design and made it better to drive and sit in. Spacious rear seats and generous boot space help it win over families compared with the Renault Clio supermini on which it’s based, and it’s just as cheap to run and not much more expensive to buy. There's even a plug-in hybrid E-Tech version to appeal to business drivers and those looking to shrink their carbon footprint; it has few rivals at a similar size or price. In fact, the Captur has such a vast array of talents it won the Best Small Family Car award in the Carbuyer Best Car Awards in 2021 and 2022, only losing out to the newer Kia Niro in 2023. 

Best small SUVsTop 10 best small SUVs 2024

Customers loved the look of the first car, so the similarity of the latest Captur is unsurprising. It’s still curvy but also slightly more chiselled and LED lights are now standard, with a C-shaped design similar to the Renault Megane. Two-tone paintwork remains a trademark look, with 90 combinations possible to help your Captur stand out.

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Renault’s showrooms are full of sleek-looking machinery, and the launch of the Renault Arkana means that the Captur also has a stylish rival from within the same company. Some parts are shared between the two cars but the Arkana is slightly bigger and swoopier, sitting below the Renault Kadjar in the brand’s SUV line-up.

Materials have jumped up in quality inside the Captur, with squidgy materials replacing most hard plastics and faux leather in more expensive versions. The infotainment screen is slick and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, while the upgraded portrait-oriented infotainment system available on some models looks like something you might find in a Mercedes or something similarly premium. Some other surprising features include adaptive cruise control and a suite of driver aids that can steer and accelerate the car in traffic.

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Space inside is abundant, both for passengers and luggage, and you can adapt the balance between the latter thanks to a sliding rear bench. This can move 160mm forwards and backwards to adjust boot space between 422 and 536 litres, even if legroom is almost non-existent with it slid fully forwards.

Shared with the Clio, the Captur’s underpinnings are slightly larger and stiffer than before, improving interior refinement and ride comfort. The suspension is fairly soft, so driving the Captur is more relaxing than more firmly sprung crossovers like the SEAT Arona, even if there’s a bit more body lean if you push the car in corners.

A petrol engine and full-hybrid are offered, and there was also briefly a plug-in hybrid Captur E-Tech that joined the range in mid-2020, though as of early 2024 this is no longer available. Two diesel engines have also been offered in the past, but these were discontinued, and the E-Tech hybrid offers diesel-like efficiency, so they’re hardly missed. With 89bhp, the 1.0-litre entry-level petrol comes with a manual gearbox. Above this there was a 138bhp 1.3-litre, but this was also removed from the range alongside the old range-topping 153bhp petrol.

What about buying a used or nearly new Renault Captur?

You could save quite a bit of cash on a used or nearly new Renault Captur. Many of the second-generation cars still have some time left on their factory warranty, which will give some peace of mind, but you’ll also be able to make a saving on the asking price. 

What’s its history?

The first Renault Captur arrived in 2013, using Renault Clio parts but with a raised-up body and a more practical interior. It was initially available with 0.9 and 1.2-litre petrol engines and a 1.5-litre diesel, although as part of a 2017 facelift the 1.2 was dropped and a 1.3-litre model was added instead. The update also brought LED lights and a different grille, plus some more equipment.

The second-generation model came out in 2019 and was better in just about every way. It was much more upmarket inside than before, despite its affordable price, and the driving experience had been greatly improved as well.

Used Renault Captur (Mk1 2013-2019)

Used Renault Captur SUV (2013-2019)

The best version of the Mk1 Renault Captur is the 1.3-litre petrol with a manual gearbox and in mid-spec Iconic trim. These were only available after the 2017 update, so they’re a bit more expensive. If you have a tighter budget, you could choose an earlier 1.5-litre diesel model instead. You can read more about the Mk1 Captur in our full buying guide

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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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