Renault Captur SUV review
“The Renault Captur is one of the crossovers to beat, thanks to low running costs and plenty of style”
- Easy to drive
- Sliding rear bench
- Good value
- Slow TCe 90 petrol engine
- Imprecise gearbox
- Digital dials cost extra
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 range
The original Renault Captur popularised the crossover 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 SUV crossovers 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.
Renault has made the Captur slightly bigger inside and out compared with the model 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.
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.
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.
Two petrol engines are offered, along with a plug-in hybrid Captur E-Tech that joined the range in mid-2020. Two diesel engines have also been offered in the past, but now they’ve been replaced by a second hybrid engine, which you can also get in the Renault Clio. With 89bhp, the 1.0-litre entry-level petrol comes with a manual gearbox, as does the 138bhp 1.3-litre. The old range-topping 153bhp petrol has now also been discontinued.
The new E-Tech hybrid offers diesel-like fuel efficiency, while the E-Tech plug-in hybrid (they’re two quite different options despite the same name) has a pure-electric range of around 30 miles, helping it achieve an official CO2 emissions rating of just 34-36g/km. This will help it appeal to business drivers, but at just over £30,000, the plug-in hybrid is expensive to purchase outright.
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)
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