In-depth reviews

Renault Captur SUV - Engines, drive & performance

Supple suspension serves up a relaxing ride

Carbuyer Rating

4.3 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

While many cars are gradually tweaked and improved, the Captur is genuinely all-new this time and now sits on the same underpinnings as the latest Renault Clio. So, despite being slightly larger, the Captur is also lighter and has a stiffer structure; two factors that add up to vastly improve the way it drives. Interior refinement, how well it absorbs bumps and the precision of its steering have all improved too.

Unlike many rivals that are set up to feel very sporty, Renault has also been content to give the Captur soft suspension to boost relaxation. There’s a fair bit of body lean if you drive enthusiastically, but the car never feels as if it’s really wallowing. Its steering is very precise, making the latest Captur easier to thread along a narrow lane.

Renault Captur petrol engines

There are two engines if you go for a petrol, and it’s the 1.0-litre that’s likely to be most popular in the UK. This is a three-cylinder turbo engine with 99bhp, while above it there’s a 1.3-litre turbo with 138bhp, while a 153bhp version has now been discontinued.

The 1.0-litre is economical, but it also feels rather slow, taking 14 seconds to get from 0-62mph - a figure that's higher than most rivals. A 99bhp 1.0-litre petrol Hyundai Bayon takes 10.7 seconds to hit the same speed, and that’ll feel noticeably quicker. On the motorway the Captur TCe requires plenty of revs and sometimes a lower gear to pass slower traffic, but the six-speed manual gearbox is good to use.

We’ve tested both versions of the 1.3-litre and could see little reason to choose the top version, so we're unsurprised it's no longer available. The 128bhp engine has plenty of power for most Captur drivers. With this engine, 0-62mph is dispatched in 10.6 seconds (9.6 with the EDC automatic) and the Captur feels more competent and refined.

A 138bhp version of the same 1.3-litre petrol engine has now replaced both of them. When fitted with the optional EDC automatic gearbox, it is the fastest of the standard Captur line-up, covering 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds.

The entry-level petrol comes with just a manual gearbox, while the 138bhp 1.3-litre can be manual or automatic and the hybrid models are auto only. The six-speed manual is easy to shift but lacks the precision of the gearbox in the Mazda CX-30 or Honda HR-V, while the automatic is mostly smooth in town but it can be sluggish when pulling away from junctions or roundabouts; it can hesitate to change into a lower gear when required.

Diesel engines

A 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine has been offered but is no longer offered. It was a predictably niche choice compared with the petrol but it should suit higher mileage drivers and those who spend a long time on the motorway.

Hybrid engines

For the first time, Renault is offering a plug-in hybrid version of the Captur. This combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine, an electric motor and a 9.8kWh battery pack with an automatic gearbox. Badged ‘E-Tech’, it can be driven in its fully electric mode at speeds of up to 83mph and takes 10.1 seconds to accelerate from 0-62mph, thanks to its combined 158bhp. While it's the most powerful Captur, this doesn't necessarily mean it always feels the fastest because it weighs around 400kg more than the lightest petrol Capturs.

Pulling away silently helps the Captur E-Tech PHEV feel more upmarket than the regular model, and its six-speed automatic does a fairly good job of smooth gear changes. However, there's a more noticeable switch between electric and petrol power than in the hybrid Renault Clio E-Tech. Its handling is reassuring, with accurate steering and a fairly smooth ride.

There are now two Capturs with E-Tech badges, but only one needs to be plugged in. The E-Tech Hybrid uses the same powertrain as the Clio hybrid, but has a smaller battery that is recharged by the petrol engine. You won’t get the same electric range but it’s cheaper to buy and still inexpensive to run.

Recommended

Top 10 best small hybrid cars 2022
Hyundai Ioniq plug-in hybrid driving
Best cars
15 Dec 2021

Top 10 best small hybrid cars 2022

Renault Captur SUV review
Best Small Family Car: Renault Captur
Renault Captur
8 Oct 2021

Renault Captur SUV review

Top 10 best used small SUVs 2022
Ford Puma SUV
Best cars
26 Jul 2021

Top 10 best used small SUVs 2022

Top 10 best self-parking cars 2022
DS 3 Crossback
Best cars
16 Jul 2021

Top 10 best self-parking cars 2022

Have You Considered

Toyota Yaris Cross SUV review
Toyota Yaris Cross
Toyota Yaris Cross
24 Dec 2021

Toyota Yaris Cross SUV review

Ford Kuga SUV review
Ford Kuga Titanium
Ford Kuga
10 Dec 2021

Ford Kuga SUV review

Most Popular

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Car tax
20 Jan 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
21 Jan 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
21 Jan 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022