Renault Captur

| June 28, 2013 | 0 Comments





Jumping Jack Flash
As I write this review, Glastonbury 2013 is upon us & the hordes have descended on Somerset, including my brother in law Liam, who is working again on the Pyramid Stage. Liam works the midnight to 8 am shift which allows him to catch all of his favourite bands during the festival & normally his Pyramid pass allows him to stand right at the front as well. More importantly, he gets to stay in the area reserved for workers & artists. This means that he eats decent food, sleeps somewhere dry & uses clean bathrooms. All would be totally essential requirements for me before I’d even think about attending  the “Greatest Show on Earth,” as I am far too fussy to slum it with the masses.


Just getting in & out of the car parks at Glastonbury can take 12 hours & with the amount of gear required to cope with a 3 day extravaganza often in mud, you’d need a fairly sizeable vehicle just to get it all there & back & this is where Renaults new supermini SUV the Captur, pronounced Cap – ture, on paper anyway, could be a perfect fit. Based on the Clio, it shares it’s platform with Nissans Pug- a- like Juke, but it’s looks won’t divide opinion as it’s a very attractive proposition. This is an important factor, as it is in reality a replacement for Renaults Modus which never really sold in great numbers in the UK, due mainly to it’s bland looks. The Captur however, is anything but bland & at a Renault driving day near Chester I was able to give it the once over & discover where it will fit, in this competitive but fast growing sector currently led by Nissans Juke.


Renaults marketing gurus have described the Captur as having the styling of an SUV, the practicality of an MPV, whilst retaining the drive ability of a small hatchback, all things to all people then ? In the flesh Renault have got off to a good start because it certainly looks good. Taking a cue from another French brand Citroen, whose myriad of options on their DS3 model have turned it into a big sales success, Renault have decided to offer buyers the opportunity to customise their Captur with one of three distinctive colour collections.


Arizona is a colour range based primarily on Arizona orange representing adventure, with black, silver, grey & ivory. Miami features a more tropical beach & sea Tahoe & Boston blue & Manhattan is a more subdued cityscape of black, grey, ivory, stone & silver colour palettes. Each can be customised by the owner to reflect their personality, with the roof, wheels, mirrors, fog lights, side sill protectors & front grille surround on the outside & the centre console trim, speakers, air vents , upholstery & steering wheel on the inside being changeable.


The Captur range is offered in four trim levels. Expression is the entry level & similarly to the new Peugeot 2008, it’s extremely well equipped, offering as it does, ABS, EBA, Central door locking, Cruse control, with speed limiter, daytime LED running lights, an ECO mode function, ESC, HSA, a keycard, radio with CD, Bluetooth, UX in & USB, a trip computer as well as variable power steering. There’s also all around electric windows, electrically adjusted wing mirrors, driver passenger front side & thorax airbags,rear sets with a 60:40 split, height adjustable drivers seat, height & reach adjustable steering wheel & a split level boot floor. Phew ! The other three models in the range add lost of interior & external upgrades, the main ones being on the Expression +, which adds air con , front fogs & a reversible boot floor, Dynamique, which gives you handsfree technology, a Renault MediaNav including a 7″ touchscreen multi media system with SatNav & the Dynamique S Medianav rear parking sensors. The range starts at £12,495 OTR rising for the Expression TCe 90 Stop& Start to ££18,895 for the top of the range Dynamique S Medianav dCi 90 Auto EDC.


That’s not all though. Renault have thought about the “Festival goer” as well, because the Capturs seat covers can be removed & washed on the two range topping models & the reversible boot floor is carpeted on one side with hard plastic on the other, just perfect for those muddy wellies ! There’s underneath storage too, where your able tio hide your valuables from prying eyes.  Furthermore, the 60:40 split folding rear bench has 3 seats, converts into a flat floor & slides on rails, allowing the Capturs volume to be adjusted & it’s passenger compartment arranged to suit your needs.


For that inevitable crawl away from Glastonburys car parks, all models come with Stop/Start saving you fuel. There’s also an Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) a auto available on some models, an Energy Smart System, optimising the consumption of electrical energy which also helps recharge the battery & an ECO mode button which when selected modifies the vehicles acceleration, torque, power management, heating/air con, very handy after an all nighter spent in your car.


Renault believe that the Dynamique MediaNav dCi 90 Stop/Start will be the most popular model in the UK, so it was this Captur that I got to drive, in stunning Tahoe Blue with an Ivory roof. Unlike the Juke, the Captur is certainly attractive to look at, with a rounded & sweeping exterior. Inside the cabin is reminiscent of the new Clio, with an easy to read display & quality black & grey fixtures & fittings. A couple of oddities are with Renaults use of a 1980’s style radio, media volume stalk on the right side of the steering wheel which you cannot see & with the location of the cruise control switch,which is not obvious at first, being located between the two front seats. But, these two gripes aside, I really liked the higher driving position  which is 10 cm higher than in the Clio, which gave me  a good view of my surroundings.


The 1.5 diesel is tried & tested & performs well in the Captur, especially with just one passenger on board. The five speed gearbox is slick & although the gear ratios are long this is never a problem. The Captur took the speed bumps encountered at Carden Park extremely well & I found that on the country roads around Chester it handled well with just a little body role  around corners due perhaps to it’s increased height over the Clio. It’s quiet too, particularly on the motorway where it happily cruises at the speed limit. Be warned though, the 1.5 diesel unit isn’t quick, taking 12.6 seconds to reach 62 mph, with a top speed of 106 mph, so don’t expect thrilling acceleration from the Captur. The lack of pulling power could seriously damage your fuel consumption, which is a claimed 76.4 mpg on the combined for the dCi 90 Stop & Start model, with emmissions the lowest in the range at just 95g/km.


There are two things that distinguish the Captur from other cars it’s competing with. Firstly it’s practicality. Like Peugeots new 2008 it’s incredibly spacious inside & makes one wonder why a family of four, two adults & two children would need a larger car. There’s storage galore & the clever use of sliding seats allows for the more adventurous types to utilise it’s superior load area. And, secondly, it’s the look of Captur. In almost every colour combo it really is a stunner & on looks alone it will pass the mustard with even the vainest of customers.


When Monday comes around & the headliners have flown home, it’s comforting to know that if you had the foresight to buy a Captur, you’ll be able to leave Glastonbury behind with all your luggage stowed away mud & all & on returning home will at the very least be able to wash the seat covers, which coming from someone just this side of OCD, is certainly something to behold.


An Exile on Main Street 3.5/5.

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Category: Renault

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