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First drive: Renault Captur

Renault Launches Their Crossover

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When Renault decided to throw into a hat a mix of SUV, MPV and hatchback, out came their new model the Captur. Pronounced capture it is entering the highly competitive crossover division to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and Peugeot 2008.

Renault Captur Exterior looks

The Renault Captur reminds me of French rivals the Citroen DS3, in which you can customise the exterior body colours and interior trim. Two tone roof and mirrors add to the ability to express your car however you want within three colour collections: Arizona, Miami and Manhattan. Arizona is all about the vibrant orange you’d see in the dusty outback, Miami is blue like the sea along the West Coast and Manhattan is black and white tones like the buildings in New York.

With the small front grille, huge Renault badge and wide front LED lights, it is quite a noticeable car for all the right reasons. Sweeping lines to the rear make it look slightly coupe-esque from the side and it’s a car that might confuse people as to what it actually is.

Renault Captur Interior

With four trim levels available: Expression, Expression+, Dynamique MediaNav and Dynamique S MediaNav. The basic, Expression still comes with a lot as standard. ABS, cruise control, LED daytime running lights, keycard, trip computer, front and rear electric windows and much more.

Expression+ adds extras such as air-conditioning, front fog lights and a reversible boot floor, while the top spec Dynamique S MediaNav has rear parking sensors and extra tinted rear windows and tailgate.

The interior is considerably spacious and there are plenty of places for storage. The shell-shaped seats are very comfortable, on the plus side they have removable, washable covers, on the downside, the zips all the way around them look unsightly.

A mix of shiny black gloss plastics and chrome inserts are in the cabin, with a simple laid out centre console and dash. The 7-inch touch screen houses the multimedia and satellite navigation and there are USB and jack sockets to link up your phone.

The boot conveniently has a removable and reversible floor that can also be cleaned due to its rubber surface. Ideal if you’ve thrown a muddy bike in the back. The floor can also be raised to hide items you don’t want on show and lowered to give even more space. Boot volume is 377 litres and with rear seats folded down is 1235 litres.

Renault Captur Performance and Driving

A high driving position gives you great visibility in the Renault Captur and at the press of a button the car comes to life. There are two turbo petrol and a diesel engine available, with one of each named Energy 90 Stop & Start eco2 which has better fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions.

The diesel dCi 90 has a combined fuel consumption of 76.4mpg, while the 95 g/km figure of CO2 emissions means it is road tax free.

You can drive more economically with an indicator on the dash showing when to change gear and the illuminated green, yellow and orange assessing your driving style. I always find these do tend to distract slightly on cars, but with the additional ECO mode you can also change engine settings and the heat/air-conditioning to further reduce consumption.

A 1.2-litre TCe 120 turbo petrol uses a six-speed automatic gearbox which does 0-62mph in 10.5 seconds. Now I know this sort of information is quite trivial for the car, as the Captur is likely to be bought by the small family market.

It’s not the most enthralling of cars to drive, suspension is quite firm so makes for a slightly rough ride. But because of its small size it’s very nimble, especially around tight corners and steering is responsive so does make you feel like you’re driving an ordinary hatchback. It’s only front-wheel drive which is a shame and there are no plans for a 4x4 version.

Renault Captur Safety

Renault employ more than 600 people who focus just on vehicle safety, so it’s with no surprise that the Captur is well equipped. With plenty of airbags, anti-whiplash headrests and a pressure sensor to detect impact, then you can feel very safe. Add parking distance control, which assists you manoeuvring into a space by letting you know what is behind the car, Hill Start Assist and cornering headlights, then Renault have got safety well covered.

Renault Captur Pricing

The Renault Captur starts from £12,495 for the Expression TCe 90 Stop & Start. The top of the range Dynamique S MediaNav dCi 90 Auto EDC is £18,895.

The Peugeot 2008 is a rival in more ways than one, but both seem very capable of taking on the Nissan Juke in terms of styling, pricing and driveability. The Captur has a uniqueness to create something that is personal to the buyer in a fun way.

It seems the Renault Captur has some French flair to capture the crossover segment.