Renault’s Captur began life as a 3-door concept model and while the production model has been toned down for everyday practicality, it remains an exciting shape.
Based on the new Clio platform, the Captur adds excitement to its excellent underpinnings and presents itself with a definite ‘wow’ factor, particularly when finished in two-tone body colours.
At 4.1 metres, the car falls into the supermini Crossover category, a design solution gathering momentum in which the vehicle takes the best features of established traits – bigger than a hatchback, smaller than an SUV and bordering on an estate.
Within this sector there is a lot of competition and in NI significant demand, but to attract attention from the buyer the car has to have, among other attributes, personality.
The Captur has this in abundance, both in its exterior design and youthful cabin, adding practicality to its aesthetic appeal.
Engine availability is a three-way choice of small capacity turbos, two petrol and one diesel, with the test choice focusing on Renault’s famously frugal 1.5 litre 90 dCi diesel.
This returns a 0-62 mph time of 13.1 seconds with top speed crossing comfortably into three figures, but overall performance is about more than off the mark figures.
On the open road, brisk overtaking requires a change-down to 4th, and if the driver is seen to be lingering too long in any gear a small light bar at the base of the instrument panel changes from green to orange to advise on an up-shift.
Further improvements to economy can be made by selecting the Eco button which reduces engine torque, modifies throttle response and adjusts the control program of the air conditioning to improve efficiency. The car also features stop/start technology to further increase fuel economy.
Despite its high ground clearance of 200 mm, a longer heelbase than the Clio and wider track ensure confident, comfortable and stable handling while ride response continues to improve with a full complement of five occupants.
The cabin of the Captur majors on practicality with good storage and colour coded metal highlights on the air vents and speaker surrounds. Accommodation is excellent with rear seat room providing as much as 75 mm more than in the Clio.
An innovative feature of the car are the zipped-on seat covers which can be removed for cleaning if required.
But the ultimate secret of the Captur is its running costs. While fuel economy is officially given as 76.4 mpg on the combined cycle, mixed driving on local roads recorded just short of 60 mpg and that was without using the Eco setting. With one of the lowest CO2 emissions of any engine at 95 gms/ km, the Captur diesel is in Band A for zero annual road tax while in the ABI’s 50 category insurance ratings, it enjoys a lowly 12E rating.
For anyone looking for practicality, economy and stylish good looks, the Captur has to be high on the list, not least for its competitive pricing and above standard warranty cover.
For more information on the Renault Captur, or to arrange a test drive, call Donnelly and Taggart Renault on 028 71 81 2132 or log on to www.donnellygroup.co.uk