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Renault Captur 2015 Review

EXPERT RATING
6
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Renault Captur SUV ahead of its arrival in Australian showrooms.

Oops, the cone broke and the ice cream fell on the seat, splat. Big mess, hard to get off the cloth upholstery.

Not so in the Renault Captur which has zip off seat covers you can throw into the washing machine.

The handy feature underlines the entire nature of Renault's small SUV which is more a Swiss Army Knife than a car.

Open the tailgate and lift the load space floor and there's another load space underneath. Need to put something in the glove box? Don't lift the lid, slide the glove 'drawer' out.

Captur has been threatening to arrive in Australia for some time but the darn thing is so popular in Europe they can't make any for us yet.

WHEN, HOW MUCH?

That happens about April next year when a freshly minted batch of right-hand drive Capturs lob in to compete against the likes of Ford Ecosport, Holden Trax, Mitsubishi ASX, Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 2008 and the like.

It means a probable price kick off at around $25,000 if it's to compete successfully in this country.

UNDER THE BONNET

We will only be getting petrol-powered Capturs here, in either three-cylinder 0.9-litre TCe 90 or four-cylinder 1.2-litre TCe 120. The numbers relate to metric horsepower which converts to 66kW/135Nm and 88kW/190Nm respectively.

As the Captur is based on the Renault Clio, there's plenty in common between the vehicles; not only powertrains but other underpinnings and also the interior with a centre mounted tablet-style info/control screen.

They even look similar with that prominent Renault nose and sculpted side panels and hind quarters.

A 1.5-litre diesel is available with six-speed auto and five-speed manual in Europe, but the local Renault office thinks it's unnecessary given the fuel efficiency, price and performance available with petrol power.

We would tend to agree having just driven Captur extensively through France.

The TCe 120 will be in six speed auto only - a dual clutch automated manual system common to many Renaults currently on the market.

It doesn't score paddle shift but has a manual mode on the stick shift,with a change action that goes the right way: push for down, pull for up.

Manual five speed will be on the TCe 90 model - a conventional three pedal arrangement.

ECONOMY

Though no lightweight at around 1100-1200kg, Captur in all forms is economical, with the 0.9-litre capable of 4.9L/100km and the 1.2 rated at 5.4L/100km. The diesel manual is astonishingly economical at 3.6L/100km...c'est la vie.

Like Clio, Captur rides 17-inch alloys on a strut front and torsion beam rear suspension, in this case set more for comfort than sporty performance. It is after all an SUV unlike the sporty Clio.

Brakes are disc/drum - perhaps one of the few disappointments on Captur, but they work fine.

KIT

Steering is electric and the car has keyless start - on the French-spec model we drove at least.

It's a five-seater with generous levels of kit and hopefully Renault's R-Link infotainment system will be standard across the range...but probably won't be.

R-Link contains satnav, Bluetooth phone and audio, trip computer, car set-up and numerous other functions all running off the tablet touch screen. Awesome.

In practical terms, Captur is impressive with plenty of storage compartments throughout the cabin including under-seat bins and numerous bottle/cup holders.

The driving position with rake and reach steering wheel adjust is raised in contemporary urban SUV style and the rear seat slides fore/aft for more legroom in the back or a larger load space.

The drive car had a reverse camera and rear park sensors along with remote lock (the car locks itself when you walk away) and in deference to 'green' considerations, Eco driving mode and drive style indicator which monitors how fuel efficiently you are driving. Engine stop/start may be fitted to our version of Captur 

Captur scores a five star Euro NCAP rating.

DRIVING

We found the vehicle to be handy in the extreme on tour through France, swallowing heaps of luggage and providing a comfortable and smooth drive feel.

Performance levels in the diesel are adequate but the 1.2-litre petrol is stronger and sportier as a result while using around the same amount of fuel.

So, there's no real need for the diesel when you boil it all down.

Once up to the desired speed (really fast on French autoroutes) Captur settles in and whizzes away the kilometres easily.

It makes an excellent touring vehicle offering snappy gear changes, quiet running and a supple ride on rough roads. Drive is to the front wheels only with electronic modulation.

Pricing guides

$15,950
Based on 49 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$12,990
Highest Price
$18,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Dynamique 1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTOMATED MAN $9,200 – 13,860 2015 Renault Captur 2015 Dynamique Pricing and Specs
Expression 0.9L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $8,800 – 13,200 2015 Renault Captur 2015 Expression Pricing and Specs
Expression + 1.2L, PULP, 6 SP AUTOMATED MAN $11,000 – 16,170 2015 Renault Captur 2015 Expression + Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.