Renault Captur, drawn by master car stylish Laurens van den Acker, has quirky, interesting lines that are sure to capture the imagination of those looking for something out of the ordinary in practical transport.
That’s right, ‘practical transport’; unlike many cars with fascinating lines, the Renault Captur isn’t going to drive you mad after the initial excitement of owning something different wears off and you’re stuck with the reality of poor interior space that’s hard to get in and out of.
Captur is joining the sales fray of the rapidly expanding range of small crossover SUVs that’s taking the world in general, and Australia in particular, by storm.
Taller than normal hatchbacks, which results in good interior and boot space these crossovers make excellent replacements for midsize sedans and station wagons. They appeal to inner-city dwellers because of their ease of driving and, even more importantly, parking.
Throw in a dash of style – a large dash in the case of the Renault Captur – and they have immense appeal to those who want to stand out from the masses.
Renault Australia is offering Captur not only in bright colours, but also with the ability to personalise the vehicle. Two-tone paint schemes, with the upper surfaces in a contrasting hue give it plenty of French flair. The lower areas of the doors are deliberately done in a different shape to the upper areas to add another area crying out for personalisation.
Inside, the seats already have a good touch of style and, believe it or not, you can zip out the old covers and add new ones. Perhaps a relatively conservative for daytime and wild ones for nights and weekends. Call into your local Renault dealer or jump onto the Captur website for further information.
You can choose from different colours inside, not only for the main surfaces, but also for the detailed trim on the dash and doors,
Back to the practical side again. There’s good interior room for four adults without those in front having to make any real sacrifices in the way of legroom. Headroom is plentiful and the seats are at a good height for easy entry and egress.
The luggage area is tall and voluminous and the rear seat slides back and forwards on runners to let you juggle between passenger and luggage space. The floor of the boot is reversible to give you either conventional carpet or a wash down surface if you need to carry wet items.
An interesting feature is the ability to set the boot floor at a forty-five degree angle that gives support to those pesky grocery bags that inevitably fall over and spill their contents.
Renault Captur is powered by either a 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine producing 90 horsepower, or a 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol with 120 horsepower. The number designations of 90 and 120 are used on the Caprur’s badges, and translate into Australian as 62 kW and 88 kW.
The Captur TCe 90 has a five-speed manual gearbox, the TCe 120 drives through a six-speed double-clutch automatic.
Captur is sold in the usual Renault models of Expression and Dynamique, the recommended retail price begins at a pretty reasonable $22,990.
On the road we found the manual with the small engine to have spirited performance and the turbo’s characteristics mean you don’t have to change gears as often as you might anticipate. We preferred the manual to the auto with the bigger engine, the TCe 120 somehow lacked the verve of its little brother.
Around town in downtown Melbourne the little Renault was quiet, comfortable and enjoyable to drive. On the motorways we used to get out of town it again performed in a relaxed easygoing manner. But when we got to slightly rough Aussie roads in the country the suspension didn’t cope nearly as well. The little Captur didn’t exactly bounce around, but we have felt more comfortably in competitive cars sold by other makers. While others soaked up bumps with ease the little Renault seemed to struggle with them.
We have yet to drive a Captur in our home areas in south east Queensland and will bring you a comprehensive report once we have done so.
Quirky styling, crying out for customisation, yet practical and well-priced, it’s hard to see the Renault Captur being anything other than a big sales success in Australia.
The 2015 Renault Captur range is:
Expression TCe 90 0.9-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon: $22,990 (manual) Expression TCe 120 1.2-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon: $25,990 (EDC automatic) Dynamique TCe 120 1.2-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon: $27,990 (EDC automatic)
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Renault dealer for driveaway pricing.