- Popular small crossover replaced in 2019
- Second-generation Captur bring extra space and tech
- Plug-in hybrid for the first time
With little signs of a sales slowdown in the booming compact SUV market, the arrival of the second-generation Captur is hugely important for Renault.
The outgoing car was a European bestseller, and one that UK buyers have taken to their hearts, but in recent years, sales have fallen back in the face of an onslaught from new rivals. So, this one needs to clamber back to the top of the 2019 best SUVs list.
Its arrival comes at a good time too. Sales of the old Captur started to fall in 2018, and now there’s a fresh new Clio on the horizon, it won’t be long before the first-generation model starts to feel particularly antiquated. Rewind back to the Captur’s launch in 2013 and there was only one competitor. Now, with more than 20 direct rivals - and more to come - this Clio-based SUV is going to have to be exceptional in order to get to the front again.
Does this sharp new Renault have what it takes to get the job done?
The outside is still recognisably a Renault Captur, but now it bears the latest-generation face as seen on the latest Clio and Megane. The front C-shaped headlights are becoming a familiar design cue now and the taillights come with their own distinct, almost-minimalist light signature at the rear. Full LED units feature all-round.
The additional bonnet creases mirror those of the Clio and the chrome shoulder line is something we’ve seen before on the similarly-sized SEAT Arona. All-in-all, there’s a slightly more sophisticated look over the old one without being too fussy - those lower vents on the outer edges of the bumper are functional, too, feeding air through to the front wheelarches to reduce aerodynamic drag.
The grey wheelarch cladding is in keeping with the old model’s rugged looks, but you can also have roof rails for the first time. Go lifestyle…
Just like the previous-generation Captur, this 2019 version continues to use the same platform as the latest Clio. With the latest CMF-B modular used, the Captur is 7mm taller, 19mm wider and 100mm longer, with the wheelbase stretched by 33mm.
Despite the increase in size, Renault claims the Captur’s weight has largely been preserved thanks to the extended use of plastic and aluminium.
Along with the new mix of squidgy materials and tech inside the cabin, you’ll see hints of the latest Clio in here. You can have the familiar portrait-format MMI touchscreen on the centre of the console, coming in 7.0 or 9.3-inches in size.
The Easylink software will incorporate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, with automatic updates available. There’s a choice of two driver instrument displays coming in either 7.0- or 10-inches in size, while the floating centre console housing the gearlever allows for space beneath for a wireless phone charging pad.
The rotary climate control switches aim to improve ergonomics, too – those who’ve experienced the Megane or Scenic will sigh in relief as you no longer need to hunt for the displayed temperature on the touchscreen. Cabin space increases with an extra 40mm in width and 17mm more legroom for rear passengers, while those up front have an extra 15mm.
Those sat in the rear also have their own air vents and two USB ports in between the front seats. The sliding rear bench remains, with up to 16mm of travel, although sitting at the most forward position will be punishment. Boot space increases by 81 litres, growing to 536 litres.
If you want petrol, there’ll be a 1.0-litre three-pot producing 100hp and 160Nm of torque. There’s also the familiar 1.3-litre unit producing 130hp and 240Nm of torque, or 155hp and 270Nm. The lower-powered version can be had with a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT, while the brawnier version is DCT-only.
Diesels include two 1.5-litre engines with 95hp and 115hp outputs. The latter produces 20Nm more torque, at 260Nm, and is also available with a seven-speed DCT automatic gearbox, otherwise both will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. Three drive modes will come as standard, with Eco, Sport and My Sense.
A plug-in hybrid will be available for the first time ever. Badged E-Tech Plug-in, the Captur will be able to drive in pure electric mode for up to 28 miles with a top speed of 83mph. The system is similar to the Clio E-Tech and combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with two electric motors and a 9.8kWh battery Combined power is expected to be around 150hp.
In terms of charging, the Captur can be used with Type 2 cables for ordinary domestic sockets and Mode 3 for charging stations. Expect a charging time of three-to-five hours, using a regular plug socket.
Pick a colour, any colour…
One of the biggest attractions for the Captur is the level of customisation available, thanks to a raft of numerous colour combinations on offer.
You can take your time configuring yours to one of the 90 exterior colour combinations available, thanks to 11 body colours – including Atacama Orange, Flame Red and Iron Blue – plus four roof colours in Midnight Black, Atacama Orange, Highland Grey and Alabaster White. There will be three optional exterior packs available from launch, and if that’s not enough, you can have the lower skid plates and door protectors in grey, white or orange as well.
They’ve not forgotten about the cabin either, with 18 interior colour combinations and various colour packs available. Although the precise number is yet to be confirmed, this will include an orange, light grey or black leather pack. For night time driving, you’ll have eight different colours of ambient lighting to choose from, which should avoid any potential clashes with your chosen option pack.
Just in case a fellow road user fails to spot you and your wacky colour combination, there’s plenty of safety tech available to reduce the chances of your Captur exchanging paint with them. Not only is there autonomous emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection, but also blind-spot warning, traffic sign recognition and land-departure warning to keep you in check. This is in addition to a 360-degree camera and park assist.
The optional Highway & Traffic Jam Companion system is available on the petrol-engined TCe 130 and 155 with the automatic gearbox. This combines the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist to take out some of the stress of heavy traffic situations, stopping - and starting - the Captur for you, provided you keep your hands on the wheel.
Trim levels are to be finalised but the options list will include a panoramic roof, a nine-speaker Bose sound system and the ability to heat the seats, windscreen and steering wheel.
When does it go on sale?
The second-generation Captur goes on sale at the end of 2019, with the E-Tech PHEV expected to arrive in the first half of 2020.