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4.4 out of 5 4.4
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Renault’s popular crossover has matured

Renault Captur (20 on) - rated 4.4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Smart looks inside and out
  • Spacious, flexible interior
  • Quality materials, plenty of tech available
  • Broad range of engines, plus PHEV

CONS

  • Lower-spec models feel less special
  • Competition is very strong
  • No full EV model planned

Renault Captur rivals

Written by Tom Goodlad on

The previous version of Renault’s smallest SUV found many homes in the UK since its arrival in 2013, and since then the small crossover market has exploded. That means this second-generation model needs to impress, and not just be a stylish car that happens to sit a little further off the ground.

It’s got a long list of rivals that it needs to beat. The Volkswagen T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq are both excellent all-rounders, while the Nissan Juke, Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-3 are the ones it needs to see off for style. In terms of practicality, the Citroen C3 Aircross is difficult to challenge, while the SEAT Arona is one of the sportier models out there. Can it manage to master all of these areas? 

On a more superficial level, while it does have an evolutionary look from some angles, it’s been tweaked and fettled all over, giving off a much more sophisticated, mature and well-proportioned vibe – especially when viewed from the rear.

Modern interior with quality feel

It’s inside where things have really stepped up. The old Captur’s interior design, fit and finish were its biggest letdowns, and Renault’s gone to town inside with all the best bits of the latest Clio’s cabin – the company calls it the Smart Cockpit.

However, it’s worth pointing out that how your Captur’s cabin appears varies greatly with which spec you go for. Available in the UK are Play, Iconic and S Edition models.

2020 Renault Captur interior

Go for the first two and you’ll find a seven-inch screen sitting in the middle of the dash, while the 9.3-inch portrait unit is standard on S Edition cars (and optional on Iconic). While the smaller screen will work just fine, it’s the larger screen’s flexibility that could make it worth the extra, and what gives the Captur something different over its many and varied rivals.

Digital dials are also available in two sizes, giving the Captur a thoroughly modern feel inside. However it’s worth pointing out that only S Edition models come with a seven-inch cluster as standard, with an upgrade available to a 10-inch setup. The plastics used are impressive too, with plenty of softer materials used on areas across the middle of the dashboard and where you’d rest your arm on the doors, although the overall feel does vary depending on the model, again.

Plenty of space

Storage is good throughout, with some useful areas around the centre console and between the seats. The rear bench slides back and forth to alter the amount of space in the boot, how you configure it depends on your priorities, but the option to expand the boot space is a handy one.

Otherwise, space in the rear is pretty good – if not quite as roomy as the Skoda Kamiq, but there’s an almost-flat floor that’s helpful for those sat in the middle seat.

Broad selection of engines

While the Clio supermini’s engine choice is slightly limited, the Captur features a much wider selection to choose from, be it petrol or diesel. There’s a choice of TCe petrols in 100hp, 130hp or 155hp forms. The entry model is manual-only, the TCe 130 comes with a choice of manual or EDC auto and the range-topper is EDC-only.

Diesels are available as well, with a 1.5-litre dCi engine available with either 95hp or 115hp. The latter comes with a choice of gearboxes (the same as the petrols), while the former is manual only.

There’s also an E-Tech plug-in hybrid joining the range in Spring 2020, with a total system output of 160hp thanks to a combination of 1.6-litre petrol engine and battery with electric motor. It should travel up to 28 miles on battery power alone.

Mature and easy to drive

On the move, the Captur demonstrates a far more grown-up feel compared with the car it’s replaced.

The mid-spec models on 17-inch alloy wheels felt very comfortable indeed, combining with the supple suspension to deal well with bad bumps in the road. It sits in the middle ground of its competition – more akin to the VW T-Cross and Skoda Kamiq than the stiffer setups of the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona.

In fact, it’s a very accomplished drive, with little interruption from outside the car, remaining quiet and refined most of the time.

Read on for the full Renault Captur review to see if it’s the small crossover to have

Renault Captur rivals