Parkers overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 3.8
  • Petrol, diesel and hybrids available
  • Basic TCe 100 still a great choice
  • TCe 130 our pick of the range

The Renault Captur’s engine range is pretty varied, although you won’t find any diesels in the line-up. If you want something efficient to save fuel or get cheaper BIK company car tax, you’ll need one of the E-Tech hybrids, ideally the plug in version.

Petrol engines

At the entry level the Captur gets a 1.0-litre, 91hp, three-cylinder petrol engine only available with a six-speed manual gearbox. With quite a large car to move around, performance is sedate – 0-62mph takes 14 seconds. That makes it much less perky than the equivalent 95hp Skoda Kamiq 1.0 TSI. 

While you do have to give this engine quite a boot to get up to speed on motorway sliproads or country A-roads, it never feels completely underpowered. It’s even good once up to speed, remaining refined at 70mph. If your needs aren’t particularly taxing, we’d consider this engine. 

If you’re planning on venturing onto the motorway regularly or often have a loaded up car, we’d upgrade to the TCe 140 It’s a 1.3-litre four-cylinder with 140hp, paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The latter is badged EDC. 

It sounds more droning than the smaller engine, but it’s much pokier, getting from 0-62mph in just 10.3 seconds. The automatic variant is faster still, at 9.2 seconds – but this gearbox has a tendency to be a little laggy. In some situations it can be hesitant from a standstill, while in others it can hang onto gears for too long resulting in excessive engine noise. We wouldn’t opt for it unless you really need a two-pedal car. 

Hybrids 

The cheapest hybrid is the regular 142hp E-Tech Hybrid 145 auto. This combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with a couple of electric motors and a small battery pack. It’s a surprisingly pleasant combination in the Captur, with smoother transitions and less obvious ‘hunting’ for gears than the similar setup in the Clio E-Tech, and has enough power to make it possible to enjoy the Captur’s handling as well as its comfort.

The engine is audible when asked to boost power, but unlike many smaller hybrid SUVs equipped with CVT transmissions, it very rarely subjects you to the high-revving drone associated with that technology.

If you want to cover some distance in silence, there’s the plug in hybrid E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid 160 auto. 

This has the same basic setup but with a far larger battery that helps boost power to 160hp. It takes 10.1sec to get from 0-62mph, half a second quicker than the regular hybrid. Performance is adequate enough, if not as impressive as the TCe 140, and it’s quiet in electric mode. 

The engine is incredibly loud when it fires, sending a coarse tone into the cabin and vibrations through the steering wheel. One to avoid, then. 

Handling

  • Decent blend of ride and handling
  • Comfort suffers on larger wheels
  • Light and easy to drive

Like its smaller Clio sibling, the Captur has evolved into a very pleasant and competent car to drive.

There’s a pleasing level of body control – the car doesn’t roll around too much in the corners or feel wayward on the motorway, and that’s backed up by steering which is accurate and direct, if a little over-assisted. Switching into Sport mode – available on higher-spec cars – weights the steering up, but this feels rather artificial.

There’s lots of grip, too, resulting in a planted feeling in faster corners. While the Captur doesn’t have quite the same sporting feel in the corners as a Ford Puma, it’s nonetheless very solid-feeling – a welcome boost over the old car, which felt insubstantial and not very reassuring.

The Captur is two-wheel-drive only; like most crossovers, four-wheel-drive isn’t even an option, because the vast majority of buyers don’t want or need it. That means you certainly won’t be tackling anything more taxing than a slightly muddy lane with this car, though the additional ground clearance that the crossover body style offers does mean it copes well with the speed bumps and potholes of the urban jungle.

As for the Captur’s driving assistance tech, the headline feature is called Highway and Traffic Jam Companion. It’s essentially a combination of adaptive cruise control, keeping you at a set distance from the car in front, and lane-keeping assist, keeping you centred in the lane of your choosing. It works well, keeping you centred and without the twitchiness of some rival systems.