Our cars: Captur, i3, Octavia, 500L and Santa Fe

  • Captur’s seat covers are easy to remove and clean
  • BMW’s wallbox for the i3 is hard to recommend
  • The Octavia’s ride comes in for some criticism
Captur's seat covers fit snugly, can be changed and replaced in minutes, and are easy to clean
Captur's seat covers fit snugly, can be changed and replaced in minutes, and are easy to clean

Every day, we take a look at a few of the cars that we are living with. Today, it's the turn of the Renault Captur, BMW i3, Skoda Octavia, Fiat 500L and Hyundai Santa Fe.

Renault Captur

If you read the welcome article on our Renault, you’ll know that the trim level we chose (Dynamique Media Nav) comes with removable and washable seat covers. Entry-level Expression and Expression+ cars do without, and unfortunately you can’t add it as an option.

Nevertheless, as long as you choose either of the top two trims, you’ll get the removable covers as standard. What’s more, you can order an extra set of covers to change the look of your cabin.

Removing the seat covers isn’t tricky, but it’s worth reading the instructions first. Once we knew what we were doing, we had the whole lot off in about five minutes. The covers also take up very little space, so they’ll easily fit in any household washing machine.

If you’re not the sort to read instructions, at least read this: do not tumble dry the covers. You also need to make sure you’ve switched your washing machine on to its low spin speed. We suspect that failure to follow either of these notes might result in covers that don’t fit quite so well any more. Don’t risk it.

No such problems in the What Car? wash test – the covers came out spun dry, and letting them air for a few hours was enough to get them ready to be put back on the seats. What we can’t understand – given how straightforward the whole task was – is why no other manufacturer has offered, or currently offers, the same feature on their new cars.

I suspect many parents have quietly cursed at fixed seat covers that are stained with chocolate, crayon, grass stains or fruit juice. Our covers fit snugly, can be changed and replaced in minutes, and are easy to clean. Well done, Renault.

By Ed Callow
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com

Read all of our updates on life with our Renault Captur 1.5 dCi.

In the car park

Director or testing John McIlroy thinks BMW’s space-age style charging wallbox for the i3 is simply too big to be practical.

The Skoda Octavia’s ride isn’t as good as web test editor Barnaby Jones would like it to be.

Staff photographer Will Williams threatens the Hyundai Santa Fe with a trip to the dealer to fix a stubborn rear door.

Deputy production editor Melanie Falconer has been testing the Fiat 500L’s load bay with increasingly large items.

Read more about our long-term fleet.

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