Our cars: Renault Captur 1.5 dCi - Farewell to the Renault Captur

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We've come to the end of a year living with the Renault Captur. The little SUV proved a worthy alternative to many a small hatchback.
  • Over the first half of a tank of diesel, the Captur's fuel gauge underestimates the fuel used

    Over the first half of a tank of diesel, the Captur's fuel gauge underestimates the fuel used

  • First service for our Captur was only £90.65, and we didn't even need to leave the office

    First service for our Captur was only £90.65, and we didn't even need to leave the office

  • Captur's stop-start system sometimes takes a while to activate, as the coolant needs to warm up

    Captur's stop-start system sometimes takes a while to activate, as the coolant needs to warm up

  • Captur's first service is easy to book with Renault's online system, and pretty cheap at £95.74

    Captur's first service is easy to book with Renault's online system, and pretty cheap at £95.74

  • Captur's first service is due soon. Time to see how easy it is to book, and try a local Renault dealer

    Captur's first service is due soon. Time to see how easy it is to book, and try a local Renault dealer

  • 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

  • Want to mute the audio in your Captur? Pull both these volume buttons (+ and -) at the same time

    Want to mute the audio in your Captur? Pull both these volume buttons (+ and -) at the same time

  • Custodian Ed Callow is going to give our Captur an eco test

    Custodian Ed Callow is going to give our Captur an eco test

  • Captur's sliding rear bench and high roof meant Vicky easily transported a few big shrubs

    Captur's sliding rear bench and high roof meant Vicky easily transported a few big shrubs

  • While most of the buttons are placed in sensible places, the SD card isn't - it gets knocked out

    While most of the buttons are placed in sensible places, the SD card isn't - it gets knocked out

  • Captur is pretty comfortable over long distances, but the driver's seat doesn't have enough lumbar support

    Captur is pretty comfortable over long distances, but the driver's seat doesn't have enough lumbar support

  • Nav volume in the radio menu? Touch-screen is clear and easy to use, but interface foibles are frustrating Ed

    Nav volume in the radio menu? Touch-screen is clear and easy to use, but interface foibles are frustrating Ed

  • The weather where you are now, and where you're going. Not a complex app, but a useful one

    The weather where you are now, and where you're going. Not a complex app, but a useful one

  • Not just the preserve of hot Renaults: you can add R-Sound Effect to the Captur. But we can't see the point

    Not just the preserve of hot Renaults: you can add R-Sound Effect to the Captur. But we can't see the point

  • Live traffic display means it's easy to tell at a glance whether you're likely to be delayed on your way to work

    Live traffic display means it's easy to tell at a glance whether you're likely to be delayed on your way to work

  • Eco mode alters the engine management system, but it doesn't seem to have a major real-world impact

    Eco mode alters the engine management system, but it doesn't seem to have a major real-world impact

  • Clever boot shelf can be fixed diagonally, giving a triangular space at the top that 'wedges' your shopping in securely while on the move

    Clever boot shelf can be fixed diagonally, giving a triangular space at the top that 'wedges' your shopping in securely while on the move

  • Will too much personalisation prove to be a bad choice come resale time?

    Will too much personalisation prove to be a bad choice come resale time?

  • The Captur's touch-screen never fully powers down. It 'glows' in the dark

    The Captur's touch-screen never fully powers down. It 'glows' in the dark

  • 'This is how much farther you can go back, Mum!'

    'This is how much farther you can go back, Mum!'

  • Sliding the rear bench all the way forward gives 455 litres - nearly as much as a BMW 3 Series

    Sliding the rear bench all the way forward gives 455 litres - nearly as much as a BMW 3 Series

  • Climate control is a doddle to use, and warms or chills effectively

    Climate control is a doddle to use, and warms or chills effectively

  • Kid's bike fits in, but you need to fold the seat down

    Kid's bike fits in, but you need to fold the seat down

  • The 'eco coach' doesn't seem to work properly some of the time

    The 'eco coach' doesn't seem to work properly some of the time

  • Renault Captur started turning heads as soon as it arrived on the fleet

    Renault Captur started turning heads as soon as it arrived on the fleet

  • Glare from the touch-screen can be a problem in low sun

    Glare from the touch-screen can be a problem in low sun

  • Captur proved a decent holiday companion in Cornwall

    Captur proved a decent holiday companion in Cornwall

  • The Renault Captur brightened up the neighbourhood

    The Renault Captur brightened up the neighbourhood

  • Sat-nav problem was fixed by some judicious restarting procedures

    Sat-nav problem was fixed by some judicious restarting procedures

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Renault Captur 1.5 dCi Dynamique Media Nav

Read the full Renault Captur review

It’s not often that you can dedicate an entire 12 months to one type of car, but 2013 really was the year of the small SUV. Rarely have so many rivals been launched at the same time, as manufacturers tried to rush out their answer to the Nissan Juke.

Out of all of them, the Renault Captur was the one that we were really eager to try. Right from the off the jacked-up Clio looked better-proportioned than the regular hatchback on which it was based, and it seemed to have enough of the right ingredients to become a real star.

As it turns out, our faith wasn’t misplaced, because during its time with us the Captur has seen off almost every rival, including the Juke, Peugeot 2008, Ford Ecosport, Kia Soul and Mitsubishi ASX. Only the Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI managed to steal a win from Renault, and even then you’d pay a fair bit more for it.

Our car was the 89bhp 1.5 diesel; it seemed the most economical choice, considering that my daily commute is a 100-mile round trip.

Standard kit included a supremely practical boot floor. It has a fabric finish on one side and a wipe-clean rubber finish on the other, and can be positioned to wedge carrier bags in place so they don’t roll around and spill groceries on the move.

You also get removable, washable seat covers. They can be unzipped in minutes and cleaned in the washing machine. It’s a brilliant feature that means stains from your crayon-wielding kids or wet, muddy dog are no longer something to worry about.

On the face of it, the cabin is roughly the same size as a Clio’s but we found it much more practical. The rear bench splits 60/40 and folds easily. It can also slide forwards as a single unit, increasing the boot space from 377 to 455 litres. It’s just a shame that the rear seats can’t be moved as two separate parts. Lumbar support for the driver would be a welcome addition, too.

Chrome and gloss black accents all around the interior give it some sparkle, but the quality isn’t as good as rivals can offer. Most of the plastics you interact with on a daily basis feel hard and fairly cheap. That said, the dash was still scratch-free after a year of use.

Central to the fascia is the colour touch-screen R-Link infotainment system, which I found easy to use and packed with features. Unfortunately, it needed multiple updates to iron out bugs. At one point the sat-nav refused to find the installed maps on the SD card and needed a full reset.

Elsewhere, the car’s trip computer had the odd glitch, suggesting at one point that I’d achieved 53.3mpg at 5814mph. After that we had a volume knob problem, where it only adjusted the sat-nav’s audio and not the radio’s, and finally it had a complete hissy fit and shut down when I tried to connect an iPod.

On the road the Captur was something of a mixed bag. I thought it felt very refined when pottering around town and hushed at the national limit on the motorway. However, the low-speed ride never really settled and the steering didn’t weight up as much as you’d like when pressing on.

The manual gearbox was also far too notchy, and our car’s diesel engine felt underpowered. It was flexible enough in the mid-range, but you needed to work it hard to pick up speed quickly. Still, it proved to be very economical; a real-world return of around 50mpg was the norm for us, and with the Eco mode switched on that figure it leapt up by around 15%.

Servicing costs were impressive, too; our first service weighed in at just over £95, although it’s worth remembering that this check-up didn’t include an oil and filter change.

Over the past year the Captur has proved that it isn’t just a worthy alternative to conventional hatchbacks. For families who want a small, stylish and versatile car on a budget, this little Renault is in many ways the better choice.

Buying information
Price when new £16,395
Price now new £16,395
Extras Arizona metallic paint (£495); Diamond black painted roof (£300); R-Link multimedia system (£450); Diamond black exterior gloss pack (£75)
Total price when new £17,715
Current part-ex value £11,347

Running costs
Overall fuel economy 50.2mpg
Worst fuel economy 31.3mpg
Best fuel economy 61.7mpg
True MPG 58.3mpg
Official economy 76.4mpg
CO2 tax liability 99g/km/15%
Contract hire £214pcm
Cost per mile 33.6p
Insurance group/quote 12/£435

Servicing and repair costs
First year service £90.65
Repairs None

By Ed Callow

Our cars: Renault Captur 1.5 dCi - June

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