Renault Captur 1.5 dCi Dynamique Medianav
Week ending March 28
Driven this week 98 miles
In our 2014 Car of the Year Awards, we gave the Small SUV category’s budget price gong to the Renault Captur 0.9 TCe. Since this sort of car is likely to cover most of its miles around town, this was undoubtedly the right choice - the three-cylinder petrol is happiest when pottering in urban traffic, where it never needs to be worked hard.
Nevertheless, since I live 50 miles from the office, I’m mighty glad that we chose a diesel version as our long-termer. Sure, the 1.5 dCi can feel a bit sluggish at low revs, but I’m more than happy to live with this given its impressive fuel economy.
How impressive, you ask? Well, during the whole of February, I set the Captur’s Eco mode button to ‘off’. I wanted to see what the Renault would manage with no efficiency aids. The average fuel economy for these four weeks was around 48mpg.
Now we’re well into March, during which - you guessed it - I’ve set the Eco mode button to ‘on’. Many new cars claim to have similar fuel-saving modes, but I’ve found that the Captur’s brings a genuinely significant improvement.
Average economy over the last couple of weeks has shot up to around 55mpg - a gain of about 7mpg, or 15%. One thing to bear in mind is that you don’t get everywhere quite as fast - Eco really reins in acceleration, to the point where you’ll sometimes need to use the kick-down throttle feature to pick up speed when joining a motorway, for example.
However, while the car feels a bit down on power, at the moment the benefit far outweighs the niggles. The Eco mode economy I’ve managed so far is only a few MPG behind the figure achieved by our True MPG test team - and I'm sure I can improve.
By Ed Callow
Week ending March 21
Driven this week 105 miles
I had reason to be grateful for the Captur’s high roof and sliding rear seats over the weekend, when I needed to transport a load of big shrubs from the garden centre. It’s a really neat trick that you can lean in and slide the back bench forward easily from the boot, and in this instance it was much better than just folding the seats, as the bench gave the plants support so they didn’t fall over in transport.
There really isn’t any rear legroom at all with the bench in its most forward position, but as long as you don’t need to carry the contents of your garden borders as well as some rear passengers, you’re laughing.
By Vicky Parrott
Week ending March 14
Driven this week 40 miles
I hadn't been in the Captur for a while, but got the opportunity to drive it again this week as it was being used in a feature - look out for that in the May issue of What Car?. After seven months of seeing it on a regular basis, I still think it looks good. It's definitely one of the more stylish small SUVs on the market.
My few days behind the wheel have been pretty uneventful, although there has been one source of irritation: the keyless entry system. The idea itself is great, leave the key in your pocket or bag and push a button on the door handle to unlock or lock the doors. However in practice I've found the Captur's system to be a bit temperamental.
There have been a number of times when I've pushed the button on the door handle to unlock the doors and nothing has happened, which now means I have resorted to using the buttons on the keycard as they work each and every time. Needing to have the keycard in my hand to ensure access to the car somehow defeats the point of a keyless entry system.
That niggle aside, pottering around town in the Captur has been a pleasant experience, and the bright orange livery of our long-termer has attracted a lot of attention.