Our cars: Renault Captur 1.5 dCi - May

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  •  Renault's baby SUV on test for a year
  •  1.5 dCi model in Dynamique Media Nav trim 
  •  Run by deputy content editor Ed Callow
  • 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

  • Captur's manual gearbox is a disappointment - and it's not the first time we've taken issue with the gear shift in a Renault

    Captur's manual gearbox is a disappointment - and it's not the first time we've taken issue with the gear shift in a Renault

  • 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

Week ending May 30
Mileage 12,247
Driven this week 116 miles

Our long-term tests are about as thorough as it gets. Not only have our long-termers usually been put through the rigours of a What Car? group test, but spending extended time in the hands of our staffers tends to show up every flaw.

I was surprised, then, to find a bizarre electronic hiccup in our Captur after 11 months with the car.

I’ve connected my iPhone to the car’s USB socket before, as well as an iPod Nano, but only this week did I try plugging in my iPod Classic. To start with, everything was fine – songs played normally, and I could skip through tracks easily.

However, once I tried to switch playlists or albums, things started to go wrong. All of the menu options were initially unavailable, which I thought was probably down to the R-Link system scanning the whole of the iPod’s hard drive memory.

After 10 minutes, the situation hadn’t changed. What’s more, the steering column-mounted audio controls weren’t always working as they should. A ‘double pull’ on the volume paddles was causing it to stop playing entirely rather than just muting it.

Eventually, the R-Link system froze. The circular ‘system working’ icon just kept spinning, and all the buttons were out of commission. My experience with other gadgets meant that I went for the conventional ‘shut down and restart’ approach. This didn’t go well.

Unplugging the iPod ceased the music playback, but it replaced it with a shrill, continuous beep. What’s more, the voice control must have looped into the speakers, because all my profanities directed at the R-Link screen were played back to me in stereo.

Eventually, I slotted the USB cable back into the socket, which stopped the beeping and caused the system to reset. After five minutes, everything was back to normal, but I’m left wondering whether this will happen again next time I try to connect the iPod. I’ll let you know how I get on with the second attempt.

By Ed Callow
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com


Week ending
May 23
Mileage 12,031
Driven this week 148 miles

It’s not long now until we say goodbye to our Renault Captur. The baby SUV has been with us for nearly a year, and during that time it’s won over more or less everyone who’s driven it. It’s far from perfect, but in this class of car, it’s currently the best buy.

I’ve been reflecting on what I like most about the car, as well as thinking about the features that annoy me. What’s surprised me the most about the Captur is how refined it is - particularly in regard to the engine. It’s easy to think that a small car like this will have a much coarser diesel than in a large, luxury SUV, but that’s simply not the case.

Driving smoothly around town, I’m pretty sure that our little Renault makes less of a fuss than our £80,000 Range Rover. Of course, it whirrs loudly under high revs, but as we’ve said before, this car isn't designed for speed.

Besides the pretty cheap cabin materials, the thumpy rear suspension at speed, and the rubbery manual gear shift, I was struggling to find that many negatives about this small SUV. To be honest, it mostly comes down to small niggles, which includes the accuracy of the fuel gauge.

An average tankful of diesel covers about 540 miles in our Captur - if you’re more gentle with the accelerator pedal, close to 600 miles will be possible. Therefore, you might think that after covering 117 miles, the needle on the fuel gauge might have come one fifth of the way down the dial. In reality, it barely moves from the top.

The first 200 miles of driving appear to use around a quarter of a tank, which makes you think for a second that up to 800 miles might be possible. Of course, the next 300-odd miles make the needle drop much faster, and you realise you’re not being as efficient as you first thought. Many other cars have a similar problem, so why is it so hard to accurately measure how much fuel is left in a tank?

By Ed Callow
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Renault Captur review

Week ending May 16
Mileage 11,883
Driven this week 273 miles

It’s almost impossible to illustrate a car’s first service without using a picture of it sat on a dealer’s forecourt or in a workshop bay.

However, I didn’t even leave the office for our Renault Captur to get its first annual check-up, so the best I can do is present a snapshot of the invoice.

You might remember I’d booked the Captur in with one dealer who quoted £95.74. Unfortunately, come the day the car was supposed to be picked up, it turned out the dealer had no record of the booking. I wasn’t impressed, so called a different Renault garage instead. Happily, they were able to fit our car in a couple of days later, and offered the same pick up and delivery service. What’s more, the cost was £5.09 cheaper.

A friendly chap from Wimbledon Service Centre arrived in the morning of the booking, collected the key card, checked the car for any signs of damage, and drove off with our bright orange baby SUV. The garage kept in touch during the day, and said they’d drop the car back the following morning (normally, they’d do it within the same day).

The Captur turned up (washed, at no extra cost) on schedule with a smart folder containing the invoice and breakdown of work completed. Considering the total cost of £90.65, the fact that everything was done on schedule and as agreed, and that it was returned sparkling clean as promised, there’s little more I could ask for.

By Ed Callow
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Renault Captur review

Week ending May 9
Mileage 11,610
Driven this week 90 miles

‘Auto Stop Unavailable’ - that’s the message I’ve been seeing on the Captur’s readout quite a bit lately, and I’m not the only one.

I’ve waded into the Renault Captur Owners Club forum on the web a few times recently, and I noticed several threads dedicated to possible problems with the stop-start system.

For the most part, our car’s system works well, although it sometimes takes an age to warm up enough to kick in. Several other owners have noticed a similar delay, and a quick read of the user manual suggests that low coolant temperature may be the reason.

As I’ve been running the car in Eco mode over the last month, perhaps the engine isn’t getting as warm as it used to on my morning commute, and therefore the coolant is taking longer to get to the right operating temperature.

By Ed Callow
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com

 

Read the full Renault Captur review

Week ending May 2
Mileage 11,520
Driven this week 317 miles

Our Captur will be one of the first in the country to get an annual service, so it’s time to see just how easy this will be for UK owners - and how much it will cost.

Renault’s online service booking system is slick enough, but it didn’t quote a price. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going to cost an arm and a leg, so I called the local dealer to find out what they’d charge.

After a few moments of waiting for a reply, the friendly service advisor told me to hold for a few minutes while he checked a different database. Minutes later, said advisor returned, but told me he’d have to call back as he couldn’t find the information he needed.

Our car arrived in the UK long before customer cars, so that seemed fair enough - but I hope the prices are readily available once the Captur owners start calling up to enquire.

The following morning, a call back confirmed a price of £95.74. I’d been expecting a figure of around £150, so that was a pleasant surprise. Mind you, the first service doesn’t include an oil and filter change.

The other quote I’ve received this week is for a full set of seat covers. Following on from our update about washing them, I wanted to check what Renault will charge you for a complete replacement pack. The answer is £265.

In my opinion, that’s great value. If you use your car most days and pile on the miles, I imagine the fabric will start to look worn after three years. Replacing the covers with a new set is an easy way to freshen up the cabin.

By Ed Callow
Ed.Callow@whatcar.com

Our cars: Renault Captur 1.5 dCi - April

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