Renault Captur 1.5 dCi Dynamique Media Nav
Week ending May 30
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
Week ending May 23
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
Week ending May 16
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
Week ending May 9
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
Week ending May 2
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