New Renault Captur vs Ford Puma vs Skoda Kamiq: interiors
As the latest member of the small SUV club, the new Renault Captur's first challenge is to try and gain the upper hand over five-star rivals from Ford and Skoda...
Behind the wheel
Driving position, visibility, build quality
The Kamiq feels rather vertically challenged from behind the wheel, with the seat placing you barely any higher off the ground than you’d be in a regular hatchback. Jump into the Puma and you certainly sit higher, even with the seat in its lowest position, but it’s the Captur that feels the loftiest.
All of our contenders have steering wheels that adjust up and down as well as in and out, plus height-adjustable driver’s seats. Although the Puma and Kamiq come with adjustable lumbar support, this isn’t available at all in the Captur. All said, the Puma edges the Kamiq for the best driving position, with the Captur a distant third.
The Kamiq’s huge windows give it by far the best visibility. Factor in standard rear parking sensors and bright LED headlights (matched by the Captur) and it’s a clear winner here. The Puma and Captur suffer from windows that narrow towards the rear of the car and a much smaller rear screen. At least both have rear parking sensors as standard, while all three have the option of front sensors and a reversing camera.
In terms of quality, the Kamiq comes out on top, with lots of squishy plastics and a few attractive trims. Its interior is by no means flashy, but it’s solidly built and very grown-up.
The Captur looks far glitzier initially, especially with our test car’s optional orange interior pack (£350). Everything that’s orange and the top of the dashboard are squishy, but you’ll find plenty of hard plastics and a particularly floppy gearlever surround. It feels the cheapest interior here.
The Puma has just as many hard, scratchy plastics as the Captur, but Ford has been more cunning with their deployment. Only the top of the dashboard is soft-touch, but the expanse of padded cloth on the doors is perfectly placed for your arm to rest on and looks better than black plastic.
Although the 8.0in touchscreen’s graphics look a bit crude, this is actually a pretty good system. Sat-nav plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are standard, while the screen is mounted high, so you don’t have to look too far away from the road when you’re operating it. It’s responsive to inputs and has big icons that are easy to hit on the move. The physical shortcut buttons are handy, too.
Although you get a 9.3in screen on top-spec Capturs, Iconic trim makes do with a relatively small, 7.0in one. The graphics aren’t particularly sharp and it can be sluggish to respond to commands. Sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all standard, but there are no physical shortcut buttons, so jumping between functions is tricky on the move, not helped by some small icons.
Standard 8.0in touchscreen is the best of the bunch when it comes to usability, with big, clear icons, clear graphics and logical menus. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard – handy, because sat-nav isn’t, unless you upgrade to a 9.2in screen (£1230, combined with a digital instrument panel). Physical shortcut and volume buttons would be better than the touch-sensitive ones, though.