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New Renault Captur vs used Volkswagen T-Roc: driving

The new Renault Captur ticks many small SUV boxes, but how does it fare against a class-leading used rival: the Volkswagen T-Roc? We have the answer...

2020 Renault Captur front cornering - orange

New Renault Captur vs used Volkswagen T-Roc – driving

Performance, ride, handling, refinement

The Captur we’re testing features a 99bhp 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine. When it comes to performance, the Captur is on the sluggish side, with a 0-60mph time of 13.3sec. It’s by no means terrible, but there’s not much get-up-and-go – something the T-Roc can offer that bit more of.

Our T-Roc has a 1.0-litre petrol engine too, producing 113bhp and giving a 0-60mph time of 10.5sec. It feels relatively enthusiastic when you accelerate and, unlike the Captur, doesn’t leave you wishing it had a tad more performance. 

Volkswagen T-Roc front

When it comes to gearboxes, the T-Roc yet again impresses with a slick six-speed manual, against our Captur's serviceable five-speed manual, which works fine but is paired with an unnecessarily bulky gear knob.

Fortunately for those who crave an automatic gearbox, auto T-Rocs are plentiful on the used market and buyers can spec their new Captur to come with an auto 'box too. 

Out on the road, the Captur provides a comfortable ride but doesn’t quite soak up surface imperfections as well as its competitors. Its level of grip is also simply acceptable, if not subpar. Overall, the Captur drives well, it’s just upstaged in the presence of the T-Roc.

Renault Captur rear panning - orange 69-plate car

The T-Roc is more comfortable, has better grip and is more confidence-inspiring. That said, both are better suited to comfortable cruising than spirited driving so neither car will particularly entertain enthusiastic drivers, although they’ll please most people.

New Renault Captur vs used Volkswagen T-Roc – costs

Fuel economy, car tax, reliability

Our free What Car? New Car Buying service can reduce the purchase price of the Captur from £19,300 to £17,187. The T-Roc comes in at around the same cost on the used market, with our Valuation Tool putting a 2020 example with low mileage at around £18,000.

Looking at fuel economy, the Captur managed to average 39mpg during our test while the T-Roc returned an average of 42.5mpg. Road tax for each is currently £155 per year because they’re petrol cars registered after 1 April 2017.

Volkswagen T-Roc rear

New Capturs come with a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The T-Roc would have had a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty from new, so it should have a couple of years left. There’s also the option of paying extra for an extended warranty with a used T-Roc.

The Captur and T-Roc both featured in the small SUV class in our 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey. The Captur finished in fifth place and the T-Roc was in third – both respectable rankings. Renault as a brand came in 30th place out of 31 manufacturers, while Volkswagen was in 20th place.