Our cars: Skoda Octavia, Renault Captur and Hyundai Santa Fe

The latest on life with the Hyundai Santa Fe, Renault Captur and the Skoda Octavia. The Renault has a moment with an iPod, and the Octavia's basic sat-nav impresses...

Our cars: Skoda Octavia, Renault Captur and Hyundai Santa Fe

Today we are taking a look at three of the cars on our long-term test fleet – the Hyundai Santa Fe, the Renault Captur and the Skoda Octavia.

Renault Captur

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 managed to blindly slot 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

Read all of the updates on life with our Renault Captur

Elsewhere, the basic sat-nav in the Skoda has been impressing.

Photographer Will Williams might just have found a solution to his lack of DAB digital radio in the Hyundai Santa Fe.