Renault Captur review

Category: Small SUV

The Captur is a keenly priced, comfortable and practical small SUV

Renault Captur front right driving
  • Renault Captur front right driving
  • Renault Captur rear cornering
  • Renault Captur dashboard
  • Renault Captur boot
  • Renault Captur driver display
  • Renault Captur right driving
  • Renault Captur front driving
  • Renault Captur front left driving
  • Renault Captur front right driving
  • Renault Captur rear right driving
  • Renault Captur front right static
  • Renault Captur rear right static
  • Renault Captur front detail
  • Renault Captur headlights
  • Renault Captur alloy wheel
  • Renault Captur rear lights
  • Renault Captur front seats
  • Renault Captur back seats
  • Renault Captur steering wheel detail
  • Renault Captur infotainment touchscreen
  • Renault Captur interior detail
  • Renault Captur front right driving
  • Renault Captur rear cornering
  • Renault Captur dashboard
  • Renault Captur boot
  • Renault Captur driver display
  • Renault Captur right driving
  • Renault Captur front driving
  • Renault Captur front left driving
  • Renault Captur front right driving
  • Renault Captur rear right driving
  • Renault Captur front right static
  • Renault Captur rear right static
  • Renault Captur front detail
  • Renault Captur headlights
  • Renault Captur alloy wheel
  • Renault Captur rear lights
  • Renault Captur front seats
  • Renault Captur back seats
  • Renault Captur steering wheel detail
  • Renault Captur infotainment touchscreen
  • Renault Captur interior detail
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Introduction

What Car? says...

It’s often the case that the smallest siblings try to copy their bigger brothers and sisters – and the Renault Captur has done exactly that, because it’s been updated to look more like Renault's larger SUVs.

Those bigger models include the Renault Austral and Renault Rafale. So rather than looking like a jacked up Renault Clio with black plastic wheelarches (a criticism you might have levelled at earlier Capturs) this small SUV now looks rather more butch.

It's been updated in other ways too, with the addition of a new Google-based infotainment system and more sustainably sourced interior materials. The upholstery in the new range-topping Esprit Alpine trim, for example, contains 26% recycled and recyclable fabric.

Those updates were definitely needed to help the Renault Captur stay competitive in the dog-eat-dog world of small SUVs – but are they enough?

Read on and we're tell you how the Captur stacks up against rivals including the Ford Puma, Skoda Kamiq and VW T-Cross in all the areas that matter.

Overview

The Renault Captur is keenly priced, comfortable and practical for its size – plus it has a great infotainment system. Although we've yet to try it, the TCe 90 petrol looks likely to be the pick of the range, and mid-rung Techno trim offers the best compromise between price and standard equipment.

  • Keen starting price
  • Sliding rear seats
  • Comfortable ride
  • E-Tech Hybrid has a fairly small boot
  • TCe 90 petrol isn't very quick
  • Front seats could do with more lower back support
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

Strengths

  • +Smooth ride
  • +Relatively quiet cruiser
  • +Hybrid is near-silent at low speeds

Weaknesses

  • -Not very agile
  • -TCe 90 petrol isn't quick
  • -Hybrid's brakes could be smoother

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

The engine range kicks off with the TCe 90, a 90bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol that comes exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox. We haven't tried it in the Renault Captur yet, but in the smaller Clio it's up to the job. Just don't expect sparkling acceleration (0-62mph takes 14.3 seconds).

If you want punchier performance or an automatic gearbox there's the E-Tech Hybrid 145. This 141bhp 1.6-litre hybrid is much more expensive than the regular petrol and the way it delivers its power is slightly inconsistent.

Ultimately, it offers much faster acceleration than the TCe 90 (0-62mph in 10.6 seconds) but is still nowhere near as nippy as a Ford Puma 1.0 Ecoboost 155 or VW T-Cross 1.5 TSI.

Suspension and ride comfort

So far, we've only tried the E-Tech Hybrid version of the new Captur and we've only driven it on the roads around Madrid. The Hybrid has slightly different suspension to the TCe 90 petrol and it does a good job of soaking up all manner of lumps and bumps.

That's despite the fact that our test car was an Esprit Alpine model with 19in alloys – the biggest available on the Captur. So the Captur is definitely at the comfier end of the small SUV spectrum, if not quite as supple as a Skoda Kamiq or VW T-Roc.

Renault Captur rear cornering

Handling

The steering is usefully light around town but doesn't build weight reassuringly at faster speeds so you're never as confident along twisty roads as you would be in a Puma or T-Cross. The Captur doesn’t have the outright grip of those rivals either – although it is more agile than the super-soft Citroën C3 Aircross.

Renault Captur image
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Granted, the Captur isn’t exactly supposed to be a sports car so you can forgive it for being not particularly dynamic but we're not blown away by its manoeuvrability either. The turning circle is wider than in many small SUVs, making it harder to execute a quick U-turn.

Noise and vibration

For the most part, the Captur is calm and civilised, with little road and wind at motorway speeds compared with many other small SUVs. True, it's not quite as hushed as the pricier T-Roc but it's a quieter cruiser than the Puma.

The E-Tech Hybrid is remarkably quiet when running in electric mode at low speeds, emitting only a faint hum to warn pedestrians of its presence (a sound apparently composed by Jean-Michel Jarre). When needed, the petrol engine chimes in, although the switch between power sources is not as smooth as in some hybrid cars including the Toyota Yaris Cross.

The engine remains hushed during gentle acceleration, only sounding a little coarse when you put your foot down hard. It's a pity the brakes in the hybrid aren't better-judged though. It's hard to be smooth when slowing down because of the regenerative braking system that harvests energy to feed back into the battery.

Interior

The interior layout, fit and finish

Strengths

  • +Noticeably elevated driving position
  • +Great infotainment system

Weaknesses

  • -Restricted over-the-shoulder visibility
  • -No adjustable lumbar support

Driving position and dashboard

If the raised driving position promised by a small SUV is what you’re after, the Renault Captur will certainly appeal. You sit higher up from the road than you do in, for example, a Skoda Kamiq

What’s more, the seat, steering wheel and pedals line up well, so you're not sitting at an odd angle. Our only real complaint is that – unlike in rivals including the Ford Puma and VW T-Cross – adjustable lumbar support isn't available to improve lower back support.

All versions of the Captur have a digital driver's display, measuring 7.0in on the entry-level Evolution trim and 10.3in higher up in the range. 

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

While the Captur’s elevated driving position gives you a decent view forwards, helped by relatively narrow windscreen pillars.

The news isn't so good when looking back over your shoulder because the window line rises steeply towards the rear of the car, creating a big blind-spot. Fortunately, all versions come with a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors to help take the guesswork out of reversing.

For great visibility at night, all versions of the Captur come with full LED headlights with high-beam assist.

Renault Captur dashboard

Sat nav and infotainment

All versions of the Captur have a 10.4in portrait-oriented touchscreen which is angled slightly towards the driver to make it easier to see and reach. It also features really crisp graphics and responds quickly when you press the screen. 

The operating system is easy to get to grips with, and Techno an Esprit Alpine models add Google Automotive Services, including Google Maps for navigation and one of the best voice control systems we've tried.

Whichever trim you choose, you'll get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring and a wireless charging pad. So, in short, the Captur has one of the best infotainment systems fitted to any small SUV.

Quality

The dashboard is pleasingly squishy in places, helping to make the Captur feel far less budget inside than an MG ZS or Suzuki Vitara. Then again, it's hardly what you'd describe as "plush": some fixtures – including the floating centre console – feel a little wobbly.

If you want a really smart interior in your small SUV, take a look at the Nissan Juke or, if your budget allows, the Audi Q2. The VW T-Cross also feels a little more solid inside than the Captur.

However, a reason to choose the choose the Captur over many other small SUVs is the use of recycled materials in its interior, and the fact that chrome and leather has been eschewed for more sustainable materials.

Passenger & boot space

How it copes with people and clutter

Strengths

  • +Sliding rear seats
  • +TCe 90 petrol version has big boot
  • +Decent foot space for rear passengers

Weaknesses

  • -Hybrid model has a much smaller boot
  • -Rear space is decent rather than class-leading

Front space

There's less head and leg room in the front of the Renault Captur than there is in the Ford Puma, Skoda Kamiq or VW T-Cross. It's still okay for six-footers though, and because the interior is relatively broad, you won’t be rubbing shoulders with your passenger.

As for storage, there’s a total of 24.7 litres dotted around the interior, including a hidden tray below the infotainment touchscreen, a larger pocket in front of the gear lever and an enormous glovebox.

Rear space

Even with its sliding rear seats pushed all the way back, space in the rear of the Captur is decent rather than amazing. A six-footer will find their head is rather close to the roof and, although there's enough knee room, you'll find noticeably more in the back of a Skoda Kamiq.

Try to fit three adults in the back and things become rather squished, although whoever's sitting in the middle will appreciate the amount of foot space created by the Captur’s flattish floor. It’s also worth pointing out that E-Tech Hybrid model is just as roomy in the back as the regular petrol.

You can slide the back seats all the way forwards to maximise boot space, but when you do so rear knee room becomes extremely tight – even short adults will struggle to fit in.

Renault Captur boot

Seat folding and flexibility

As we've mentioned, you can slide the rear seats back and forth to prioritise either boot space or rear leg room. That's a useful feature that's rare in the small SUV class (although the T-Cross has it too).

While the seat base slides as one piece, the rear seatbacks fold down in two sections, in a conventional 60/40 split.

Boot space

Renault says the Captur has one of the biggest boots in the class, but there’s a caveat: that’s only if you slide the rear bench all the way forwards, which you won't realistically be able to do if you want to carry adults in the back.

With the rear seats slid all the way back to maximise rear leg room, boot space in the TCe 90 petrol versions drops to 422 litres (from 535 litres). That's still more luggage space than you'll find in most traditional family cars – including the VW Golf – if not quite as much as offered by a Ford Puma or Skoda Kamiq.

It's worth bearing in mind that the Captur E-Tech Hybrid sacrifices almost 25% of its boot to accommodate its drive battery, meaning there's only 326 litres of space when the rear seats are as far back as they'll go. A height-adjustable boot floor is standard on all trims except entry-level Evolution.

Buying & owning

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Strengths

  • +Cheaper to buy than many rivals
  • +Plenty of standard kit
  • +Good fuel economy from the hybrid

Weaknesses

  • -So-so warranty
  • -Not the best reliability record

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

As a cash purchase, the Renault Captur is one of the cheapest mainstream small SUVs, undercutting the Ford Puma, Skoda Kamiq and VW T-Cross

Renault’s PCP finance deals often come with a manufacturer incentive to make them more competitive, although offers for this latest model hadn't been announced at the time of writing. You can check the latest prices for any model using our New Car Deals page.

Either way, the promise of around 60mpg might tempt you to stump up for the E-Tech Hybrid version. We'd think carefully first though: it's vastly more expensive than the regular petrol TCe 90 and you're more likely to get around 50mpg in real-world driving. That said, the E-Tech is the better choice for company car drivers paying benefit in kind (BIK) tax.

Equipment, options and extras

This is an area where the Captur does well. Even the entry-level Evolution trim won’t leave you feeling short-changed, as it comes with 17in alloy wheels, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, automatic climate control and keyless entry. 

Even so, we’d suggest jumping up to our favourite Techno trim because the price difference isn’t huge and you get extra niceties, including bigger 18in wheels, ambient interior lighting, power-folding door mirrors, a height-adjustable boot floor and the Google-based infotainment system.

We'd avoid range-topping Esprit Alpine trim because it removes one of the Captur's most appealing strengths: it's low price. Mind you, it certainly comes with plenty of kit, including adaptive cruise control, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, two-tone paint and 19in alloys.

Renault Captur driver display

Reliability

In our 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey the Captur didn’t perform particularly well, finishing near the bottom of our small SUV leaderboard, above the Kamiq and MG ZS but below all its other key rivals, including the Ford Puma and VW T-Roc

Renault as a manufacturer didn’t perform much better, claiming 23rd place out of the 32 included car makers.  

Every new Renault comes with a three-year warranty, with no mileage limit for the first two years, but a 60,000-mile cap after that. Compared with the offerings from its peers, that’s fairly par for the course, matching Ford and Skoda, but not Kia’s seven-year warranty. The E-Tech Hybrid version get an eight-year warranty (with a 100,000-mile limit) on its drive battery.

Safety and security

All Capturs have automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance, traffic-sign recognition and an emergency call (eCall) function. That's impressive, and we're pleased Renault hasn't skimped on safety kit with the cheaper trims.

Euro NCAP awarded the Captur five stars out of five for overall safety back in 2019, although that was the pre-facelifted model rather than this latest version. The testing protocol is far more stringent these days, so it's hard to compare the Captur's safety with that of newer small SUVs.


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FAQs

  • The Captur isn't as agile or fun to drive as some small SUVs including the Ford Puma and VW T-Cross. It's not that fast either – although it makes up for that with a comfortable ride and fairly hushed cruising manners.

  • All versions of the Captur are pretty impressive when it comes to fuel economy. The standard petrol (TCe 90) manages 48mpg officially, while the E-Tech Hybrid is better still, doing up to 60.1mpg.

  • The Renault Captur is still on sale and hasn't been discontinued. Most recently, in 2024, it was given a big overhaul and a fresh new look.

At a glance
New car deals
Save up to £3,633
Target Price from £18,613
Save up to £3,633
Swipe to see used car deals
Nearly new deals
From £16,199
RRP price range £21,095 - £34,195
Number of trims (see all)9
Number of engines (see all)6
Available fuel types (which is best for you?)petrol, petrol parallel phev, hybrid
MPG range across all versions 217.3 - 60.1
Available doors options 5
Warranty 3 years / 100000 miles
Company car tax at 20% (min/max) £1,218 / £1,517
Company car tax at 40% (min/max) £2,436 / £3,034
Available colours