Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Captur is available with a choice of five engines. Opening the range is a 99bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that comes exclusively with a five-speed manual gearbox. This is likely to be the biggest seller, but we haven’t yet tried it.
Next up is a pair of 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo petrols with 128bhp or 153bhp. The former comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the option of a seven-speed automatic. The automatic is standard with the 153bhp engine.
We found the 128bhp version to be adequate but missing the low-rev urgency of the smaller 1.0 TSI 115 engine that’s found in the Volkswagen T-Cross. However, take it past 2000rpm and it has enough power for stress-free motorway travel. Move up to the 153bhp engine and, while it’s significantly brisker on paper, it doesn’t feel it on the road unless you work it jolly hard. Given its higher cost, we’d stick to the cheaper 128bhp version.
Suspension and ride comfort
Like many small SUV rivals, the Captur doesn’t deal with imperfect urban road surfaces particularly gracefully. It won’t shatter your spine, but you’ll feel potholes and ridges more than you would in a Volkswagen T-Cross. Thankfully, though, the ride isn’t as stiff as that of a Kia Stonic, and things improve as your speed increases, so motorway journeys shouldn’t prove too tiresome.
It's worth pointing out that the only Capturs we’ve tried so far have been fitted with the largest wheels available: an optional 18in design. We would expect the deeper, more absorbent tyre sidewalls of the standard-fit 17in wheels to improve comfort.
The Captur gets off to a good start, with reassuringly weighted and precise steering that makes placing the car’s nose a doddle. We weren’t blown away by the car’s sizeable turning circle, though; some rivals are more manoeuvrable on tight urban roads.
Sadly, once out of town, you’ll quickly find that the Captur doesn’t relish being hustled along a country road. It’s keener to wash wide at the front than a Seat Arona and doesn’t feel as agile. At least body lean is pretty well contained, despite the Captur being taller than some rivals.
Noise and vibration
For the most part, the Captur’s refinement impresses. The 1.3-litre petrol engines are smooth in normal use and are barely audible at a motorway cruise. Wind and road noise are well suppressed for the class and the automatic gearbox is far less hesitant from a standstill than those of some rivals.
We have a couple of gripes, though. The manual gearbox has a long and rather vague action, and, if we’re really nit-picking, the auto could be a bit keener to react to manual commands. If you’re really working it hard, the 153bhp version of the 1.3-litre petrol engine can sound a bit thrashy, too.