What's the used Renault Captur hatchback like?
If it’s true that SUVs are currently the most highly sought-after breed of car, then it’s equally true that the small SUV category is the fastest growing. New cars seem to be added to this group every day, but one of the first of them was the Renault Captur.
In essence no more than a Renault Clio in more fashionable attire, the eye-catching Captur has proved a very popular purchase since its launch in 2013 - it was Europe’s best-selling small SUV in 2016 - and there are now plenty of good used examples worth a serious look. Like the Clio, the Captur comes with a range of economical petrol and diesel engines and only the front wheels are driven - those after a cheap mud-plugger should look elsewhere.
However, it certainly has plenty of appeal. It’s a distinctive-looking thing on the outside, has plenty of practical touches inside and it shouldn’t cost a fortune to run.
There are five well-equipped trim levels to choose from - Expression+, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, Signature X Nav and Signature S Nav. Entry-level Expression+ trim comes with air-con, 16in alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, a DAB radio and Bluetooth. Dynamique Nav comes with the 7in colour touchscreen infotainment and sat-nav system. Dynamique S Nav adds bigger 17in alloys. Signature X Nav adds a BOSE sound system, while top- spec Signature S Nav comes with heated part-Nappa leather seats and a reverse parking camera.
On the road, despite having an all-turbocharged engine range, the Captur isn’t blessed with particularly strong performance. The 0.9 feels nippy and is ideal for use around town. Not only does it make the Captur good value, it’s also ideal for driving around town, because it feels nippy at low revs and is more refined than the diesels. It does feel a bit out of its depth when the car is loaded up, however. It comes with a manual gearbox only.
When fitted with the automatic gearbox, the 1.2-litre engine car is a bit hesitant, but the manual version is much smoother and offers better performance than the 0.9. The lower-powered 1.5 diesel feels lively enough around town, if underpowered on faster roads. The 1.5 dCi 110 is a more powerful version of the 1.5 dCi 90, with 109bhp and 30lb ft more torque for increased low-end shove. It accelerates much more quickly than the dCi 90, and is a good option if you do lots of motorway miles.
Inside, the fresh-looking dash plastics are finished in a modern dimple pattern and there are some usefully deep cubby holes in the centre console. Practicality is key in this class and, with the sliding rear seat set right back, you get a reasonable 377-litre boot, extending to a healthy 455 litres with the bench slid fully forward.
The Captur is all about style, freshness and value, too. Certainly, it isn't going to whet the appetite of a keen driver. It’s solid and dependable, though, its biggest flaw being its ride quality on poor surfaces, where the wheels crash and patter to a surprising degree.