The Renault Captur compact SUV/Crossover is a huge seller. To date the global car, on sale in 70 countries, has 1.2m sales. It is number one in Europe in its class and in Ireland it’s a huge seller and only presently outsold by the Hyundai Kona with the Duster from sister brand Dacia hot on its heels. At Captur’s 2013 launch it had just one competitor, today there are 20. The French firm has pulled the covers off its second generation Captur in Paris and we were there.
100 per cent new
Renault says the new car is 100 per cent new featuring an exterior transformation, an interior revolution while offering best in class personalisation. The Captur has new underpinnings shared with the new Clio. While its body has similarities to the outgoing car’s styling it is quite different. Renault’s new (CMF-B) small car platform has allowed the design team deliver a more substantial car. Visually there is a higher belt line along the flanks and overall the cars looks sturdier thanks to a strong stance and body creases. Despite Captur’s increase in stature the use of aluminium and plastic in the body has kept overall weights the same as the outgoing model. The car is less dinky and is larger in every dimension. 100mm is added in length, 1.9mm in width and 33mm added to the wheelbase. Cabin space is big for its class and four adults can fit in comfort in the five seater, even the centre rear seat is larger. The boot at 536 litres is vast for the class, gaining 81 litres. There is a new split floor that still allows for a space saver spare wheel underneath and two boot levels for easy flat loading.
The exterior is transformed with a far more mature and substantial look. The lightweight tailgate is made from plastic and this has allowed precise insertion of the tail lights, a feat that Renault says could not be done in pressed metal. All around the car the detailing is of a quality you simply don’t expect in this small SUV class where the cars are based on superminis. The windscreen is set further back and looks separate from the bonnet and this adds to the SUV look . The bonnet features strong lines that when combined with the filled-out wheel arches and cohesive design lift the car in to almost the class above. Standard items of note include roof rails and LED headlights and taillights for the first time. All add to the car’s new found sophistication. The use of plastic wheel arch cladding hints towards off road toughness and all cars feature a large tyre diameter of 690mm that ensures the wheel arches are filled.
Renault says Captur is the new class benchmark for customisation. Buyers can configure up to 90 external colour combinations to suit their taste. There are 11 exterior paint colours, four roof colours and three personalisation packs available. 18 interior configurations can be specified also that can make the Captur look smart and subtle to quite whacky and fun.
The cabin is transformed with an all new layout that features a floating centre console, unique in its class. The console looks great but is practical, creating valuable storage space underneath. There is a host of new materials and soft touch surfacing used in the large cabin and of course what new car wouldn’t be without an outbreak of the latest in digital displays. The giant centre display looks very smart in its portrait configuration. At 9.3 inches it can shame larger cars. The drivers gets a 7 inch or 10 inch cluster depending on grade. The 10 inch features best in class display definition. Renault’s easy-link interface is updated and better to use. The large sliding-drawer glove box is carried over. 27 litres of cubbies, a rear sliding bench and all new interior ambient lighting with eight colour options help elevate the car to near premium status. I was able to comfortably sit behind my seat with knee room to spare.
A new platform generally means a new wiring system. Renault now offers a host of ADAS safety systems and other driving aids. Under the banner of ‘easy drive’ the safety systems include: AEB emergency braking, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition and lane departure warning and assist. Driving assistance systems include: highway and traffic jam companion (electronic, not a person), adaptive cruise control, cruise control and speed limiter and automatic high-low beam. A new 360 degree camera is available as are: front/rear/side park assist, rear cross-traffic alert and easy park assist.
Petrol TCe engines will remain the most popular choice with 100hp (5 speed manual), 130hp and 155hp options with both offering 6 speed manual or EDC7 automatic gearboxes. New ‘Blue’ dCi diesels with 95hp (man) and 115hp (man/auto) will be offered. The big engine news is the first time class offering of a plug in hybrid. Early in 2020 will see a first appearance of the Captur E-Tech PHEV.
Bigger is better
Renault’s 100 per cent new Captur can now reach in to the larger Renault Kadjar’s sector, a car that looks dated next to its junior sibling. Christophe Dupont director design programs at Renault told Motorhub he was pleased with the detail and premium levels of design delivered in the new Captur. Dupont said that the sophisticated design of the car could appeal to buyers of larger family cars.