Whether or not Britain stays within the European family one thing is certain, the Renault Captur sits at the head of the table when it comes to the modern Crossovers.
It comes in four trim levels and two petrol or two diesel engines but a single five-door body style which has made it the best selling compact crossover in Europe since it was launched in 2013.
In the UK, the most popular of the 22 versions available is the 110ps Dynamique we tested.
The straightforward 8v-powertrain is well proven and a good package in the Captur, providing an easy going and economical performance, even though it’s not particularly powerful or packing a punch. For a diesel it is quiet because its not a 16v unit.
The gearchange has a modestly weighted clutch and a narrow gate but the precision needed is quickly mastered and you can soon stir it along to make the most of the available power from the engine.
I liked the feel to the footbrake and its efficiency and it held on a hill without issue while the steering did not have as much feedback as I like but it had a good turning circle and did not suffer from kickback or vibration on main roads.
The secondary controls are mostly tightly grouped around the steering wheel or close to it on the fascia and can take a bit of finding and mastering when not in direct line of sight, but they worked well and were backed up by simple and clear instruments.
An upgrade last year saw improved infotainment systems fitted incorporating DAB for sharper sound quality and better integration with social media and smartphones.
Heating and ventilation was straightforward and it kept the interior at a desired setting and free of misting up without being too noisy while pushing the air around to the back without an issue.
Oddments room is good but the compartments are on the small side and you would struggle to put in some bottles or packages. By contrast, the boot was easy to load and a good capacity from 455 to 1656 litres with a practical shape which could be increased by gradually dropping the rear seats.
For driver and passengers the access is reasonably easy once you get use to climbing up into the cabin and then you have a higher than usual riding position which is good for safety, particularly in town traffic.
The front seats had a reasonable adjustment range and both these and the rear set were fairly well padded and shaped to support and locate occupants.
A low waistline, deep windows, good wipers and lights go a long way to giving clear visibility but the high tail and thick c-pillars can hide objects or people to the back when pulling out or reversing so this has to be carefully considered.
On the move, the Captur’s responses were good to throttle, steering and brakes and it generally coped very well with anything underneath. The ride was fairly smooth but could be caught out by deeper potholes or higher tarmac ridges.
Body roll was modest and it always felt safe and sure through corners with a natural tendency to run wide around tighter turns. Easing off merely made it gently come back onto line and you never felt it was getting away.
From standstill it was slow to get moving but once under way it picked up fairly well and cruised with composure if not silence on motorways.
The economy was reasonable but not exceptional in today’s market.
So where does that leave the Renault Captur? Well I don’t think it stands out from the rest in the sector, except that it’s a rarer model than rivals and that must make it attractive and with some hard bargaining in a dealership you may end up with a good, individual car with a solid pedigree which stands out on the road.
|Renault Captur Dynamique S nav dCi 110||Price: £19,195|
|Insurance Group: 15E||Mechanical: 4cyl 8-valve 110ps 1461cc turbo-diesel engine, 6sp manual, front wheel drive|
|Max Speed: 109mph||0-62mph: 11 sec|
|Combined MPG: 76.3mpg (56mpg on test)||C02 emissions: 98gkm|
|Bik rating: 19%||Warranty: 4yrs/ 100,000 miles|
For: Comfort, style, agility, room
Against: Performance, oddments space, limited visibility
© Robin Roberts