The Renault Captur crossover surprises with its cool styling and good drive
Captivating Captur Inside the Renault Captur, there is a slightly elevated seating position for the driver, with a higher rear bench for excellent ingress and egress. Rear headroom and legroom are very good, even for six-footers

RARELY has a Renault looked so refreshing. The Renault Captur is a crossover with cool styling and an extremely versatile interior.

Based on the Clio platform, this high-riding hatchback is slightly longer at 4.1 metres with the wheelbase extended by 17 mm to 2,606 mm. It also rides 10 cm higher, with the chassis fine-tuned to accommodate the higher centre of gravity.

But the handsome Captur is not a macho SUV-wannabe. It is fresh and funky, with plastic wheel arches and two-tone paintwork in the form of a contrasting roof colour.

Inside, there is a slightly elevated seating position for the driver, with a higher rear bench for excellent ingress and egress. Rear headroom and legroom are very good, even for six-footers.

Essentially the Captur is an MPV with SUV styling, with thoughtful little touches throughout the cabin. The dual height boot has a reversible cover with one side carpeted and the other laminated, depending on the type of cargo carried. The rear bench with its folding seat backs also slides forward to enlarge boot space.

The rear seat belts even get a guide to prevent them from slipping behind the seat backs when folding and unfolding, while a removable stowage tray can be "plugged" into a cup holder.

The piece de resistance however has to be the fabric seat covers, which can be unzipped and machine washed. There is a choice of eight patterns from the patented Zip Collection, which has replaced the rear seat pockets with a quirky collection of elastic bands.

Other factory fitted equipment include a touchscreen with GPS navigation and reverse camera, and outside air quality sensor which automatically shuts off the recirculation function if it detects pollution.

But like the Clio, some of the trim quality is low, for example the faux chrome highlights. Thankfully, there isn't much of this in the Captur.

The Captur has a 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine driving the front wheels through a six-speed dual clutch gearbox.

Producing 88 hp, it means the Renault slots neatly into COE Category A. But with 220 Nm, it also means surprisingly punchy performance.

The low-end torque is impressive, even if the zero to 100 kmh isn't, and the Captur is able to make a quick getaway from stationary whenever required.

Shod with 17-inch alloy wheels, it is composed in sweeping curves despite its raised suspension, with a pliant ride and a light but accurate steering.

There is clearly a diesel clatter when standing next to the Captur 1.5 dCi but it is not loud. More importantly, it has outstanding fuel efficiency. Renault claims 3.9 litres per 100 km under the combined cycle, or an eye-popping 25.6 km per litre.

With its pleasing package of price, features and styling, there is no need to evade Captur. Instead, just embrace it.

CAR INFORMATION

Renault Captur Diesel 1.5T dCi (A)

Price

:$120,999

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1,461 cc

Horsepower

:

89 bhp / 4,000 rpm

Torque

:

220 Nm / 1,750 rpm

Transmission

:

6-speed (A) EDC

Acceleration

:

13.5 sec (0-100 km/h)

Top Speed

:

170 km/h