Renault Captur Review (2013-2019)
The Renault Captur gives you value and efficiency in one of the most stylish small SUVs.
The Renault Captur is a stylish small SUV that may appeal to you based on its looks alone, but there’s more to this car than that. It’s pleasant to drive and ride in, comes well equipped and costs little to run. There are other cars of this type with more space, but the Captur can still accommodate a young family and their stuff and its interior is impressively versatile. There’s a selection of efficient petrol and diesel engines to choose from, lots of different trim levels and some striking colour combinations. That means it’s easy to find a Captur that takes your fancy.
- Low ownership costs
- Comfortable to travel in
- Practical interior
- Interior looks are uninspiring
- No Apple CarPlay support
- Some models are quite slow
Dashboard & tech
The Captur has one of the more interesting interiors you’ll find in a small SUV, with attractive, rounded shapes and bold colour schemes in some models. They all have a touchscreen infotainment system in the middle of the dashboard and although it’s not as large or as high-tech as the one you’ll find in the newest models, it’s easy to read and use. The air con is controlled by traditional dials and buttons mounted below the touchscreen and are simple and fuss-free.
While you do get aux-in and USB sockets to stream music from your phone, be aware that only one trim level, called the GT Line, supports Android Auto; none support Apple CarPlay.
The Captur is really comfortable, as French cars often are. The seats are particularly good – not too hard, not too soft. Some models at the top of the range have seats partly upholstered in Nappa leather, which gives a more luxurious feel.
Most people will only need to drop a short distance down into the seats. The floor is quite low, too, so you can basically just step into the car.
The Captur’s interior feels solidly built and the upper parts of the dashboard are made from plastic that looks and feels high-quality. Some of the trim around the doors and lower parts of the dashboard looks a bit basic but everything feels sturdy and durable.
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Practicality & boot space
The Captur has room for four average-height adults to travel together in comfort. There’s actually enough legroom and headroom for someone well over six feet tall in the front, but their seat will be pushed too far back for an adult in the back row to be comfortable. Helpfully, the back seat slides forwards and backwards to create more legroom, but you sacrifice some boot space in the process. Ultimately, though, there are other small SUVs with more spacious interiors, like the Seat Arona.
The Captur could be a good option for you if you have young children because it has three sets of Isofix child-seat mounts. The back doors open quite wide, so loading children into the car isn’t much of a strain.
For storage, there are door pockets that can hold your phone and wallet; a pair of small cupholders in the centre console; a deep tray in front of the gear lever; and a biggish glovebox. Some models have an extra storage box under the front centre armrest and on top of the dashboard.
The Captur has a sliding back seat and with it pushed back for maximum legroom you get 377 litres of space, which is about average for a car of this type (and similar to what you get in mid-size hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus). It’s big enough for a big supermarket shop, or a couple of large suitcases. But that’s not the full story. You can slide the seat forwards to create a 455-litre space, which is a match for many larger SUVs. There’s also an extra storage space under the boot floor that you could use for keeping things like dirty shoes, dog leads and shopping bags. Or you can remove the boot floor entirely and take advantage of the extra few inches of depth to carry bigger, taller loads.
Although it’s compact, the Captur is quite a versatile car. Slide the back seat as far back as it’ll go and you get decent legroom for anyone sitting in the back. Slide it forward and you’ve got a large boot. The back seats fold down in a two-piece, 60/40 split so you can cater for a mix of people and luggage – the seats don’t quite fold flat, so there’s a bit of a slope to push loads up.The boot floor is double-sided, with carpet on one side and wipe-clean plastic on the other, which comes in handy if you throw a load of muddy boots or sports gear in the back. Some models even have removable seat covers that can be unzipped and machine-washed if they get mucky.
The Captur is a car that’s generally effortless and undemanding to drive. The steering’s light, you have a good view out from the driver’s seat and slotting it into parking spaces is straightforward. It feels settled on the motorway and doesn’t lean much through corners either but it doesn’t feel as responsive or nimble as some rivals (such as the Mazda CX-3) and the ride can be a bit bouncy over bad roads.
The Captur is available with power ranging from 89bhp to 148bhp – that’s in the same ballpark as every other small SUV. On paper, acceleration from 0-60mph looks a little on the sluggish side but, in practice, every Captur feels pretty nippy because the engines, both petrol and diesel, give smooth and responsive performance.
The 89bhp 0.9-litre petrol engine (labelled ‘TCe’) and the 1.5-litre ‘dCi’ diesel engines are the most popular in the range. That’s because they combine that responsive performance with excellent fuel economy. But if you regularly travel long distances, or carry a car-load of passengers or luggage, the more powerful engines are a better bet because they can take the strain more easily.
Fuel economy & CO2 emissions
The Captur is very fuel-efficient, especially when compared with most small SUVs. Before we get into the figures, we should note that the method used to calculate official fuel economy figures changed in 2017, while the Captur was being sold new. The later method better reflects real-world driving, which has the effect of lowering the figures. That means you might see different economy figures for two Capturs that have the same engine but are from different years.
That said, Captur models that have a petrol engine can give average fuel economy of 43mpg to 56mpg, according to official figures. The 0.9 TCe is the most efficient petrol engine. Diesels can give 53mpg to 76mpg; models sold before 2017 are most efficient, at least on paper.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are also low. Petrol models emit 115g/km to 128g/km and diesels emit 95g/km to 110g/km. That means annual Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) charges are very affordable and even free in some cases.
Value for money
The Captur is well equipped compared with other small SUVs that were available to buy new while it was on sale from 2013 to 2019. Yet it didn’t really cost any more, so the Captur was very good value. That’s still the case when buying a used Captur.
Reliability & Warranty
The Captur feels well made and durable enough to stand up to the rigours of family life. Renault as a brand has a somewhat chequered reputation for reliability, but has improved on that significantly in recent years. We’re not aware of any specific issues with the Captur, so ownership should be largely trouble-free.
Renault provided three years of warranty coverage for this generation of Captur. It was sold until late in 2019, so most examples no longer have manufacturer-backed coverage should anything go wrong.
Safety has been one of Renault’s biggest priorities for many years and that shows in the Captur. Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded it a full five-star rating in 2013, scoring it highly for protecting adult and child passengers in a crash. Safety features include a speed limiter, headrests designed to reduce whiplash and, in models sold from 2017, blind-spot monitoring. There are also three sets of Isofix child-seat mounts on the outer rear back seats and front passenger seat.
Trims & Engines
The Captur was available with many different trim levels, so it’s simpler to separate them into two groups: those available from 2013 to 2018, and those available from 2018 onward when Renault renamed them and updated the features.
In the first group there’s Expression, Expression+, Dynamique, Dynamique S and Signature. In the second group, there’s Play, Iconic, GT Line and S Edition.
These trim levels are marked out from each other with different styling details, wheels and equipment. Expression and Play are simpler, entry-point models, Dynamique S and GT Line have a sportier look, Signature feels more luxurious.
To give an idea of the kind of features you can expect to find in a Captur, all models have DAB radio, Bluetooth, aux-in and USB connection ports, cruise control and front and rear electric windows. Many models also have air con, sat nav, and rear parking sensors. Some models even have heated seats upholstered in Nappa leather.
There are three TCe petrol engines and one dCi diesel engine available in the Captur. The petrol engines are 0.9 litre, 1.2 litres and 1.3 litres in size; the diesel is a 1.5-litre unit.
The petrol engines offer about the same amount of power as most other small SUVs. The 0.9 TCe has 89bhp, the 1.2 TCe has 118bhp and the 1.3 TCe is available with 128bhp or 148bhp. They all give perfectly adequate acceleration – even the 0.9 TCe feels quite nippy.
The 1.5 dCi diesel is available with 89bhp or 108bhp. Again, both provide decent acceleration but the more powerful version is the better option for the long journeys that allow you to take advantage of the engine’s ability to deliver 70mpg or more.
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