Renault Captur Review

The Renault Captur is a family-friendly compact SUV that’s practical and great for doing long journeys.

Published: 9 November 2022

  • Renault Captur exterior

Summary

If you want an SUV that’s compact and cost-effective yet usefully practical, the latest Renault Captur (on sale since 2019) could be just what you need. It’s about the same size as rival cars such as the Ford Puma and Nissan Juke and it’s available with petrol, diesel or hybrid power, and manual or automatic gearboxes. When new, the Captur is available in a wide choice of trim levels and exterior paint colours (many with a contrasting black roof) so it offers lots of choice. Every Captur gives you a smooth and comfortable drive with comparatively low ownership costs.

Pros

  • Good interior and boot space
  • Hybrid power option
  • Relaxing on long journeys

Cons

  • Not available with pure-electric power
  • Hybrids can be quite loud when accelerating
  • Not especially fun to drive
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Interior

Dashboard & tech

Every Captur has a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus Bluetooth and DAB radio. Lower-spec models have a landscape-format 7-inch touchscreen while high-spec versions have a portrait-format 9.3-inch screen. Although both are reasonably user-friendly, the larger screen’s extra size makes it easier to read and use. Both versions have separate dials beneath them for the air con that allow you to easily make a quick adjustment to the interior temperature while on the move – with some rival cars you can adjust the air con only through a touchscreen, which can take a lot longer.

Comfort

The Captur is a very comfortable car. The seats are quite soft yet hold you in place well, so you can get out after a long journey without feeling particular aches or pains.

You also get the kind of commanding driving position you expect of an SUV and the view out of the front of the car is good. The over-the-shoulder view isn’t as good, but most models have reversing sensors to help you and the higher-spec versions have a rear-view camera.

The engine in hybrid models can be a bit loud if you press hard on the accelerator pedal but otherwise the Captur is very quiet and relaxing to travel in.

Quality

The Captur’s interior doesn’t have loads of design flair but it’s stylish in a restrained way and, as with the exterior, some bold colour combinations are available. The large touchscreen in higher-spec versions adds a definite wow factor.

Overall quality is good and everything feels solid, although the Audi Q2 and Peugeot 2008 have a more premium feel overall.

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Practicality & boot space

Interior space

There’s generous room for passengers in the Captur. Headroom could feel a bit tight if you’re very tall, otherwise most people should have enough space in the front or back seats to be comfortable on a long journey.

Each of the Captur’s side doors has a pocket that can hold a half-litre drinks bottle, plus any phones or wallets that you don’t want to leave in your pockets.

In the dashboard, there’s a glovebox that’s really only big enough for a pair of gloves, and a phone-size tray in front of the gearstick – in some models the tray is also a wireless charging pad. The gearstick itself juts out of the dashboard; below it is another storage area that’s useful for storing snacks or smaller items.

Between the front seats, there’s a pair of cupholders and a small tray. For passengers in the back, there’s a magazine/map pocket on the back of each front seat.

Boot space

Depending on which model you go for (more on that in a moment), the Captur has a large boot for a compact car. Petrol Captur models have 422 litres of space with the rear seats in their rearmost position, which is more than you get in many mid-size hatchbacks – including the Ford Focus or the Volkswagen Golf. It’s enough room to make the Captur a practical family car.

You get a lot less space with the hybrid models, however, because their batteries are positioned under the boot floor. Equivalent figures are 326 litres for the hybrid model and just 265 litres for the plug-in hybrid so there’s a big compromise to be made.

Versatility

The Captur has one of the most versatile interiors of any small SUV, with several ways to adjust the rear seats and boot space to suit your different needs.

Every Captur model apart from the plug-in hybrid has a variable-height boot floor that you can set at one of two levels. At the higher level, the floor is even with the top of the back bumper, which makes loading heavy things a bit easier because you don’t have to bend down that far. It also gives you an extra compartment under the floor that you can use for keeping maps, umbrellas, shopping bags and such.

Usefully, the back seats slide backwards and forwards, so you can prioritise legroom over boot space if you have any long-legged passengers. They can also be helpful if you have children, because you may be able to position the back seats in a way that makes it  easier for you to lift small children into and out of the car. With plenty of space for older children, the Captur works well as a family car. The back seats also fold down in two parts if you need even more boot space.

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Driving

Driving experience

Driving the Captur is enjoyable whether you’re just popping to the shops or going hundreds of miles. It feels nimble and you have a good view out from the driver’s seat. The gearstick in models with a manual gearbox slots easily into each gear; automatic models shift smoothly.

Drive at higher speeds on the motorway and the Captur feels solid. Indeed, the Captur is great for travelling long distances because it’s impressively quiet and comfortable for a compact car. If you really enjoy driving, though, a Ford Puma might be more up your street since the Captur doesn’t feel as responsive.

Performance

The Captur is available with petrol, diesel or hybrid power, with outputs of between 89bhp and 158bhp. The less-powerful models work well if you mostly drive in town, but if you regularly do longer journeys the more powerful options give more rapid acceleration and easier cruising at 70mph on the motorway. All models are front-wheel drive.

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Running costs

Fuel economy & CO2 emissions

Every version of the Captur gives you good fuel economy. According to official figures, Captur models with a petrol engine can give average fuel economy of 42 to 48mpg, with CO2 emissions of 131 to 135g/km.

Diesel and hybrid models can give average fuel economy of up 58mpg. The diesel emits 124g/km of CO2 and the hybrid emits 114g/km.

Official figures for the plug-in hybrid are an average of 217mpg and CO2 emissions of 30g/km, although what you get in real-world driving will depend on the charge level in your battery. The official maximum range with a fully charged battery is 30 miles.

There’s no pure electric version, but every Captur should cost relatively little to run.

Value for money

The Captur is one of the best options if you’re looking for a compact SUV that’s cost-effective. The lower-cost models are generally less expensive than the more basic versions of many rivals and while the high-spec models will set you back a lot more to buy,  they give you a high level of features for your money.

Reliability & Warranty

The Captur feels solidly made and the interior plastics and fabrics seem robust enough to stand up to the rigours of family life. Renault placed mid-table in the J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study, just below the industry average.  

From new, Renault gives every Captur a five-year, 100,000-mile warranty, one of the longest available on a small SUV. Hyundai also offers a five-year warranty, but Kia and MG provide seven years of coverage on their small SUVs.

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Safety

Safety features

Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded the Captur a full five-star rating when it tested it in 2019. It scored very highly for protecting occupants in the event of a crash with a score of 96% for adult protection and 83% for child protection.

Every Captur model comes with a range of advanced driver-assistance systems, including automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. Many models also have an emergency call button.

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Trims & Engines

Trim levels

Earlier Captur trim levels were called Play, Iconic and S Edition. In 2021, the range was updated and the trim levels renamed Evolution, Techno and R.S. Line. A number of special-edition models have been available, including the Rive Gauche and Bose editions.

Every Captur has a touchscreen infotainment system and all models come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, plus Bluetooth and DAB radio. They also have climate control, cruise control, LED headlights, electric front windows and keyless entry.

Many models also have sat nav and electric back windows. Top-of-the-range models have extra features such as heated front seats, a wireless phone-charging pad, a digital driver’s display and a reversing camera.

Engines

The Captur is available with what Renault calls ‘TCe’ petrol and ‘dCi’ diesel engines, or ‘E-Tech’ hybrid and plug-in hybrid power.

There are two petrol engines available – the 1.0-litre TCe and the 1.3 TCe. Depending on model, the 1.0 engine has 89bhp to 99bhp, and the 1.3 has 128bhp to 153bhp.

The 1.5 dCi diesel engine is available with 93bhp or 115bhp, again depending on model. The hybrid models both have a petrol engine combined with their electric motors. The ‘full’ hybrid has 143bhp and can go a couple of miles on electric power alone. The plug-in hybrid has 158bhp and can go up to about 30 miles on electric power.

The 1.0-litre TCe is only available with a manual gearbox. There’s a choice of manual or automatic gearbox with the 1.3 TCe and 1.5 dCi engines. The hybrids are only available with an automatic gearbox.

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