Review: Renault Captur (2020)

Rating:

Improved interior with extra practicality, refined petrol engines, excellent value for money.

Harsh ride quality.

Renault Captur (2020): At A Glance

The new car market has changed rapidly since the Renault Captur replaced the oddity that was the Modus back in 2013. Sharing a platform with the new Renault Clio and Nissan Juke, the latest Captur is comfortable, refined and good value. It's also a viable alternative to the Skoda Kamiq, Ford Puma and Peugeot 2008.

It takes a lot to stand out in this crowded segment, but the Captur offers trendy looks and a feel-good interior that puts it in a different league compared to the old model. It's not as good to drive as rivals like the Ford Puma, but it is cheap to run and does offer good value for money.

Practicality has been a focus for the Captur's designers. It's slightly longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, giving it more interior space. Front-seat passengers won't feel cramped at all, and in the rear a sliding bench allows you to prioritise boot or passenger space.

Indeed, the interior represents a considerable improvement over its predecessor. There are lots of well-thought-out features and soft-touch materials (particularly on the top-spec S Edition). While the old model was awash with harsh plastics and drab fabrics, the second-generation Captur feels genuinely pleasant inside.

It also scores highly in the value-for-money stakes. It starts at less than £18,000 and even entry-level models are very well-equipped, with a seven-inch media system (including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), full LED headlights and cruise control.

The engine line-up is made up of petrol and (curiously, given the current market) diesel engines, with a plug-in hybrid on its way. We reckon the majority of buyers should be looking at one of the petrol engines, with even the entry-level three-cylinder TCe 100 providing plenty of performance.

While not as fun to drive as some rivals (thanks to its light steering and considerable lean in corners), the Captur still has quite a firm, crashy ride. It's easy to drive, though, and its high-up seating position will be popular with many buyers.

What does a Renault Captur (2020) cost?

List Price from £15,725
Buy new from £14,435
Contract hire from £151.57 per month

Renault Captur (2020): What's It Like Inside?

The interior feels bright and interesting, helped by the Orange Signature Pack fitted to our test car with its bright orange dash, door and centre console inserts. While it’s not a premium cabin, there are plenty of nice materials and well-thought-through features (we like the toggles on the dash for things like turning the lane assist off, for example).

If you go looking for them, there are some cheaper-feeling plastics. If you’ve tall, you might bang your leg on the chunky, plastic centre console, for example, and the glove box handle feels cheap.

Everything is fairly well laid out, with physical controls for the climate control. The audio controls tacked onto a stalk behind the steering wheel feel somewhat of an afterthought, but it’s not going to offend anyone. 

The seven-inch infotainment system of our Iconic test car is clear and easy to use, if a little laggy in operation. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the range, allowing you to access features on your phone’s screen such as third-party navigation or music streaming apps. The car’s in-built navigation (standard on all but the entry-level Play model) is a fairly clear Google Maps based system.

The Captur is a practical offering, with a useful sliding rear bench allowing you to prioritise boot or rear passenger space. While the 536-litre boot is pretty big on paper, it's worth noting that's with the bench all the way forward. With it moved back, it drops to 455 litres - exactly the same as a Volkswagen T-Cross.

Access to the boot is wide and, while access is fairly high, there's no significant lip for hoisting heavy items over. There's also a useful amount of storage underneath the boot floor, and a spare wheel tucked away under that.

Despite the sliding bench, adults in the rear will find knee room fairly limited, although headroom is very generous. Kids will like the high-up seating position offering a good view out. 

Standard equipment (from launch):

The entry-level Captur Play features full LED headlights, automatic climate control, cruise control and speed limiter, EasyLink multimedia system (with 7-inch touchscreen, FM/DAB tuner, 4x20W speakers, sound auditorium, 2 x USB and 1 x Aux, Bluetooth, smartphone integration including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) with Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Active Emergency Braking and Traffic Sign Recognition and E-Call, 4.2-inch Driver Information Display, hands free key card access, electric front and rear windows, 17-inch flex wheels, automatic windscreen wipers, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, synthetic leather steering wheel, driver’s seat height adjustment.

Iconic adds navigation, rear parking sensors, 17-inch ‘Bahamas’ alloy wheels, LED front fog lamps, two-tone paint, dark tinted rear windows and tailgate glass, longitudinal roof bars.

The S Edition adds a 9.3-inch touchscreen media system, 7-inch instrument cluster display, multi-sense driving mode selector with 8 ambient lighting settings, automatic control headlamps (including high beam assist), 17-inch ‘Bahamas’ diamond cut alloy wheels, front parking sensors, reversing camera, leather steering wheel, black and light grey synthetic leather upholstery with dark grey stitching.

Child seats that fit a Renault Captur (2020)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Renault Captur (2020) like to drive?

The three-cylinder 1.0-litre TCe 100 engine will be sufficient for the majority of buyers. It’s got plenty of power to keep up with traffic on open roads and is fairly refined. While there’s no noticeable vibration through the pedals - a trademark of older three-cylinder cars - we did notice a slight vibration through the front seats at a standstill.

It’s not as noticeable on the move and, apart from a slight three-cylinder thrum during heavy acceleration, it’s fairly refined - even at motorway speeds when a lack of a sixth gear means it’s running close to 3000rpm. This isn’t great for fuel economy, though - officially the 100 returns 54.3mpg, but we suspect it'd be considerably lower than that in the real world if you regularly drive on the motorway.

If you do want a car that's happier out of town, you'll probably be better opting for the bigger 130 engine or one of the diesel offerings.

The 130 engine is a four-cylinder 1.3-litre petrol which we've sampled with the automatic gearbox. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is quite sluggish, particularly hampering performance when pulling away - making smooth getaways from roundabouts tricky, for example.

The Captur's soft set-up means it's neither as fun to drive as a Ford Puma, nor as comfortable on broken roads as a Citroen C3 Aircross. It rides well enough if you spec small wheels, but it does crash over potholes more than you'd expect.

Fortunately, its light steering and high driving position means it's easy to thread through congested city streets, and parking is easy - especially in test-spec S-Edition models with a reversing camera as standard.