Long-term test (Introduction): Renault Captur 88 kW Turbo EDC Dynamique (Introduction)
I like light crossovers. More often than not, they look better than the donor B-segment hatches on which they’re based, provide more room for passengers and their luggage and offer a raised seating position to enhance visibility. In short, they’re the perfect foil to compact SUVs that are more expensive to buy and run, but often don’t possess much more cabin space.
The Captur is a solid case in point. I love the design, from the bulbous front-end with its oversized Renault badge, to the chrome foglamp surrounds and pert rear. It looks decidedly modern and appealing, and more resolved than the Clio, without resorting to gimmickry (I’m looking at your Airbumps, C4 Cactus) to distinguish itself amid the throngs of light crossovers that have quite suddenly started plying our roads.
An exterior element I’m not convinced by is the Ivory White paint. Thankfully, this bland hue doesn’t cover the entire vehicle; Dynamique models feature a Diamond Black roof (or Ivory White as an option on other main shades), which nicely complements the black and silver 17-inch alloy wheels.
The cabin is a more demure affair. Our long-termer has been specced with leather seats, which feel good to the touch and look great – and bring heating elements – but replace removable and washable cloth covers with brightly coloured inserts that give the cabin a welcome lift.
Otherwise, the news is good. Soft-touch surfaces are notable by their absence, but the plastics used to construct the cockpit feel solid and this test unit doesn’t rattle. I find the seating position perfect for my 1,84-metre frame and there’s loads of space up front and acceptable amounts of legroom in the second row. Happily, luggage room is also abundant once the removable boot floor has been stowed.
Dynamique spec is unusually generous considering the vehicle’s humble roots. At my disposal are automatic lights and wipers, cornering function on the front lamps, leather on the steering wheel and gearlever, cruise and climate control, park-distance control at the rear and a comprehensive audio system that not only features USB-playback and Bluetooth, but also satellite navigation.
Drawbacks? The 1,2-litre engine protests noisily when extended and the six-speed dual- clutch transmission, although smooth in day-to-day pottering, can get flustered when I require more urgent shifts. Drive the vehicle sedately, however, and the drivetrain complements the Captur’s well-damped ride and fair refinement.
Current mileage: 1 223 km
Average fuel consumption: 8,61 L/100 km
We like: ease of use, handsome design, generous spec
We don’t like: sluggish autobox, engine refinement when pushed