Cap­ti­vat­ing looks

This sassy baby SUV is un­der­pinned by some smart en­gi­neer­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@news.com.au

IT’S all about the look with the Re­nault Cap­tur, from the op­tional two-tone ex­te­rior styling to the dim­pled sur­faces, coloured zip­pers and bright plas­tic high­lights in the cabin.

But there’s a method be­hind the in­te­rior-designer mad­ness.

The sur­faces will be easy to wipe down, which will en­dear them to par­ents with young kids and 20-some­things who tend to live in their ve­hi­cles on week­ends away. The same ap­plies to the zip-off cush­ion cov­ers stan­dard in the top-end Dy­namique and a $600 op­tion for the Ex­pres­sion.

While the looks will grab the most at­ten­tion, it’s the un­der­pin­nings of the Re­nault that will ap­peal to diehards used to the brand’s hot hatches.

The stiff­ened sus­pen­sion def­i­nitely puts it at the sporty end of the light SUV brigade. The oc­ca­sion­ally jumpy ride is com­pen­sated for by se­cure road­hold­ing and one of the bet­ter steer­ing feels in the class. Un­for­tu­nately the pace, in ei­ther 900cc turbo three-cylin­der man­ual guise or 1.2L turbo four­cylin­der auto guise, is at the more mod­er­ate end of the scale.

The Cap­tur is des­tined to be a hit in the same way as the Clio light car it is based on. This baby SUV is a smart mix of stylish looks and de­cent stan­dard fea­tures that jus­tify adding it to the list when shop­ping for a high-rid­ing cross­over.

VALUE

The pric­ing lands the Cap­tur in the heart of an in­creas­ingly com­pet­i­tive seg­ment. A kick-off of $22,990 for the turbo three­cylin­der Ex­pres­sion with a fivespeed auto puts the Cap­tur against the front-wheel-drive

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