Renault Cap­tur

Indwe - - Contents -

Hav­ing sold more than 6,500 of the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar Renault Cap­tur since its launch in our coun­try in 2015, this cross­over ticks all the right boxes on cus­tomers’ de­mand lists. It’s com­pact, at­trac­tively styled with dol­lops of French flair to set it apart from the crowd, eco­nom­i­cal and, best of all, prob­a­bly one of the very best value-for-money buys cur­rently avail­able.

CUTE EX­TE­RIOR

Fea­tur­ing a re­designed up­per grille with some fancy chromed edg­ing, full LED lights, and C-shaped day­time run­ning lights, the lat­est Cap­tur also of­fers un­usual but strik­ing two-tone colour schemes in the Dy­namique model.

Raised ground clear­ance now stands at 170 mm, and the seat­ing po­si­tion has been el­e­vated, while the front and rear bumpers are fully pro­tected by skid plates.

THE CABIN AND MUST-HAVE GOOD­IES

The in­te­rior is warm and wel­com­ing with sup­port­ive seats (heat­ing op­tional but stan­dard on the Dy­namique), lots of stor­age op­tions and a soft-touch dash­board, as well as a leather-cov­ered steer­ing wheel. Rear park sen­sors, elec­tric win­dows, auto head­lamps with auto wind­screen wipers, as well as cruise con­trol and cor­ner­ing head­lamps make life that much eas­ier. Dy­namique mod­els fea­ture a use­ful in­te­grated me­di­anav touch­screen tablet, which I found to be par­tic­u­larly use­ful and ac­cu­rate when nav­i­gat­ing in the sticks.

Par­ents with young chil­dren will ap­pre­ci­ate the eas­ily re­mov­able seat cov­ers when these need to pay a visit to the wash­ing ma­chine.

THE POWER

Three turbo en­gines are on of­fer, start­ing with the 66 kW three-cylin­der (898 cc) which was sur­pris­ingly nippy and able to cruise all day at 120 km/h, while sip­ping fuel at a rate of 5.4 l/100 km. The other petrol ver­sion on of­fer, the 1.2-litre four-cylin­der, de­vel­ops an ef­fec­tive 88 kW, and shares iden­ti­cal fuel con­sump­tion fig­ures with its three­cylin­der sib­ling. The best kept se­cret, how­ever, is the 1.5 tur­bod­iesel which, al­though only rated at 66 kW, nev­er­the­less pro­duces 220 Nm of torque, has ter­rific ac­cel­er­a­tion for its size, and sips fuel at a miserly 3.6 l/100 km (claimed). Buy­ers may choose be­tween either six-speed man­ual or six-speed au­to­matic EDC gear­boxes.

THE RIDE

Tra­di­tion­ally, French cars have sup­ple and com­fort­able sus­pen­sion set­ups, and the new Cap­tur, whether in Blaze or Dy­namique con­fig­u­ra­tion, is a well­built ve­hi­cle which the im­porters were con­fi­dent for the me­dia to ex­pe­ri­ence on some rather rough gravel roads. The Span­ish-built cars re­mained rat­tle-free and com­pletely dust­proof – an­other ma­jor ad­van­tage for those liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas.

SAFETY

Hill Start As­sist on all mod­els may be re­garded as a safety fea­ture, as will the mul­ti­ple airbags, Isofix child seat an­chor points, as well as anti-whiplash head rests. The Cap­tur’s 5-star EuroNCAP rat­ing is the re­sult of ABS brakes with EBA (emer­gency brake as­sist), and an elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gramme to avoid pos­si­ble loss of con­trol on slip­pery road conditions.

FI­NAL SAY

There are very few, if any, ve­hi­cles as com­pet­i­tively priced as the new Renault Cap­tur range. I ex­pect them to start sell­ing in vast numbers be­cause of what they of­fer in terms of safety and com­fort fea­tures. The war­ranty – five years/150,000 km – as well as the three­year/45,000 km ser­vice plan makes the purchase of the Cap­tur (any model) a real bar­gain. With prices start­ing at R229,900 for the 66 kW Blaze, and R294,900 for the 1.5 turbo diesel, the range is topped out at R309,900 for the 88 kW Dy­namique with its super-ef­fi­cient EDC au­to­matic gear­box. I be­lieve that the Cap­tur range will have a detri­men­tal ef­fect on the sales fig­ures of their Duster cousins.

Text: Bernard K Hell­berg Im­ages ©Quick­pic

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