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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.