By Patrick James on 2016-10-30 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Dynamique Nav dCi
RENAULT is having a decent time of it over the past few years with new models like the Captur and Kadjar crossovers and the new Koleos SUV on the way.
That is in addition to innovations like the electric Zoe and updates to the Megane and the ever-popular Clio.
Sales are booming, with Captur sales going well and Renault car sales up 21.0 during the first six months of 2016 to 44,570 vehicles, representing 3.1 per cent market share - an increase of 0.5 percentage points against the same period in 2015.
The small crossover Captur embodies the bold new styling that has impressed so many buyers and potential buyers with its compactness and stylish looks.
It looks good and is economical to run, with petrol and diesel options which feature Renault's ECO system for maximising fuel and emissions efficiency. The tested 110bhp 1.5-litrediesel delivers huge economy, a claimed 76.4mpg and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions which exempts the car from road tax and puts it in a low bracket for benefit in kind taxation.
That's an attractive proposition, as is the rest of the car.
It has a slightly curvaceous yet rugged appearance, high ground clearance and large alloy wheels. The large diamond Renault badge dominates the grille which separates neat light clusters while at the rear Renault says a split light cluster design has allowed a wide tailgate opening to be created and helped avoid a boxy look.
The base of the doors have also been shaped to to prevent shoes or clothing being soiled when getting in or out. Standard kit for even the entry level model includes a 60/40 split-folding and sliding rear bench seat, stability and traction control, electric windows front and rear, electrically adjustable door mirrors, plus colour touch-screen that incorporates key functions like the excellent TomTom navigation, sound system, Bluetooth and phone functions.
The interior feels solid and well put together with classy soft touch finish to dash and doors and supportive seats.
Based on the Clio, it is longer, to create more interior and stowage space and is designed to accommodate five people in comfort, although the fifth person would have to be of small stature to avoid feeling squeezed.
The seats split 60/40 and can be folded flat to increase basic capacity of a generous 377 litres up to a maximum of 1,235 litres. A moveable boot floor adds to the practicality as do a number of bottle holders, pockets and container bins throughout the cabin.
Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox, with Stop&Start technology and brake energy recovery, the vehicle is certainly economical, and while the 70-odd mpg figure may be capable on rolling road conditions, mid-50s mpg is easily achievable.
The engine is a refined unit with diesel clatter all but absent and pick up through the gears is smooth. Acceleration is decent enough at 11 second for the 0-60 sprint and it cruises comfortably enough at higher speeds.
It also handles well, with a firm ride, at the same time feeling well balanced when cornering, taking sharp bends with ease and never feeling unsettled, even on the roughest roads.
The Captur has six airbags, hill start, ABS braking, Isofix child anchors and stability programme to achieve five stars in the Euro NCAP tests.
Renault Captur Dynamique Nav dCi 110
Mechanical: 110bhp, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 109mph
0-62mph: 11 seconds
Combined MPG: 76.4
Insurance Group: 15
C02 emissions: 98g/km
Bik rating: 17%
Warranty: 4yrs/100,000 miles
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