Captured by the

Renault Captur

Renault Captur, 2017, front
Renault Captur, 2017, side
Renault Captur, 2017, rear
Renault Captur, 2017, interior
Renault Captur, 2017, dashboard storage
Renault Captur, 2017, instrument panel, eco light

MOTORING wise I have lived through it all, war, pestilence and a one-time plague called mini-MPVs with their Mothercare orientation and body shapes inspired by the bulbous of nose.

Now I am staring down the barrel of the all-electric autonomous car and a little known phenomenon called power vampires.

These sinister creatures have been identified in the United State, where else, a country which appears to employ specialists to discover new ways of garbling language.

In plain English this is the massive drain on battery power which autonomy and its necessary computer systems will bring.

Obviously they won't be a green as they will be cabbage looking as they say around here.

Frankly I'm not going to worry much because by the time Count Dracula is sucking the life blood out of self-determining cars I will be reviewing headstones.

In the meantime preoccupation is with the new big thing.

Or, indeed, small thing, the compact crossover segment.

Bringing us to the latest Renault Captur, this one in Dynamique trim with a turbo charged 118bhp, 1.2 engine.

While economy and initial price are good there is nothing exceptionally sprightly in the range.

This will not be by accident, clearly we have a family orientated philosophy here.

The 118bhp 120 takes 9.9 seconds to reach 62mph although it manages this in peaceful harmony not least of all because it gets the full four cylinders while the popular choice now is to fit three for one-litre capacity and yes there is one of those.

So, costing £19,335 for this mid-table spec and capable of 51.4mpg, emissions are 125g/km and tax £160 in year one, it has the competitive price tag and the low running costs to appeal to those looking towards a growing family.

Although based on the Clio, the Captur is bigger and designed to give the impression of useable size rather than a pumped up hatchback.

It's not the most inspiring of cars to drive but it is safe, comfortable and at home in town or on longer hauls.

The six-speed manual gearbox is good enough, few in the segment inspire, jacked up suspension absorbs what passes for our road surfaces these days although body roll is noticeable.

In truth it is one for the urban jungle and while there is a grip package in the range there is no AWD option which says it all really.

So for the money you can look forward to what inside?

Well, it's not a bad place to sit, efficiently laid out with minimal fuss and plenty of leg and head room but plastics are harsh.

That may not be a concern while the Dynamique comes with such an acceptable level of equipment.

Rear parking sensors, cruise control with limiter, and washable, removable upholstery.

Actually perhaps that last one should come under practicality along with ample storage and a reversible boot floor.

Security includes remote anti-intruder locking and six airbags but an alarm is extra.

There is a touch screen system with a navigator - you can upgrade for £1,200 and include a camera and hands free parking - and some fetching interior chrome to go with the leather steering wheel.

Lights are LED, rear windows tinted and the mirrors have auto-fold, not bad for a roomy package costing just slightly more than a Clio.

Hill start assist is also standard.

There is a 1.5-litre diesel available which may get you 72mpg.

Rivals are queuing up to have a go and the most interesting one is the Nissan Juke which shares some parts with the Renault.

There is no escaping the popularity among buyers for small crossovers which is why everyone has a version, or will by Tuesday week.

And it has to be said that they out-do buses in the sense that popular opinion is that buses turn up in threes whereas small crossovers are arriving in droves.

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