Renault Captur

Iconic TCe 90

Renault Captur, 2017, side
Renault Captur, 2017, front
Renault Captur, 2017, rear
Renault Captur, 2017, interior
Renault Captur, 2017, boot
Renault Captur, 2017, boot, underfloor

IS it a ‘people carrier' or an SUV? The little Renault Captur is upright and practical enough to be the former but it's sufficiently chunky to be an SUV.

Maybe it's best to settle on the middle ground and call it a crossover. Whatever the terminology, the affordable Renault has broad appeal to young families and older down-sizers who want an economical but practical all-rounder.

Based on the big selling hatchback Clio, it comes as a petrol or a diesel, and here we drive the TCe 90 which has a tiny three cylinder, petrol engine with a capacity of less than one-litre.

Like the Clio and most of its rivals, the engine drives the front wheels with no option of four-wheel-drive.

In keeping with its good value approach, there's plenty of kit as standard including alloy wheels, cruise control, height adjustable driver's seat, Bluetooth and power front windows. Hill descent system also makes starts on steep slopes easier.

The 899cc engine copes manfully with general driving with ample mid range pull and a pleasant engine note. It's not going set the Tarmac alight, but neither will hold up traffic with acceleration to 62mph in an acceptable 13 seconds.

On the economy front the Captur fares well, managing a combined 55.4mpg with emissions of just 122g/km.

As with most SUVs, you sit fairly high up which benefits legroom as well as improving visibility. The seats are well shaped but quite squashy. The steering wheel adjusts for rake and height and the plenty of settings for the backrests so driver and passenger can easily find a comfortable position.

Legroom in the back is a little less generous, but still more than adequate for the size of the car. Headroom front and rear is more than sufficient. No complaints about the luggage capacity which can swallow up 377 litres of cargo.

A clever touch is the sliding rear seat which increases boot capacity by almost 80 litres if those in the rear can manage with less legroom or you are travelling just two-up. There are plenty of cubbies and storage places to absorb the usual family clutter.

A £500 extra on the Iconic version reviewed here was the techno pack which includes central seven-inch sat nav screen as well as rear view parking camera. The fascia is well laid out and user friendly with plenty of soft touch plastic.

Small SUVs are rarely bought for their handling dynamics, but nevertheless the Captur has an eager nature that encourages a driver to enjoy its roadholding ability. With reasonable ‘feel' to the steering it takes bends with enthusiasm and not too much body roll while the ride quality over most surfaces is composed and settled.

The five-speed manual gearbox is light and easy to use although it's a relatively long-throw change.

FAST FACTS

Renault Captur Iconic TCe 90

Price: £16,500

Mechanical:88bhp, 898cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via manual gearbox

Max Speed: 106mph

0-62mph: 13.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 52.3

Insurance Group: 9

C02 emissions: 122g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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