Renault Captur

Iconic TCe 130

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

PEOPLE carriers are out - and chunky SUVs are most certainly IN.

Peugeot spotted the trend and replaced the mumsy looking 3008 with a sporty high-rider three years ago.

And now Renault has done likewise with the diminutive Captur.

Gone are the sit-up-and-beg lines of the original. Instead you've got a funky, chic crossover that's still family friendly without being staid or dull.

Slightly bigger inside and out than the previous version, it loses nothing in terms of practicality with a generous 422 litre boot - which can be expanded even further by sliding the rear seat forward - and decent passenger space for four.

There are several engine options to choose from, but top dog is probably the 1.3-litre, four cylinder petrol we drove. Having a good blend of outright acceleration and mid range pull, it gives the Captur a nicely rounded performance with 62mph coming up in under 11 seconds and a 121mph maximum.

Smooth and subdued, the four cylinder 128bhp unit revs freely yet pulls strongly in the higher gears and delivers more than enough punch for its class.

Stiffer and stronger than the earlier car, its road-holding and handling is vastly improved. In fact, the ride is even better than that of the Nissan Juke with which it shares considerable DNA. Bumps are soaked up and undulations are ironed out yet there's no sign of wallowing on the curves.

Yes, the suspension is softer than many SUVs but there's no penalty to paid in terms of handling.

With its new suit of clothes and more macho lines, you may expect the Captur to have go anywhere four-wheel drive, but in fact it's strictly front drive. Marketing chiefs have found little call for all-paw off-roading in small SUVs. And the extra weight penalises economy as well as adding to the price.

It's pretty miserly when it comes to fuel thirst. We regularly achieved around the 48mpg mark with 50mpg-plus coming up on gentle drives.

A manual six speed gearbox is standard issue and the change is quick and smooth with a reasonably short throw action, although it lacks the precision of some. Clutch and other controls are light making town driving and heavy traffic easy.

Cabin quality is up there with best - lots of soft touch materials, a large 10-inch screen with decent graphics sprouting out of the dash and a bright, fun colour scheme. Some owners may, however, find the dependence on digital tech and touchscreen controls a step too far.

The latest sat nav isn't as user-friendly as previous systems favoured by Renault, and ours shut down totally during the test.

The Iconic version driven here clocks in at a tad more than £20,000 and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, sat nav, two tone paint, sliding rear bench and LED front and rear fog lights. On the safety side, there's lane departure warning system, traffic sign recognition and electronic stability control.

FAST FACTS

Renault Captur Iconic TCe 130

Price: £20,295

Mechanical: 1333c, 128bhp, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 122mph

0-62mph: 10.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 44.1

Insurance Group: 14

C02 emissions: 127g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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