Renault Captur S

Edition E-Tech

Plug-in 160

Renault Capture Rive Gauche, 2022, front
Renault Capture Rive Gauche, 2022, side
Renault Capture Rive Gauche, 2022, rear
Renault Capture Rive Gauche, 2022, interior

A GROWING number of us are realising the advantages of having a short car that's a bit taller than the average hatch or saloon.

For a start, parking is easier in today's congested streets and also those extra centimetres in height allow passengers to sit more upright and stretch their legs out more vertically. Another bonus is improved visibility, particularly when negotiating country lanes with high hedges.

So the crossover and small SUV is very much the flavour of moment. Which is pretty good news for firms like Renault which has been churning out tallish, small family models since the days of the ugly duckling but amazingly practical 4L back in the 1960s.

Today's representative in the sector from the French giant is the Captur, a five-door compact hatch with semi-SUV looks, front drive and the option of part electric power. So, very contemporary.

We sampled the E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid 160 version which uses a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a couple of electric motors powered by a 9.8kWh battery which say Renault will allow it to travel up to 28miles on electric alone.

Like the Clio, on which it is based, the Captur is driven by its front wheels. Now in its second incarnation, the latest shape is a tad more sporty and fun as well as being a bit longer and wider.

The cabin has an appropriately modern look with a large central touchscreen, floating console and it comes equipped for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Renault persists in putting the radio controls at the rear of a stalk off the steering wheel - not always an easy spot to locate.

Seats, both front and rear, are well shaped and supportive. Those in the front have ample adjustment for rake and height. Headroom all round is generous, as you'd expect in a crossover.

Like most Renaults, the ride is compliant and focuses to a greater extent on comfort rather than dynamic performance. There's a degree of body roll during press-on cornering but this isn't excessive. The plus is that all but the worst road imperfections are easily soaked up.

Acceleration, especially from a start, is quite swift but the automatic six-speed gearbox tends to respond slowly resulting in sometimes jerky progress. 62mph comes up in a shade over 10 secs, which is about par for the class. Noise levels are higher than expected under full acceleration.

No complaints about the economy. Even ignoring the theoretical and absurd 200+mpg of the official statistics, most owners will comfortably top the 50mpg mark, as we did during most of the evaluation.

Although there are adequate holders for bottles, the cubbies and storage areas are quite shallow or small for family needs. Boot space, though probably sufficient for most families, is restricted by the necessary electric workings with a raised luggage platform.

FAST FACTS

Renault Captur S Edition E-Tech Plug-in 160

Price: £31,295

Mechanical: 1,598cc, 4 cyl petrol/hybrid, 160bhp engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 107mph

0-62mph:10.1 sec

Combined MPG: 217.3

Insurance Group: 16

C02 emissions: 36g/km

Bik rating: 12%

Warranty: 4yrs/100,000 miles

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