Available to order in the UK from 1st May, the French marque’s chic new entrant will be looking to emulate the impressive start for New Clio, with which it shares its underpinnings and much of its style. With keen pricing and a series of life-simplifing features up its sleeve, it will also be looking to make serious inroads in the booming B-segment crossover class. Led by its sister Alliance car, Nissan Juke, the market’s already growing fast on the back of the MINI Countryman and the slightly larger Chevrolet Trax and Vauxhall Mokka. It’s expected to explode even more with the future launches of rivals such as the Fiat 500X, Ford EcoSport and Peugeot 2008.
Renault’s latest compact car, Captur (pronounced “capture” in the usual British way, without the ‘e’), takes its name and inspiration from the striking three-door concept from 2011. It represents the second flower petal in head of design Laurens Van Den Acker’s circle of life design strategy for the brand. Moving on from ‘Love’, exemplified by the DeZir supercar and subsequent Clio, it follows the idea that a couple are now going out to explore the world together before the third stage, Family (R-Space concept) and those beyond, Work, Play and ultimately, Wisdom.
Aiming to have quite an impact, and not just with its looks, the newcomer is both attractively priced versus the competition, not to mention very well equipped right from the entry trim level. Across the range and options list, clever features for daily life and personalisation abound.
Captur’s simple four version range is powered by a series of all turbo diesel engines, all of which have either been recently launched or revised. They include the 0.9-litre TCe 90 and 1.5 dCi 90, through to the brand new 1.2 TCe 120, mated exclusively to EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission, which has only just debuted in Clio GT-Line.
Renault’s new entrant combines the best of three worlds: the style and driving position of an SUV, the cabin space and versatility of an MPV and the driving experience of a compact hatchback. Its also been designed in such a way that its beauty is more than just skin deep.
Underneath its contemporary, inoffensive style are several clever practicality touches which should prove a boon to all types of buyers, including one of the biggest boots in the class. With the rear seat bench slid forward, and including the storage area under its dual height boot floor, its 377-litre boot increases to a sizeable 455. With the rear seats folded it will swallow up to 1,235 litres. The boot floor not only allows valuables to be hidden away from prying eyes, it’s also reversible, carpeted on one side, with rubber on the other. The latter gives a myriad of uses, whether it’s just to cope with wet shopping bags or boots in winter, through to dog hairs and mud, come rain or shine. It’s also removable, so owners can free up even more boot space whenever they need to.
At launch, Renault’s latest small car is offered in a choice of four trim levels: Expression, Expression+, Dynamique MediaNav and Dynamique S MediaNav. Its level of specification is impressive right from the start.
The well-equipped Expression offers 16” alloy wheels, 60/40 split and sliding rear seat bench, body coloured bumpers, cruise control, ECO mode (up to 10% fuel saving), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), ETC (Electronic Traction Control), front and rear electric windows, HSA (Hill Start Assist), speed limiter, trip computer.
Moving up to Expression+ takes things up a notch in the comfort and style stakes, with front fog lights, body coloured door mirrors and handles and hands-free keycard. It also features auto lights and wipers, climate control.
The likely UK best-seller, Dynamique MediaNav, brings in the world of personalisation as well as the zipped seat covers which can be simply wiped or washed. They can also be replaced to freshen up the interior come resale time. Its personalisation comes in the form of a chrome Colour Pack (combining both Interior Touch and Exterior Gloss) covering the headlight surrounds and tailgate strip, plus centre console, air vent and gearlever gaiter surrounds among others. Naturally, the mid-range trim, befitting its name, features MediaNav, the integrated multimedia tablet with seven-inch touchscreen, including Navteq Nav ‘n’ Go satellite navigation, 4x20W Arkamys radio, Bluetooth, USB and handsfree technology. It also has cornering lights and a leather steering wheel (with gloss insert) and gearknob.
Rounding off the newcomer’s line-up is Dynamique S MediaNav. As the flagship, it continues many of the premium touches in its compact car line-up which is so evident with the fourth-generation Clio. Namely, electric folding door mirrors and rear parking sensors (City Pack). It also adds heated front seats. Upmarket on the inside, the chic theme continues on the outside with standard fit personalisation. On the range-topper, that means a contrasting roof and door mirror colour, plus coloured Exterior Gloss and Interior Touch Packs. Extra tinted rear windows and 17” coloured Explore alloy wheels complete the look.
Buyers looking to express their personalities still further can choose from a wide array of options. Firstly, it becomes the third Renault to benefit from the innovative R-Link system (including TomTom satellite navigation, 4x35W Arkamys 3D Sound) £450, reversing camera (Dynamique MediaNav and above) £350, City Pack, heated front seats (£250) and metallic paint £495 (including i.d. Arizona and Tahoe Blue £595). The huge personalisation trend which already started with Clio, and is clear to see several trim levels as standard equipment, becomes even more evident on the options list. Ensuring that Capturs can be made as individual as their owners, several exterior and interior looks are split into three easy-to-understand themes: Arizona, Manhattan and Miami.
In turn, each of these themes is available with four packs:
- Exterior Gloss Pack £350: Arizona, Gloss Black or Ivory side sill protector inserts, tailgate strip, foglight surrounds and co-ordinated coloured insert 17” ‘Explore’ alloy wheels
- Interior Touch Pack £350: trim on centre console, speakers and air vents
- Style Pack £150: details on seat upholstery and steering wheel
- Colour Pack £550: contrasting roof colour, Interior Touch and Exterior Gloss Packs
Arizona, as its name suggests, with looks inspired by the colour of desert sand, contains styling touches or bodywork featuring any combination of the bright orange with black, ivory and oyster grey. Manhattan naturally revolves around a slick monochrome theme, taking in black, grey and ivory combinations, while Miami unsurprisingly, completes the trio by grouping together any look with a blue marine shade.
A total of eight body colours are available in the UK, with three unique to Captur – Arizona, Ivory and Tahoe Blue. The others are Boston Blue (non-metallic), Diamond Black, Oyster Grey, Mercury Silver and Stone. A painted roof is available on its own up to Expression+ for £300.
On Dynamique MediaNav, for example, customers can change the seat upholstery on their removable seat covers to reflect one of the three themes, Arizona, Manhattan or Miami, for £100. Three types of decal designs also feature. The Arizona roof decal, reflecting the unique insect spine design of the original concept’s roof costs £250, while Miami and Manhattan decals are the same price, but for the bonnet and tailgate.
Outside of the personalisation touches, specification levels can be taken to impressive heights too. Heated front seats (£250) and City Pack (£395 rear parking sensors and electrically folding and adjustable door mirrors) appear on the mid-range version, while a rear parking camera is available on the flagship for £350. Leather upholstery will also be available to order next year.
Powering Renault’s latest creation are three, 100% turbo engines, including the all-new 1.2 TCe 120 EDC. Joining it are the 0.9 TCe 90 and 1.5 dCi 90. An EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) version of the dCi 90 will follow later in 2013. Improving fuel economy and helping to drive down emissions still further, Stop&Start is standard on every manual. The dCi 90 also sits snuggly under the 100g/km VED band, meaning there’s no road tax in either the first year, or currently, beyond.