Renault Captur Review
The Renault Captur looks great, has a spacious, high-quality cabin and a big boot. Its infotainment can frustrate, though, and there are more comfortable small SUVs around town
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
- Space and practicality
- Large boot
- Efficient engines
What's not so good
- Infotainment system
- Low speed comfort
- Safety tech reserved for top trim
Renault Captur: what would you like to read next?
The Renault Captur is a little bit like Thierry Henry: French, surprisingly multi-talented and better looking than the average offering. It was these traits that helped the previous Captur sell so well, giving this all-new model for 2019 a lot to live up to.
And the competition amongst small SUVs is now stronger than ever for the Captur, which has fresh challenges from cars like the Volkswagen T-Cross, Skoda Kamiq, Seat Arona and Peugeot 2008.
To fend off this little lot the Captur has been completely overhauled. Outside, it has new C-shaped LED running lights, LED headlights as standard, a wider grille, re-designed bumpers and larger alloy wheel options. It’s still a Captur, but it’s all grown up. Inside the Captur has moved also on, getting a new infotainment system, slicker design and upgraded materials.
And, because the Captur is taller, wider and longer than before – mainly between its front and rear axles – there’s more space for people inside, particularly in the back.
Entry and mid-level Capturs get a 7-inch portrait infotainment system without built-in sat-nav but featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as DAB radio and Bluetooth. Mid-level Iconic then adds built-in sat-nav to this same system. Then, range-topping S Edition models get a larger 9.3-inch system with sat-nav.
All-in-all, the new screens are high-res, but in all three cases the native menus and response times don’t live up to the better systems in alternatives. Renault’s digital dials, available optionally on S Edition trim, are also less visually impressive and configurable than in other small SUVs too. All-told, a Kamiq and T-Cross are stronger here.
With so many small SUVs around these days, the Captur had to grow up fast. Thankfully, it's done so, inside and out.
Still, the quality of materials inside are high and the Captur’s space is great. Adults in the front will have no complaints and the driver enjoys decent visibility and an easily-adjustable driving position. In the back the Captur is similarly impressive, managing to seat a couple more adults in comfort, even if three across the back will prove tight.
But the Captur has a party trick – its rear bench can slide forwards and backwards, trading rear legroom for boot space. That means the Captur’s boot, at 536 litres with the seats pushed forward is the largest of any small SUV, and at 422-litres with them all the way back is seriously competitive.
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to the Captur’s engines and gearboxes, with three petrols, two diesels and a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid due to arrive soon. A Renault Captur automatic with seven speeds, or five and six-speed manuals are available, depending on the engine.
The usual advice applies here: if you drive mainly in town, pick a petrol – Renault’s 130hp 1.3-litre strikes the best balance between price, performance and fuel economy. If you spend more time on the motorway, then the 115hp diesel will make more financial sense. Company car driver or have reliable access to charging? Don’t write off the hybrid, as it will prove to be extremely efficient in the right circumstances.
In any of its guises the Captur is no thriller to drive, but few (if any) small SUVs are. More importantly is steers precisely and feels grippy and stable through turns. Where it doesn’t live up to cars like the VW T-Cross is on comfort and noise, proving a little bumpy in town and less hushed on the motorway than the VW.
Which leaves the Renault Captur in a favourable position amongst the huge, and growing, number of small SUVs available these days. It’s not quite the most rounded of them all, but looks great, feels high-quality and offers lots of space nevertheless.
If that sounds like your cup of tea, head over to our deals pages for the very best Renault Captur prices.
The Renault Captur now looks and feels much better inside than before, but although its infotainment has improved too, there are still better systems available in other small SUVs.
You’ll be able to transport four adults in comfort if you need too, and the Captur’s boot is big for a small SUV. Especially given its sliding rear bench.
The previous Captur never struggled with space, but over the years its alternatives got bigger and better. Well, it’s back taller, wider and longer, and has no trouble accommodating a couple of adults in the fronts seats. The driver also gets plenty of seat and wheel adjustment to ensure all sizes will find a decent driving position.
The real change is in the back, though, where the space between the Captur’s front and rear axles has grown allowing good kneeroom, coupled with good headroom, even for tall adults. The only slight complaint is that the rear passengers’ heads are positioned behind the rear window thanks to the sloping roofline, making it seem a little claustrophobic for the particularly tall. Kids won’t notice.
You’ll also struggle to fit three adults side-by-side across the rear bench, but then, that’s true of all small SUVs.
The Renault Captur has a very impressive list of places to store your odds and sods. The front door bins are capable of taking 1.5-litre water bottles, there’s a deep lidded cubby beneath the front central armrest, a couple of generous cupholders and a cubby at the base of the dashboard which doubles up as a wireless charging pad on some models.
It’s worth mentioning the glovebox, too, which has a pull out tray-like design rather than the usual hinged door type. It’s a great size but is a little difficult to open and access properly if somebody is sat in the front passenger seat.
In the back, there are two further door pockets, pockets on the backs of the front seats and a central armrest that flips down to reveal a couple more cupholders.
Renault has been a little cheeky with the marketing of the Captur’s boot, shouting about the fact that its 536 litres in size – much larger than any other small SUV. Its boot is this size, but only with its rear seats pushed all the way forward, meaning no rear passengers can come along for the ride.
In fact, it’s fairer to compare its boot to other small SUVs’ with its rear seat pushed all the way back. Just so, it is 422 litres in size, making it slightly bigger than both a T-Cross’ with its rear seats pushed back and a Kamiq’s with its fixed rear bench. That said, compare the Captur and T-Cross on rear-seats-forward space and the Captur is quite a bit bigger.
If you need even more space for a trip to the tip, the Captur’s rear seats split 60:40 and fold down completely flat. Its boot also has a handy divider, which eliminates any boot lip and means a completely flat surface from boot entrance to the front seatbacks.
The Captur comes with efficient petrol and diesel options, but unlike its alternatives, also a plug-in hyrbid. None will get your pulse racing on the road, though.
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to the Captur’s engines, with three petrols and two diesels on the menu, plus a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid due to arrive soon.
The usual advice applies here: if you drive mainly in town, pick a petrol – Renault’s four-cylinder, 130hp 1.3-litre strikes the best balance between price, performance and fuel economy. It’ll crack 0-62mph in less than 9 seconds, yet return 44mpg, which is a nice set of numbers.
There’s also a 100hp three-cylinder 1.0-litre, but it’ll feel a little underpowered on faster-moving roads. The opposite is true of the 155hp version of the 1.3, but it pushes up the cost too far to be sensible, both in terms of the purchase price and running costs.
If you spend more time on the motorway, then the 1.5-litre 115hp diesel will make more financial sense, because at a cruise you should see just less than 60mpg. It also has more punch lower in its revs for keeping up with traffic. The 95hp version of the same engine is good too, but the 115hp version isn’t much more to buy and has similar fuel economy despite the power hike.
If you’re a company car driver or have reliable access to charging, don’t write off the hybrid, as it will prove to be extremely efficient in the right circumstances. It consists of a 1.6-litre petrol engine, 9.8kWh battery and electric motors, and fully charged it’ll go 28 miles on electricity alone up to speeds of 83mph. Used correctly, it’ll use the least fuel of any Captur.
A five-speed manual gearbox comes as standard on the 100hp petrol, the 130hp petrol gets a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic, while the 155hp petrol is auto only.
The Captur is a good companion in town, with light steering, a tight turning circle and decent visibility for the driver. Which is lucky, because parking sensors aren’t standard until mid-level Iconic trim, and a 360 camera isn’t standard until range-topping S Edition.
Comfort is a bit of an issue, too, because the Captur doesn’t stay as composed over potholes and manhole covers as a VW T-Cross in town, particularly on its optional 18-inch set.
It’s no thriller in the corners, either, although very few (if any) small SUVs are. More importantly you’re able to thread it along a country road confident in its precise steering, good grip and taut body control, which will be more than enough for most buyers. If you want a little more fun, a Seat Arona is about as good as it gets.
On the motorway, the Captur stays nicely planted, but you do notice a bit of road noise. Helping relax you, though, is a standard lane-keep asisst, which will steer to keep you in lane, along with automatic emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. For even more autonomy you can add adaptive cruise control to S Edition models, which will accelerate and brake for you in combination with a more advanced steering asisst.