Renault Captur (2017-2019) Review & Prices
If you want a small used car that’s well-equipped, spacious and styled like a chunky SUV then the Renault Captur is a good option
What's not so good
Find out more about the Renault Captur (2017-2019)
Launched in 2013, the Captur was Renault’s first foray into the world of urban SUVs. Its ethos was to be an ‘unostentatious’ and ‘unpretentious’ family car, bringing big car practicality at small car prices.
Look beyond the marketing gumpf and you’ll find a car that has cutesy styling, a high driving position and roomy cabin. It’s not particularly fancy inside, but that’s kind of the point – it’s a simple, spacious SUV designed to stand up to whatever family life throws at it.
If you’re thinking the Captur looks suspiciously like a Clio that’s geared up for a trek through the wilderness, you’d be pretty on the money. Its design continued the then-new look for the popular Clio city car and it has stood the test of time really well.
The Renault Captur is a simple, spacious SUV designed to stand up to whatever family life throws at it.
Despite its jacked-up ride height and chunky cladding, there are no four-wheel drive options, so while the Captur might look like it’s able to head off the beaten track, it shouldn’t be ventured too far from Tarmac.
Admittedly, it’s not the most exciting choice even for those who plan to stick to city streets, with plenty of alternatives offering a more complete package – a better interior and more enjoyable driving experience, for example. However, its low cost when new means that the used market is full of great value options that are newer than you might expect for your budget.
It’s not a purely head-over-heart choice, though. Many people will be drawn in by its chic styling, and while the interior isn’t the most inspiring to look at, you can’t help but appreciate how spacious it is for a small SUV.
An update in 2017 brought new front and rear bumpers, standard-fit C-shaped LED daytime running lights, optional LED headlights, updated infotainment systems, a posher-feeling interior with more soft-touch plastics and the option to have a fixed sunroof. All of this worked to elevate its appeal a little more than older cars.
When the car first went on sale in 2013 there were two petrol and three diesel engine choices. The smallest is a three-cylinder petrol with 90hp and a manual gearbox, which is available on every trim, while a more powerful 120hp petrol engine gets an automatic gearbox and is only offered on the two higher-spec Dynamique trims.
The diesel actually suits the Captur a little better, as it feels more punchy than the petrols from low speeds. It has 90hp and also falls below the 100g/km CO2 emissions band, meaning there’s no vehicle excise duty to pay. In 2015 a 110hp version of the diesel engine was introduced promising near-identical performance to the 90hp version.
Later models had a 1.3-litre petrol engine making 128bhp, which is probably the best all-rounder of the bunch. But being fitted to newer models means it will need a higher budget than other engines here.
Starting again with earlier models, there were four trims called Expression, Expression+, Dynamique Media Nav and Dynamique S Media Nav.
Entry-level Expression models came with 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, an ‘eco’ driving mode and electric windows all around – so despite its no-frills attitude it’s actually pretty well-equipped as standard. Opting for Expression+ will get you some extra convenience kit, such as automatic lights and wipers, climate control, and a hands-free keycard.
Dynamique Media Nav gets zipped seat covers that can be removed and washed, or replaced to freshen up the interior. Other kit includes a 7.0-inch infotainment display with sat nav and a leather steering wheel.
Top-spec Dynamique S Media Nav has an impressive equipment list, such as electric folding door mirrors, rear parking sensors, heated front seats, tinted rear windows and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Optional extras worth looking out for include a reversing camera and the R-Link system which includes TomTom sat nav. Media Nav and R-Link models had DAB radio as standard from 2015.
After the 2017 update the trim line-up was revised. Starting with Expression+, the new model added front and rear skid plates to the bumpers, LED daytime running lights, a hands-free keycard, air conditioning and DAB radio to the standard kit.
Dynamique Nav added 17-inch alloy wheels, while the Dynamique S Nav received a two-tone paint job, leather steering wheel and full LED headlights.
Signature X Nav gets part-leather upholstery, heated front seats and mud and snow tyres designed to make it a bit more capable off road – but not much – while top-spec Signature S Nav models are given some minor aesthetic tweaks to the outside and all of the options from the rest of the range – such as hands-free parking and a BOSE sound system – included as standard.
Thanks largely to its upright SUV body style, the Renault Captur has an impressively spacious cabin. There’s plenty of room up front, and there are well-sized storage areas to be found, though the door bins will only take a smaller water bottle.
That front seat space isn’t at the expense of rear seat space, either. Legroom is pretty good and taller adults shouldn’t find headroom compromised, though it’s not particularly wide, so fitting three across the back can be a bit of a squeeze.
Another tick in the practicality box comes from the boot, which has a useful 377 litres of space, plus no load lip so heavier items are easier to slide in. You can also drop the boot floor and slide the rear seats forward to extend the space to 455 litres, but this does introduce a bit of a lip. Despite being roomy there are no hooks or tethering points to keep items secure.
If you see the funky exterior and expect that to continue inside, you might be disappointed. Actually, you’ll probably be disappointed regardless of what you expect. The Captur’s cabin design isn’t particularly inspired and appears more practical than posh. Buyers could opt for bright trim pieces to liven things up, though, so look out for these if the idea appeals.
The Renault Captur feels at its best in the city. Its raised suspension means even the most abrupt of speed humps won’t damage the bottom of the car and the suspension deals well with bad surfaces at low speeds.
Its tall body also gives you a great view out the front, and the small windows behind the wing mirrors mean only the plastic trim around the windscreen interrupts your field of vision. Look out the back, though, and the big pillars around the rear windscreen cause large blind spots, so you’ll have to keep your wits about you when driving through busy cities. Rear parking sensors are fitted as standard to mid-range Iconic models, and you get a useful hands-free parking system on GT Line models.
The Renault Captur feels like a small family car on stilts on country roads. Its steering is a little light in corners and you get a reasonable amount of body lean in fast bends, but there’s plenty of grip – and are you really going to channel your inner Lewis Hamilton on the school run?
What you may wish for a little more of is motorway refinement. The diesel engines grumble even at a cruise, while wind and road noise are a distant drone that’s only just tolerable. The suspension also seems to get flummoxed at faster speeds making the car pogo over smaller bumps and poor road surfaces. All models have a 1,200kg towing capacity – similar to any other hatchback.
Ownership surveys suggest that the Renault Captur is a reliable SUV, with buyers reporting few troublesome faults. It seems later cars score better than early models, though, so it could be beneficial to push your budget for the newest example you can afford.
Capturs are also fairly inexpensive to fix, which is largely down to the fact it shares many components with other Renaults of the time, particularly the popular Clio, so parts are plentiful and affordable.
When it went on sale, the Captur had a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, but this was upped to four years or 100,000 miles from 2015, so these models might have received a little more TLC in their lifetime. It’s always a good idea to check if the car has been serviced as necessary and be wary of examples that do not have a comprehensive service history.
Despite the generally good news here, there are a couple of small issues that can crop up. A common one appears to be a faulty DAB radio, which can fail to play sound through the speakers despite the display indicating it’s on. A trip to a Renault dealer can fix this fairly quickly, though.
Another issue is the stop-start system. This saves fuel by stopping the engine when the car is stationary, then restarting it automatically when it’s time to move again. However, there have been reports of this failing to work, or working erratically, and again requires a quick call to a dealer to fix.
Recalls are issued by car manufacturers and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to address issues that have been found with a vehicle. They can be fairly innocuous, such as a problem with the infotainment system, or more serious, such as those relating to mechanical faults.
If you want to know whether your vehicle has any outstanding recalls, contacting your local dealer is your best bet.
More than 30,000 cars built between January 1st 2013 and March 31st 2015 were affected by a braking issue. Incorrectly fitted wheel arch liners could rub on brake hoses and cause damage that would result in less-effective braking. This might be highlighted by a ‘braking system fault’ warning on the dashboard.
A series of recalls affecting very low numbers of Capturs relate to issues such as incorrect welding on the catalytic converter, dipped headlights that do not aim at the road correctly, and a badly fitted bolt on seatbelts.
Safety and security
When the Renault Captur was safety tested in 2013 it scored the full five stars from Euro NCAP. Testing has become more stringent since then, but at the time it scored particularly well for adult occupant protection with an 88% rating.
The Captur doesn’t have a huge amount of driver assistance technology, with one of the key options to look out for being the City Pack, which adds rear parking sensors. Top-spec cars could also be specced with a rear-view camera as an option when new, which could be a good thing to look out for.
The 2017 update brought optional front parking sensors too, while Dynamique S Nav cars and above also have blind spot warning.
A Peugeot 2008 of a similar era to the first generation Captur lacks the design sparkle of more modern versions, but it does have some frugal engines and a practical interior. Meanwhile, the Vauxhall Mokka will give you more for your money, but it’s not as enjoyable to drive and feels cheaper inside.