None of the Captur’s engines are powerhouses but the 1.2-litre petrol is reasonably quiet and peppy enough to handle driving on the motorway
The Captur comes with a choice of four engines, split equally between petrol and diesel power.
The 120hp, 1.2-litre petrol is the model to have if you mostly drive in town and make occasional trips on the motorway. It comes with a six-speed gearbox that keeps engine noise at bay on the motorway and you’ll feel the extra power compared to the 0.9-litre model when overtaking on A-roads. A six-speed automatic is optional but it can make the car feel a little slow to respond when you want a sharp burst of acceleration.
If you want a petrol Captur get the 1.2 over the 0.9 – the smaller engine is just too slow at motorway speeds
The cheapest engine in the range is the 0.9-litre 90hp petrol. It’s not quick, but it’s fast enough to keep pace with city traffic and fuel economy of 55.4mpg means you won’t end up on first-name terms with the local petrol station’s staff. The downside is that, at motorway speeds, its performance is lacklustre and its five-speed gearbox means the engine is noisier at a cruise.
Diesel power makes sense if you’re going to spend your days chugging up and down the motorway, where their fuel economy of between 70.6 and 78.5mpg will really pay off. If that’s not how you plan to use your Captur, though – avoid them. They’re more expensive to buy than the petrols and clatter – a lot – under acceleration.
The 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 Dynamique S Nav models, and you get a useful rear camera on Signature models.
The 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 corners, but there’s plenty of grip – and are you really going to drive your family car like a race car?
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 fade to 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.
The Captur hasn’t been designed with off-roading in mind, but Signature models come with mud and snow tyres and a Grip Xtend traction control system that’s surprisingly effective at helping the front tyres dig in on slippery surfaces. All models have a 1,200kg towing capacity – similar to any other hatchback.