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2018 Renault Captur – geared to ‘capture’ its segment’s crown

The Captur is compact urban crossover from Renault. The Captur is based on the same platform as the Clio and is only slightly longer, at 4.12 metres. According to Renault, the Captur crossover model feels very spacious inside, although in reality it looks a bit like a taller version of the Clio. The Captur’s flowing lines highlight its distinctive proportions, while its large wheels, generous ground clearance, wide tracks and steeply raked, forward-set windscreen form a unique blend of MPV, SUV and hatchback. For 2018, the Captur has reinvented itself to feature more distinctive styling and new advanced technologies, without sacrificing any of its user-friendliness. Along with Koleos and the Kadjar, Renault now offers a comprehensive line-up of crossovers.

Design

The 2018 Captur has evolved by taking a step closer in style to its bigger sibling, the Kadjar. The radiator grille has been modified to bring it more into line with the Renault brand’s other crossovers, with the notable addition of a chrome strip. At both the front and rear, the bumper incorporates new skid plates in evidence of the Captur’s adventurer credentials. The 2018 Captur is equipped with Full-LED front lights. This technology enhances both the vehicle’s look and safety, whilst at the same time reducing glare. At the bottom of the bumper, the Captur incorporates the C-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights that have become emblematic of the brand’s lighting signature. The rear lights similarly include this hallmark which is visible both night and day.

The crossover’s compact footprint and new large 16- or 17-inch wheels highlight its sporty credentials and lust for adventure.  The Captur’s substantial ground clearance (200 mm) is similar to the one found on crossovers and some 4x4s. The forward position of its steeply raked windscreen emphasises the design’s dynamic appeal. The sill protection mouldings guard against urban and rural scrapes.

The two-part horizontal rear lights permit a wide tailgate opening and help the 2018 Captur’s design to avoid a boxy look. The 2018 Captur can now be specified with a fixed glass roof. Available exclusively in the vehicle’s two-tone configuration, this new feature provides an even brighter cabin.

Power

Propelling the 2018 Captur is a choice of two turbocharged petrol units. Mated to the engines are Efficient Dual Clutch (EDC) transmissions that offer smooth gear changes, responsive performance and low fuel consumption. ‘Stop Start’ technology and braking energy recovery help to reduce the overall fuel efficiency of all the engines. The petrol line-up consists of a 0.9-litre TCe 90 fire plant with an output of 67 kW (90 hp) 135 Nm of torque. This particular engine uses 4.9litres/100km. The most powerful petrol engine is the 1.2-litre TCe 120 with an output of 89 kW (120 hp) and 190 Nm of torque. One needs 5.4 litres of fuel is needed to cover a distance of 100 km in this particular power plant.

Handling

The handling of 2018 Captur benefits from Renault’s expertise and exacting approach. Thanks to its dynamic road holding performance and ride comfort, drivers will immediately feel confident. The 2018 Captur front suspension features a MacPherson-type arrangement, with rectangular lower arm and dual isolating mountings for outstanding road holding and ride comfort. Fitted on the rear is a programmed deflection torsion beam and coil springs. The beam and anti-roll bar are calibrated to optimise roll control.

Interior

The 2018 Captur’s dramatic, intuitive and dynamic interior has room for five occupants. The seats feature zipped seat covers. The seat covers are easier to unfasten and can be machine washed at home. Fitted on the dashboard is what Renault calls the Easy Life drawer. The glove box is easy to reach from the driver’s seat. It holds 11 litres and can accommodate such familiar items as a laptop computer, camera or handbag. The Easy Life drawer is an inventive storage solution that is more attractive and more practical than a conventional glove box.

The large boot is uncluttered in shape and holds up to between 377 litres and 455 litres. The removable, multi-position boot floor is reversible, with both carpeted and washable surface coverings. Two large stowage spaces are provided underneath the boot mat either side of the tyre inflation kit. The sliding rear seat provides up to 215mm of knee room for rear passengers.

A removable 1.6 litre stowage bin is located between the front seats. A large lidded stowage area is located at the top of the dashboard. The front door bins can accommodate drinks bottles of up to 1.5 litres. Keyless entry and starting are standard across the range, while a hands-free key card is available as well.

The height-adjustable driver’s seat allows one to find a seating position that suits them. The steering wheel can be adjusted for both height (by 60mm) and reach (50mm). Top of the line Renault Captur come with indirect ambient lighting, corner lighting and rear parking sensors (audible signal) and a reversing camera.

A large 7-inch touch screen is fitted on the centre console. It has six-icon menu with access to applications such as navigation, multimedia, hands-free telephone, the vehicle itself, services and applications, plus the system settings. All radios feature bluetooth function to make hands-free telephone calls and to listen to music stored on portable devices. All the radios are fitted with USB and jack ports.  The unique experience of Bose’s premium sound system transforms the interior into a veritable concert hall, producing authentic, clear and realistic music worthy of a live performance. This audio experience is achieved via a system based on six high-definition Bose loudspeakers and a subwoofer in the boot.

Safety

To protect all occupants during a crash, the 2018 Captur incorporates frontal airbags, head/thorax side airbags, and seat belts with pre-tensioners. three-point Isofix child seat anchorage for the front passenger seat and two outboard rear seats, with three homologated seat belt positions for young children attached with standard seat belts. ABS, emergency brake assist, latest-generation seven-sensor Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Roll Movement Intervention (RMI) are fitted as standard.

The Captur’s RMI system is triggered in extreme situations or whenever the angle of body roll becomes excessive. A Hill Start Assist system prevents the vehicle from rolling back by temporarily holding the vehicle stationary, when the parking brake is released.

Verdict

In essence, the Renault Captur is a Clio with a smattering of SUV traits and the style factor turned up. The result is a high-riding small hatchback that benefits from the added practicality of a sliding rear bench seat, plus supermini-like running costs and a variety of colourful interior and exterior themes that include a contrasting colour roof. If you find yourself wanting the high seating position and extra practicality which SUV buyers look for, but aren’t yet ready for a much larger car, then the Captur is well worth looking at. Simba Caetano Formula, an affiliate of Simba Corporation, is the official distributor of Renault in Kenya. The firm’s offices are located along Mombasa Road in the outskirts of Nairobi.

Rating

Value: 3

Presence: 3

Interior: 3

Styling: 3

Equipment: 3

Overall: 3

Quote: The 2018 Captur has evolved by taking a step closer in style to its bigger sibling, the Kadjar.

What we like    

  • Neat and spacious interior
  • Economical engines
  • Great styling

What we dislike

  • Hard interior plastics
  • Rivals are fun to drive
  • Ride can be jiggly