Captur the imagination: Renault's Juke-rivalling small crossover boosted
Renault - possessor of one of the most interesting model line-ups of recent times - has given the Captur a makeover.
The stylish, small crossover is based on the fourth-generation Clio, a very competent hatch indeed.
Perhaps surprisingly, the Captur has been around since 2013. The latest facelift brings the styling up to date, not that it needed it, to be honest, as it was an elegant little beast anyway.
It needs to stand out in a crowded market, but in a good way. On one side, rivals include the Nissan Juke and Citroen C4 Cactus. At the other end lies the Ford EcoSport and Peugeot 2008.
The Juke and Cactus are too funky for many drivers, yet for some the EcoSport and the 2008 may not be distinctive enough.
The Captur hopes to, ahem, capture this middle market. It's chic and gets noticed without being OTT.
True, it's not thrilling to drive, but it's roomy, comfortable and bristling with technology and personalisation options.
As Europe's best-selling urban crossover last year, and Renault's best-selling vehicle in the UK, the Captur isn't a car that should be ignored.
If you're in the market for a car in this segment, then it's definitely one worth trying out.
The new look is bolder and more assertive, drawing the Captur firmly into the orbit of Renault's other SUVs, the Kadjar and the even bigger Koleos.
The Captur's striking two-tone colour scheme continues, only this time three new body colours have been added - Desert Orange, Ocean Blue and Amethyst - as well as a Mercury option for the roof.
There are more than 30 potential combinations, enabling customers to personalise the appearance of the car, including seven different interior touch packs.
There are also new front and rear skid plates, which give the Captur some off-road street cred (even if its actual mud-plugging ability is very limited, so be warned if you intend to head off the beaten track).
Renault have allowed for a good range of engines, with six different petrol and diesel powertrains available.
The two diesel turbo powerplants are the dCi 90 (mated to automatic transmission or a manual gearbox) and the dCi 110 (manual).
Equipped with both Stop & Start technology and a system that recovers energy under braking and deceleration, this engine delivers 110hp at 4,000rpm and 260Nm of torque at 1,750rpm.
The two petrol engines are the Energy TCe 90 (manual) and the TCe 120 (auto or manual). The engines have direct injection, turbocharging and Stop & Start.
Trim levels are similar to the Clio, with Expression+, Dynamic Nav, Signature X Nav and the like. A new top-of-the-range Signature S Nav version has been added.
You won't feel let down by an absence of technology, with an optional BOSE premium sound system looking very tasty.
Entry-level equipment level includes R&Go, which transforms the user's smartphone into a connected tablet installed in its universal cradle, linking in to the car's systems.
Mid-range trim levels get a Media Nav multimedia system that includes satnav, reversing camera and eco drive button.
Renault's R-LINK multimedia system is also available, with a seven-inch screen and 3G connectivity. It's now connectable to Android Auto for the first time.
A range of driver and safety assists are available. For the first time, the Captur gets a Blind Spot Warning system that will detect vehicles and even motorbikes and bicycles in the door mirror blindspots and light up a warning in the mirror.
Range-topping versions also come with Hands-Free Parking, which can detect parking spaces and control the steering during parking, leaving the driver to operate the brakes and accelerator.
The range is priced from £15,355 on-the-road. The order books have been open for a number of weeks, and the first cars will be delivered to owners in NI any day soon.