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Renault Captur Dynamique: A lesson in co-ordination

By Roger St. Pierre with Hazel Kempster

Niche marketing is today’s motor industry catchphrase as manufacturers squeeze every last penny from their returns on development investment.

The oddly named Captur is part of Renault’s effort to make sure every angle is covered. It’s a chunky, high riding and inexpensive to run compact crossover that combines rugged off-roader looks and performance with a supermini road space footprint.

There’s no ‘e’ on Captur but plenty of other letters to get your tongue around. My £18,284 test model came with the tortuous model name of Captur Dynamique MediaNav ENERGY dCi Stop & Start – phew! – but could talk for itself when you got behind the wheel.

It started life a few years ago as a concept car. Everything about the Captur, whatever hue you opt for, is carefully colour co-ordinated. Mine came in an eye-catching orangey/bronze/red hybrid colour the Renault styling people call Arizona, with contrasting ivory white roof. but the unusual paint job wasn’t all that attracted my neighbours’ attention. While a few of them few found it too transatlantic in its styling, most were favourable to its agile dynamics. And its ultra modern interior, clear instrumentation and general sense of style brought favourable comments too. Well thought out in its design, it’s compact yet internally spacious.

I doubt if many Captur owners will ever go green roading but this tough little beast has the capabilities to tackle the rough stuff – as you’d expect from a vehicle that, in looks at least, has aspirations to cater for the entry level of the SUV market.

The standard kit list is impressive – hill start assist, ABS and emergency brake assist, cruise control, automatic light and wipe functions, and daytime LED running lights all earning a tick from the basic £16,595 model up, while the Dynamique adds such goodies as hands-free keycard with push-button start, headlight cornering function, a chrome gloss interior pack, leather steering wheel, and a superb multimedia system, with a bright and clear seven-inch touch screen.

Driving force comes from a lively 1,461 cc diesel that can yield an impressive 76.5-mpg in the combined fuel consumption cycle yet is also capable of galloping from 0 to 62-mph in 13.1-seconds, with a 106-mph top speed potential. Petrol versions are almost as frugal.

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