The Renault Captur has enjoyed significant success since its introduction in 2013, remaining one of the most popular compact crossovers on the market. Now Renault has given the Captur some cosmetic tweaks and upgrades to the interior that should go down well with prospective buyers.
In the Metal:
You'll need to take a close look to notice the exterior differences that mark out this new Renault Captur. The front grille has gained some additional chrome embellishments while there is now the option of new full LED headlights. To bring the Captur more in line with the styling of both the larger Kadjar and forthcoming Koleos models, new C-shaped LED daytime running lights occupy the lower corners of the front bumper. The rear lights have also come in for some modification and feature a more modern look.
Renault has implemented more important changes inside the cabin. Most of the primary touchpoints, like door handles, steering wheel and upper dashboard areas, have seen improvements in the quality of materials used. Soft-touch plastics feel and look better than before. The layout of the dash remains unchanged, though it was a well-designed affair to begin with. Unlike newer Renault models, the Captur doesn't use the company's portrait-style tablet touchscreen and, in truth, that's a good thing.
In the rear, the Captur benefits from decent amounts of head- and legroom. Access to the rear seats is good too thanks to wide opening doors that aren't overly long, so tight car parking spaces shouldn't present too many issues. The rear bench seat can also slide fore and aft to add more boot space when required. Space-wise, there is a useful 455 litres and the boot features an adjustable floor height that could double up as a separate storage compartment. With the rear seats folded the cargo capacity rises to 1,235 litres.
There haven't been any mechanical changes made for this facelift of the Captur, and to be fair it wasn't really in need of any. Compared to some other crossovers on the market, the Captur feels quite solid. It soaks up bumps and potholes well, while on the motorway and at higher speeds the sound insulation in the cabin is among the best in class. This is particularly the case of the petrol-engined version tested here.
We've long been fans of the impressive 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine that is available in the Captur, but if you prefer having a bit more power on tap, the 120hp 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder option will appeal. It comes with the choice of a six-speed manual (as tested here) or automatic transmission. The manual has a positive action with each gear change, and the petrol engine is smooth even as the revs rise. If you're not convinced by the prospect of diesel power, but make occasional longer journeys, then this 120hp petrol engine could suit your needs. If you do only short urban runs, the 0.9-litre will more likely serve you well; just don't be put off by its smaller capacity.
Most modern compact crossovers aren't aimed at setting new paradigms for vehicle handling, but to be fair to the Captur is does handle better than most. A slightly firm suspension setup results in less roll through the corners so the Captur never really feels like a taller car.
The Captur has almost the same footprint as the Renault Clio it is based on, meaning it is easy to manoeuvre in town and, with a good steering lock, getting into those tighter parking spaces isn't difficult. Most versions also come with a good quality reversing camera and parking sensors.
What you get for your Money:
In all, there are six engine and transmission options to choose from, with automatic gearboxes available in conjunction with the more powerful diesel and petrol engines. The entry-level Expression+ model features 16-inch alloy wheels, all black bumpers, DAB radio and the R&GO infotainment system that enables the user to mount their smartphone into a cradle.
From the Dynamique Nav upwards, the Captur range comes equipped with a seven-inch touchscreen system that includes satellite navigation and Bluetooth. The exterior gains larger 17-inch alloy wheels with black inserts, too. One step up from that is the Dynamique S Nav, which includes the two-tone bodywork, rear privacy glass and a new centre armrest, plus leather for the steering wheel, handbrake and gear selector. This model also includes the new full LED headlights.
From there the range branches out to two range-topping variants: the Signature X Nav and Signature S Nav. The former has Renault's Grip Xtend advanced traction control system that includes mud and snow tyres as standard. It is the most capable Captur when it comes to going off-road, but remains restricted to just light off-road work due to its front-wheel-drive-only setup. Upgraded 17-inch alloy wheels, two-tone dashboard upholstery and the improved R-Link infotainment system that is now compatible with Android Auto are also part of the package.
The Signature S Nav is a more luxuriously equipped model, with part Nappa leather seats, aluminium pedals, Hands-Free Parking and Blind Spot Warning all as standard items, as is a Bose six-speaker system.
Some may say that Renault has done little to update the Captur crossover, but the truth is that it was already quite a good package. The interior improvements do help lift the sense of quality inside and with good levels of standard equipment as you go up the model range, it's likely that the Captur will continue to be a sales success.