Renault Captur Dynamique S MediaNav Review
Renault has been a manufacturer in crisis of late. The spectacular failure of successive Laguna models to impact upon the marketplace combined with design follies such as the Avantime and Vel Satis executive cars have seen the once iconic French brand’s market share dwindle. Aside from the spectacular Renaultsport models, the core range has suffered from sub par styling and quality whilst the emergence of Kia, Hyundai et al as major market players has led many customers away from Renault. But, following the input of Nissan as part of the groundbreaking Renault-Nissan Alliance, the Paris based manufacturer are in the midst of a renaissance of sorts, led by the all new Clio and the Captur, the car being reviewed here.
Based upon the Clio IV platform, the Captur is envisioned as a more stylish, conventional looking crossover to challenge Nissan’s sister car, the Juke. The looks still will ultimately polarise opinions with some buyers drawn to the bold curvy lines whilst others may see the car as a touch “blobby” in its appearance. For what it’s worth, here in the office, we feel that colour choice is key on the Captur and the black of our test car featuring an orange roof & mirrors stands out as one to consider.
On the inside, the interior does well to mirror the stylish exterior with heavy use of nice gloss finish plastics around the steering wheel, door trims and standard fit Sat Nav system. Another useful touch is that Renault have fitted the car with removable, washable seat covers meaning that the end user can change the interior colour as their mood or need befits. The dashboard is crafted from appealing looking textured plastic which is robust if a little hard to the touch but this adds to the “rough tough”, all-purpose image that Renault have tried to convey. One minor criticism is that a lot of the controls for the car are accessed via the touch screen Sat Nav monitor meaning the dash layout overall appears a touch bare even on a car as loaded with gadgets as the top of the range model tested here.
Starting the car via the keyless go facility is straightforward enough and, with the engine at idle, engine noise is well controlled on the diesel model tested here. The throttle has a curious two stage feel to it with economic driving encouraged when the pedal is pushed to the first “stop” whilst the more spirited driver is rewarded with the full power of the car by pressing the pedal further towards the floor. This allows amazing fuel economy to be readily accessed by just driving to the “stop” as it were. On a mixed route using mainly the “economy” position on the accelerator, we were able to record an average economy of 65.2mpg which, whilst below the stratospheric 76.4mpg claimed, is still nonetheless impressive.
As an alternative, quirky but genuinely practical and economical car, the Captur is definitely one to consider when deciding upon a fleet purchase. Sure, it won’t be suitable for every business user, but specified in the correct colours and with the addition of your own corporate logos, this car could be used as a very eye catching piece of mobile marketing as well as a means of travel. That to us seems like a win/win scenario.
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