India is closely following the global trend of moving toward SUVs. Nobody knows that better than Renault, who has been fairly successful with the Duster. The Duster came at the right time for the French manufacturer and was unrivalled for a long time. There was just one major flaw with the Duster, it just didn’t feel premium at all. The interior quality was very average and didn’t justify the asking price. The Duster further lost the gloss once Hyundai launched the Creta and even though the Creta was more expensive it still found a lot more homes. Now, Renault wants to get back in the SUV game with the Captur, a Duster-platform SUV which Renault claims is more upmarket. Check for specifications & price of Renault cars
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
From the outside, it’s almost impossible to tell that the Captur is based on the Duster platform. It mirrors the European Captur’s design language, with swooping lines, curves and minimum angles, making it inherently French in its aesthetics, contrasting the Duster’s more Romanian origins. Even with the Captur’s graceful lines, it still manages to have a butch quality, thanks to the wide and squatter stance compared to something like the Hyundai Creta. Big wheel arches over the wonderfully designed ‘crystal cut’ 17-inch wheels sporting 215/60 rubber and the massive 210mm ground clearance lend it the unmistakable proportions of an SUV. To add to that, the Captur’s short bonnet is muscular, drooping down at the front into an elegant headlight cluster, and culminating in a chunky bumper with ‘C’-shaped units that house LED daytime running lamps (DRL) and fog lamps. Check for Captur price in Mumbai
Speaking about LEDs, there are lots of them across the car. Apart from the aforementioned DRLs and fog lamp combo, the tail-lights, as well as the headlights, are also full LED. There’s LED ambient lighting on the inside as well, but more on that later. Overall, it’s a very refreshing design unlike anything else seen in this segment before. But, in spite of the Captur being a looker, Renault is offering a whole multitude of customisation options in the form of garnishes such as chromed trim parts, several roof graphics and even two preset themes for those would have a difficult time choosing individual parts.
CABIN AND COMFORT ;
Getting inside the Captur is a bit of occasion. There’s no bulky key fob, but a sleek looking credit card-sized ‘access card’. Sure, we’ve seen this with the Koleos and the Fluence years ago – but it still seems cool to have. The shape of the key makes it very pocketable, something we appreciate when out of the car. In the car, the card can be parked in a slot on the centre console. Pulling it out automatically kills off the electricals when the engine is switched off. ThoughtfulOnce you start getting comfortable in the front seats, you realise that the seating position is quite high. You tower over the dash and although you can’t see the low-set nose, you do get a confidence-inspiring view of the road up ahead. The cushioning on the seat is a tad stiffer than what we’ve seen on the Duster. But, that’s a good thing – it won’t tire you out over longer journeys. The seats hold you well in place, and we’ve got no complains as far as support for the sides or the lower back is concerned. The seat lets you manually adjust for height, angle and reach. But, the steering adjusts only for tilt. While reach adjust would’ve been good to have, we didn’t have issues getting into a comfortable driving position. That said, the taller folks will find their knees brushing against the centre console and their hairdo rubbing against the roof lining.
That’s down to the way the dashboard has been designed with a prominent, bulging centre console. There’s a lot to like about the design though as it flows effortlessly from one door pad to the other. It looks a lot trendier than the Creta’s or the S-Cross’ dash that have a no-frills design. On a related note, it’s a lot more upmarket than the Duster and the Terrano that have a utilitarian approach. The colour palette mixes black, white and rose gold in good measure. The textured finish of the dash feels pleasant to touch, although a proper soft-touch dash (or even an insert like in the S-Cross) would’ve upped the premium quotient by a huge margin. Getting into the rear is a bit of a task. A wider opening would’ve made ingress and egress a lot easier. Once in, there’s little to complain about. You don’t feel hemmed in inspite of the rising window line and the tallish seating makes you further feel at ease. Space on the inside is just about enough for two six-footers to sit behind each other. The cabin is wide enough to accommodate three passengers, but the seat back isn’t exactly flat for the middle occupant. Three healthy individuals will rub shoulders, but it should do just fine for a quick highway trip too. At 4329mm, the Captur is the longest in its class. The wheelbase is the largest at 2673mm as well. But, sitting inside makes you wonder if all that length could’ve been used more effectively. Then there’s the 390-litre boot that’s far from being the biggest in volume. But, the opening is wide and there’s not much of a loading lip – so you can easily brim it up.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;
A 1.5-litre petrol engine churns about 99bhp of power and it produces about 150Nm of maximum torque. This engine is the same one that is offered on the Nissan Sunny too. It comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The petrol engine is silent and has low NVH too.The 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine churns about 108bhp of power and 250Nm of maximum torque. This engine is the most commonly used diesel engine by Renault. The same one on the Duster diesel too. At the same time, there is more than sufficient torque to drive in the city and even to overtake. The NVH levels of this engine aren’t too loud, but the insulation inside the Captur is good enough. This enhances the interior comfort of the car.The petrol engine returns about 10km/l in the city and about 15km/l on the highway. At the same time, the diesel engine returns close to 15km/l in the city and about 18km/l on the highway. There shall be no automatic on offer and only manual transmission will be made available.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
As for handling, the Captur feels very stable at high speeds and rarely gets out of shape. Even at normal speeds, the handling is pretty impressive for a high-riding SUV. There is a bit of body roll due to the soft suspension setup, but never too much. And you always feel in control. It’s not a sporty car though and it feels best when you flow through corners than hustling through them. Even the steering is quite slow off-centre and the irritating steering kickback which is typical of this platform when you encounter mid corner bumps is still there.
The Renault Captur comes equipped with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, along with ISOFIX as standard across all variants. Move to the higher variants and you add features such as side airbags, hill start assist, electronic stability program (ESP), rear parking sensors and a rear parking camera with dynamic guidelines
The 2017 Renault Captur is an interesting and well-proportioned mid-sized SUV, which gets an attractive, trendy and appealing exterior design, great looking interiors, premium features and a well-refined & responsive engine. During our Renault Captur review and driving tests, we found that this car has everything needed to take Renault’s legacy and popularity forward in the Indian automobile market. What we liked the most is the overall appearance of this car. It is definitely one of the best-looking mid-sized SUVs available today.