The B-SUV segment is a very competitive space in South Africa with up to 14 players competing. The Renault Captur has faired pretty well in this segment since its launch (2015 in South Africa, 2013 globally) with 800 000 sold worldwide and more than 6 500 in SA. We headed to Johannesburg for the launch of the new Captur last week to find out just what has changed.
“Beautifully practical” is what Product Manager, Jeffrey Allison, uses to describe the new Captur. There are fit and finish refinements, a new powertrain and design enhancements. So what exactly has changed?
The exterior sees new C-shaped daytime running lights up front and at the rear (which is an ode to the concept car), new alloy wheels, a new front skid plate and bumper and the introduction of a rear skid plate. On the top of the range models you can expect new LED lamps with globes that never have to be changed and an optional fixed glass roof. It has an increased ground clearance which makes gravel driving a doddle. I know this because we actually got the chance to take it off-road and both my driving partner and I were pleasantly surprised by its handling.
Step inside the modern cabin and you will experience new soft touch materials, stain chrome finishes with piano black inserts, a new steering wheel which is slightly smaller than the previous model, a new gear lever which is the same as on the Megane, and new seat designs. For parents reading this, you will be happy to hear that removable fabric covers are available. What does this mean exactly? It means your life has just been made easier! The covers unzip and you just throw them in to the washing machine and viola! No more stains on the car seats…that has to be music to your ears?!
The boot floor is divided in to two which is quite handy. It boasts a 377-litre capacity and if you move the rear seats forward slightly you get 455-litres. Need much more than that, just make sure there are no passengers in the back and claim 1 235-litres with the rear seats folded completely flat.
A new derivative has been added, namely the entry-level Blaze, and offers a new infotainment system which is highly impressive. It is called R&Go and is a smartphone/tablet multifunction application which enables remote control of the car radio with the smartphone screen presenting an extended dashboard to display additional features. It even has a Find my Renault feature which will give you walking directions to you car if you cannot remember where you’ve parked, think of those Mall of Africa moments! The functions on this system are what you’d usually expect to find on a more top-end system.
The other trim level available is the top of the range Dynamique which, as you can imagine, adds all the bells and whistles, including rear park sensors, climate control and those removable seat covers I spoke of earlier, to name a few.
There are three turbo engine variants on offer, namely the 1,2-litre 66kW as well as the 88kW petrol engine, but it is the 1,5 dCi diesel engine you want to consider. With a fuel consumption of just 3,6L/100 km it is a no brainer, but it is also offers more torque, 30 N.m in fact, and so makes those over taking moments a lot less harrowing. The petrol engine felt a bit too underpowered for my liking, but for every day city driving, you should be happy enough.
Overall, I was left feeling rather impressed with the Captur. It’s comfortable and quiet and if you opt for the diesel engine you will be glad to be spending less time at a fuel station. And then there is the price, impressively, the new entry level model is R20 000 cheaper than than the one it replaces. When does that happen? Almost never!
New Renault Captur 66kW Blaze R229 900
New Renault Captur 66kW Dynamique R269 900
New Renault Captur 1.5 dCi Dynamique R294 900
New Renault Captur 88kW Dynamique R294 900
New Renault Captur 88kW EDC Dynamique R309 900
The new Captur comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty; plus a 3-year/45 000km service plan and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty, with service intervals at 15 000km/1 year.