Pretty good to drive in every area except the ride, which is uncomfortably firm
Comfortable driver's seat with a good view ahead; touch-screen is easy to use
Everything you'd want, and a bit more
Renault doesn't have a brilliant reputation, though it could be worse
Roomy for four adults and their luggage
Everything you'd expect for the money, but it's worth upgrading for the touch-screen
The Captur is based on the Renault Clio, and this shows in its hatchback-like handling: despite its raised height, its body movement is generally kept in check; while it does lean on corners, it quickly composes itself again. It feels stable and secure, too, and the steering is well-weighted. However, while it feels smooth enough at higher speeds, it thumps uncomfortably over bigger bumps and feels jittery over poor urban surfaces. All of the engines are turbocharged, which means they're all quite plucky for their size. The 1.5 diesel (which comes only with a rather rubbery, imprecise manual gearshift) is enjoyable enough to drive and more economical than the 0.9-litre petrol (also a manual-only), while the 1.2 (only available as an automatic) is pleasingly smooth on most journeys, if a bit hesitant to shift gears when you up the pace. The cabin is pretty quiet on the whole; there's a bit of wind flutter around the front pillars but the engines are well muffled, though the diesel sends some vibration through the cabin.
The seats are quite high up in the Captur, which gives the driver in particular a good view of the road ahead, while there's plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment to let you get comfortable. It's worth paying extra for the colour touch-screen as it's conveniently positioned and easy to use. Two adults will have plenty of room in the rear but a third will struggle to get comfortable on the narrow centre seat. The sliding rear seat bench allows you to adjust the bias of space to either the rear passengers or the boot, and it's handy that you can move it by reaching in from the boot as well as by sitting on it. The boot is a good size and you can expand the load space further by folding down the rear seats, which split 60:40. The removable seat covers that come with Dynamique Media Nav trimd make a useful feature for families. Entry-level Expression cars get 16-inch alloys, cruise control and four electric windows, while Expressions+ adds front fog lights, keyless entry and go, automatic lights and wipers, and climate control. In addition to the removable seat cover, Dynamique Media Nav cars get a seven-inch colour touch-screen, sat-nav, Bluetooth and a USB port. Dynamique S Media Nav adds rear parking sensors, heated front seats, bigger alloys and the option of having the roof in a contrasting colour. All models have Isofix on the outer rear seats, including top tether points.
The Captur is too new to have featured in the JD Power owner satisfaction survey but Renault came in the bottom third of the latest study. Still, it's good to know that the Capture comes with six airbags including tall side airbags for the outer rear passengers, plus emergency brake assist and hill start assist as standard on every model. It has yet to be crash-tested by Euro NCAP but the Renault Clio supermini on which it is based achieved the maximum five-star rating.
The Captur is good value, and the diesel and 0.9 petrol promise great running costs (the 1.2 auto will cost more in both fuel and depreciation, however). Its sliding rear seats and raised ride height make it a touch more practical than most other small hatchbacks, too.