The Renault Captur Inens model.
The Renault Captur Inens model. Contributed

2018 Renault Captur review: Metro trend setter

POSH Spice and David Beckham syndrome has struck the Renault Captur. Possessing arresting good looks, it's somewhat short on substance.

The eye-catching pint-size crossover was on the receiving end of a minor spruce-up in September, which also included the introduction of top-spec Intens (yep, that's not a typo).

Two-tone pain like orange, brown and blue teamed with black or white roof paint are the primary external additions and there is no doubt this little European is a styling stand-out from a crowd which includes the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR and Mazda CX-3.

Armed with the "bigger” 1.2-litre turbo engine (the entry-level Zen only gets a 0.9-litre unit with a manual shifter), the little Euro can be in your driveway for just over $30,000.

The Renault Captur Inens model.
The Renault Captur Inens model. Contributed

VALUE

For those who struggle with parallel parking, there is a button for hands-free manoeuvring where your just control the pedals, a massive panoramic sunroof, R-Link satnav system with seven-inch touchscreen, LED headlights and front fog lights, rear view camera, full Bluetooth connectivity,

Our test machine had metallic paint (extra $600) and the Bose sound system which adds $500.

Renault does offer some extra personality for no charge. Called 'colour identity' packs they can add colour to the air vents, speaker surrounds and centre control, as well as replacing the lower chrome door strip with a matching colour strip and matching alloy wheel centre caps in blue, red or orange.

Another cool option are the removable seat covers that are available in a range of colours. Renault stands alone at this end of the market for personalisation.

The Renault Captur Inens model.
The Renault Captur Inens model. Contributed

SAFETY

It has a five-star safety rating achieved back in 2013 courtesy of a Euro crash test on the three-cylinder model. It wouldn't gain that high a rating if tested in 2018, key items missing are rear airbags and autonomous emergency braking.

Yet the Captur has strong bones with solid structural integrity according to the crash data, along with standard gear like blind-spot warning, front, rear and side parking sensors, rear view camera and two Isofix seat points.

The Renault Captur Inens model.
The Renault Captur Inens model. Contributed

DRIVING

Renault is designed for the city, and it feels that way from the outset.

Easy your way into the throttle and it gets away without issue, although hilly terrain or looking to surge your way into traffic and it's another story. The dual-clutch automatic feels slow to react, and if looking to hit a gap or get away from a corner with gusto your right foot application is met with an underwhelming outcome.

Well-weighted steering, a lithe kerb weight and and the compact dimensions make it an easy drive once under way and the Captur operates with a relatively smooth ride.

Fuel consumption is quoted at less than six litres for every 100km by Renault, but our test saw closer to eight while sipping premium unleaded from the 45-litre tank.

2015 Renault Captur Dynamique TCe 120.
Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily
2015 Renault Captur Dynamique TCe 120. Photo: Iain Curry / Sunshine Coast Daily Iain Curry

Operationally and the typical French quirks come to the fore. Finding your way through the touchscreen operations can be fiddly, the Bluetooth phone and audio clarity isn't the best, while the cruise control switch on the centre console and the stereo controls behind the steering wheel are counter-intuitive.

The rear view camera also, frustratingly, takes a few seconds to arrive on the touchscreen after your engage reverse.

Collectively they aren't deal breakers, you get used to the various positions and the giant credit-card style key...some will find it refreshingly different.

2015 Renault Captur TCe 120 Dynamique.
Photo: Contributed
2015 Renault Captur TCe 120 Dynamique. Photo: Contributed

HEAD SAYS

From the outset it isn't cheap, but Renault has lifted its game in after sales support and there is an excellent capped price servicing plan along with roadside assist for four years.

HEART SAYS

You're drop-dead gorgeous and the perfect accessory to my action-packed life.

ALTERNATIVES

HYUNDAI KONA HIGHLANDER ($33,000 plus on-roads)

The new kid on the block with the range-topper an impressive performer that is actually fun to drive. This model is more expensive than the Captur, but it has more room and better features.

MAZDA CX-3 sTouring ($30,990 plus on-roads)

This has been a strong performer for Mazda, it appeals in terms of handling and comes with a better infotainment set-up.

TOYOTA C-HR 2WD Koba ($33,290 plus on-roads)

Punchy little 1.2-litre turbo, and sharp looks. Ticks all the boxes of those wanting a compact SUV.

The Renault Captur Inens model.
The Renault Captur Inens model. Contributed

AT A GLANCE

Renault Captur Intens

PRICE $30,990 drive-away (upper end)

WARRANTY AND SERVICING 5yr unlimited km warranty, servicing is annual or 30,000km, services $299 each for the first three (good)

ENGINE 88kW/190Nm 1.2-litre 4cyl turbo petrol 6sp auto (average)

SAFETY 5 stars, four airbags, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot warning (ok)

CONSUMPTION 5.8 l/100km (good) closer to 8 on test

SPARE Space saver (as we expect)

BOOT 377-455 litres (small)



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