2017 Renault Captur Review
Car Tested: 2017 Renault Captur; Road Test No. 855; Test Location: Goa
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 11.58 - 16.90 lakhs
The Renault Captur feels like a polished and upmarket version of the Duster
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.
Motor Quest: In global markets, the Renault Captur is based on the Clio but in India it is based on the Duster's platform to keep costs in check. In Russia, the same car is called Kaptur. Renault states that Captur is actually pronounced as "capture".
Exteriors – The biggest USP of the Captur is in the styling. Renault has rendered it more crossover styling than a traditional boxy SUV. However, the SUV elements are still very much there like flared wheel arches, cladding, faux skid plates and segment best ground clearance of 210 mm. And those 17-inch alloy wheels also scream SUV. Renault has equipped the Captur with LED headlamps and tail-lamps. You also get fog lamps with cornering function and the best in all are the LED DRLs and dynamic swipe indicators (at the front) which Renault likes to call floating indicators.
The Captur is also the widest and longest car in its segment but that is more due to redesigned bumpers as the track and wheelbase is identical to that of the Duster. The side profile is highlighted by distinct proportions. The shoulder line rises up as it goes backwards and adds to the style quotient. The rear quarter bears a little similarity to the Kwid but that's ok since it is part of the same family. Chrome has been generously used all around and Renault will be offering a lot of customisation options on the Captur at the dealership level, something similar to what they are already doing with the Kwid.
Interiors – Renault has introduced a new top-end variant known as the 'Platine' edition. This variant gets black and white leather seats and gold surrounds around the AC vents and Media-Nav. The leather seats not only look neat but also offer good cushioning and back support. However, under thigh support is lacking for tall passengers in both rows. The rear seat too has just about average headroom and kneeroom for tall passengers. This may come to you as a surprise since the Duster has tons of space but the truth is that the Captur has a smaller-sized cabin. Seating position is high too, which gives a commanding view of the road on the upside but this also eats away the headroom.
The cabin feels better than the Duster but quality is still far from best
The upward sloping shoulder on the window line makes the rear glass smaller and this gives out a feeling of reduced spaciousness in the cabin. Renault has added some leather inserts on the door panel, which is a good thing but overall plastic quality could have been better since Renault is calling it a premium SUV. There are good number of features in the cabin. To start with, Renault is offering automatic headlamps and rain sensing wipers. You get LED cabin lights, ambient lighting, new digital speedometer ISOFIX child seat mounts and a cooled glove box which has the depth to keep long items.
The Duster-inspired 7-inch touchscreen audio system houses the display of the reversing camera. The software has now been optimised to boot faster but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are surprisingly missing. Other standard features include keyless entry, push button start and automatic climate control with rear AC vents. The ARKAMYS-tuned sound system churns out some good quality sound. Boot space is at par with the Duster and the rear seat has an option of dropping down completely but there is no 60:40 split.
Performance – Renault is offering two engine options with the Captur - a petrol and a diesel in a 1.5-litre engine block. Demand for petrol-powered SUVs has risen in this segment ever since Hyundai brought over the Creta petrol in the market. This H4K gasoline engine produces 106 PS at 5600 RPM & 142 NM of torque at 4000 RPM. This engine comes mated with a 5-speed manual transmission.
The diesel engine has very good performance to boot
We got behind the wheel of the diesel-powered Captur under whose hood was the tried and tested 1.5-litre K9K engine which churns out 110 PS of peak output at 4000 RPM and 240 Nm of twisting force at 1750 RPM. While the Duster also comes in an 85 PS diesel option, Renault is only offering the Captur in the 110 PS output in India. Performance is very similar to that of the Duster, which means there is practically no turbo-lag and performance is brisk in the low-end and mid-range. Even when fully loaded, there is absolutely no shortage of power. The light clutch is a boon in stop-go traffic.
Currently, the Captur will be sold with a 6-speed manual gearbox whose ratios have been tweaked for better performance. Renault has confirmed that they will be getting an auto box in the future but it won’t be an AMT. The company hinted that it could be a DCT but only time will tell for sure. Cabin insulation has been improved making the engine less audible in the cabin. We expect the Captur to return around 12-13 km/l in the routine city driving cycle.
Driving Dynamics – The Captur is dynamically very sound and it was bound to be since it shares it underpinnings with the Duster. Handling characteristics are very similar to the Duster. The steering offers good feedback, sometimes more than you would like. It still has the mid-turn kickback but can be irritating at times. Nevertheless, this is the best steering in the segment as far as enthusiastic driving is concerned. The Captur is not unnerved in changing direction and while doing so there isn’t much body roll.
The Captur offers a very settled ride. It is barely moved by rough and bad roads. At slow speeds, almost every undulation is filtered before it reaches the cabin. At high speeds, the rear passengers did feel a few jolts over very rough roads but overall, the passengers would find no reason to complain as far as ride is concerned. Braking performance is progressive with the pedal offering good bite.
Safety and After Sales Service – The Renault Captur will get dual front airbags along with ABS and EBD. The SUV also gets Brake Assist. Renault's sales and service network in India is limited in reach and the company still has a long way to go when compared to some of its immediate rivals. However, the French automaker is progressively increasing its dealership reach in the country.
Verdict – With the Duster having had a very successful start to Renault's campaign in India, it was about time that the French manufacturer brought a more upmarket SUV. The Captur strikes the right cords with some sporty styling and a good number of features while delivering on the performance and dynamics front. It does have some dark bits like reduced cabin space (compared to Duster) and average plastic quality which could have been better since Renault is marketing the Captur as a premium SUV. We reckon that it will boil down to pricing and if Renault can get the price spot on, the Captur is set to be another success story.
* Balanced driving dynamics
* Powerful diesel engine
* Lots of features
What's Not So Cool
* No option of automatic transmission
* Cabin space
* No Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
* Average plastic quality
2017 Renault Captur Specifications
* Engine: 1461cc, DOHC, 4-cylinders | 1498cc, DOHC, 4-cylinders
* Power: 105 HP @ 5600 RPM | 108 HP @ 4000 RPM
* Torque: 142 Nm @ 4000 RPM | 240 Nm @ 1750 RPM
* Transmission: 5-Speed MT | 6-Speed MT
* Fuel Consumption: 9-11 km/l | 13-16 km/l
* Fuel Type: Petrol | Diesel
* Suspension: McPherson Strut with Lower Transverse Link (Front), Twist Beam (Rear)
* Tyres: 215/60/17
* Brakes: Discs (Front), Drums (Rear), ABS
* Safety: 2 Airbags, ABS, EBD, BA
2017 Renault Captur Dimensions
* Overall length x width x height: 4333 mm X 1813 mm X 1613 mm
* Boot Space: 398-1352-litres
* Wheelbase: 2673 mm
* Ground Clearance: 210 mm
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 50-litres
Renault Captur Review
Renault Captur Review
The Renault Captur is nothing but a more polished version of the Duster which looks better and slightly more equipment. Still, the Duster might appeal more with its rugged stance and more practical cabin which has more space.
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