Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Capture some French flair and ooh la la with new Renault Captur

Updated SUV offers an enticing package that is powered by peppy little turbo engine.

The growth the compact SUV segment has shown over the last few years is quite astonishing.

A landscape that was once ruled by sedans and hatchbacks are these days flooded with little SUVs in various crossover spin-offs. And as more carmakers either enter or up its game in this space, the more difficult it gets for any of the contenders to really stand out from the crowd.

One compact SUV that aces this challenge is the new Renault Captur. Long overdue to various hold ups spanning from Covid to chip shortages, the French carmaker could finally roll out the Captur locally last month.

The new Captur manages to hold its own through some sexy styling, a very nice little turbo engine and heaps of driving pleasure.

Now we have been treated to have a Renault Captur in top spec Intens guise as a house guest for the next three months to see how its holds up to life’s little challenges over an extended period.

Renault Captur put to the test

We will use our long term Captur for the purposes most buyers will, like commuting to the office, doing school runs, stopping for groceries and using it to get out of the city for the odd weekend.

During its stay with us we will get to see how comfortable it is, if it has enough space for everyone and everything we tend to fit and very importantly, how fuel efficient it is.

What we really like is the powertrain. The Renault Captur is powered by a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine which produces a very generous 113 kW of power and 270 Nm of torque sent to the front wheels via seven-speed EDC double-clutch gearbox.

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Renault claims it will sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.6 seconds with a top whack of 196km/h and we have no reason to doubt them.

Renault also claims that it will sip 6.6 litres per 100 km, which we will put to test of the course of the Captur’s stay with us.

These smaller turbo mills can sometimes tend to return disappointing fuel consumption numbers in hectic city traffic.

Renault Captur white exterior rear
The Renault Captur Intens rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

A pleasure to drive

What do have enjoyed in its first week with us is its driveability. The power, combined with a smooth gearbox and great handling almost wants to bring out the racer in you.

It feels planted on the road and once the more comfortable you get behind the steering wheel, the more you plant to throw it into corners. Not during the school run of course…

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The Renault Captur’s styling has a generous amount of typical French flair to it. On the exterior, it features distinctive C-shaped LED headlights and taillights that extend into the tailgate, 17-inch alloy wheels and bi-colour paintwork.

Inside the Captur feels well-built with a nice combination of materials. Soft-touch materials, satin chrome trimmings, elegant plastics, a black and grey seat design in cloth and leatherette and a leather steering wheel combine to form a very pleasant cabin.

Renault Captur Intens interior
Notice the floating console in the Renault Captur Intens’ cabin. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

Advanced gearlever

Reserved for the Renault Captur Intens is a floating console which houses the e-shifter. The floating design frees up space below for wireless smartphone charging, whereas the e-shifter itself only requires the palm of your hand to change the gear selector without having to press any buttons.

A 9.3-touchscreen vertical infotainment screen takes centre stage on the dashboard and features Renault’s Easy Link multimedia system which includes voice recognition, smartphone connectivity and navigation.

Other creature comforts include a digital instrument cluster and heated steering wheel, which will come in handy over the winter months.

The Renault Captur Intens comes with a comprehensive set of safety features which include: six airbags, electronic stability control, front and rear parking sensors and reverse camera, blind sport warning, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.

The Renault Captur Intens costs R499 999, which includes a five-year/150 000 km warranty and three-year/45 000 km service plan.

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