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RENAULT CAPTUR | READY TO CAPTURe THE ROADS

We have been stressing the fact about Crossovers and SUVs selling like hot cakes in the market, so much so that we feel like we are repeating the same thing over and over again. An evidence to this claim can be seen by the number of new vehicles entering our markets in such short time span. With the market hotter than ever, it’s just a matter of time until it erupts like a volcano, but all that will come out is all of the crossovers and the compact SUVs. Having said this, the reason why people are so in love with these segments of cars are because of its practicality. It’s bigger than a normal sized hatchback while being smaller than a full-sized SUV, making it hit the sweet spot in terms of size. These cars also have decent ground clearance making it more practical on rough terrains. So, since the market is so hotly contested with lots of top notch competitors, will the Renault Captur be able to create a stir in the competitive market and establish itself as a true contender for the top spot? Let us find out together.

EXTERIOR

The Captur, being a compact SUV, doesn’t quite have the shape or the stance of an SUV. But that is what Renault was trying to do, since they already have one in the form of the Duster. The Captur has more of a curvy look going on and carries the design cue from the front to the rear. If you look at the front of the car from dead center, you will see that it has a very noticeable curve making it look roundish. The hood also has a gentle curve to it to follow the flow. The lighting duties are taken care of by the LED headlights which they have termed as LED Pure Vision with LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) below the headlight unit in a C shape. That is also where the Fog lamps are housed. The side indicators are housed right above the headlight and they move in a sequential order and looks very cool in motion. The chrome Renault badge is accented by two chrome stripes on each sides. On the lip of the front bumper, there lives a sliver colored skid plate to add the off-road touch along with the black wheel arches above the tires. We got the top spec Platine Dual tone version so the A, B, C pillars and the roof was finished in black which was giving a good contrast to the orange of the body. The Platine variant also gets Crystal cut 10 spoke 17-inch rims that really makes the side profile of the car pop. The high 210mm ground clearance is clearly seen when you look at it from the side angle. Looking above that you will see a long strip of chrome running from the front door to the rear door. From the rear, the Captur looks more like a Hatchback than a Compact SUV with the very rounded and curvy look. There is a roof spoiler to add a touch of sportiness to the car.

INTERIOR

The interior of the Captur looks very welcoming with the gold accents on the leather seats, doors and the dash. The gold accents and the back interior work very well together, with hints of bronze on the A/C vents. Combined with quilted stitching on the seats make it look very elegant. The seats were very nice and comfortable with ample of support. The seating, however, is a bit tight on the rear seats, when we had three full sized adults sitting on the back they were rubbing shoulders and had a bit of a tough time with the leg room. It wasn’t very tight or cramped, but just a little on the tighter side. The 7-inch touch screen has been carried over from the Kwid and the climate controls from the Duster. The interior would have been better if it comprised of soft touch material on the top of the dash where there is most contact. The Captur featured keyless entry and the key was different than the normal keys. It was more like a flat rectangular remote which you had to insert under the climate control, there was a slot dedicated for you to slide it inside. Only after you put it in, you could start the vehicle with the push of the start/ stop button. The instrument cluster looks nice with the rev counter on the left side, the digital speedometer on the middle and the fuel gauge on the right.

PERFORMANCE

The model we tested had a K9K 1.5L diesel engine under the hood. The car produced 110 HP @ 3850 RPM and 245 Nm of torque @ 1750 RPM. The turbo charged engine lagged quite a bit at lower revs due to the turbo lag but once you get the RPM higher in the rev range then the Captur starts picking up speed fast. The 6-speed manual transmission was very smooth and easy to operate, with short throws and precise changing. This vehicle is a very capable off-road machine due to the high clearance and decent power figures but the fact that this vehicle is currently only available in front wheel drive option is what limits its capability. The suspension was setup in a very sweet spot; not too stiff, not too soft. The suspension setup aided in making this car handle very sharp. The steering had a good weight to it which gave us more confidence to push the Captur to its limits. And if you do tend to push it beyond its limits, there are safety features to make sure that it doesn’t end badly such as ABS (Antilock Braking System), EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and brake assist to make sure you stop safely. On top of that it has ESC (Electronic Stability Control) to make sure that you are stable at all times. It also has two front airbags and side airbags just in case things go from bad to worse. On top of that it has other neat features such as automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, parking sensors and rear-view camera to make parking safer.

VERDICT

The Captur is a well-rounded car with ample of features, decent power, good looks and pretty good handling. It doesn’t have the boxy look of an SUV but it does have a heart of an SUV and that is what’s more important. Renault doesn’t need to have two boxy SUVs already having the Duster in its line up and with the fact that they share the same wheelbase. So, Renault wanted to have a compact SUV that had more of a European styling to it. The petrol variant of the Captur starts from NRs. 4,814,345/- to NRs. 5,532,814/- and the diesel variant starts from NRs. 5,163,704/- to 6,489,307/-. So, if your budget is right in that ball park and you want the practicality of an SUV but don’t want that bulk then this is the perfect vehicle for you. With its European styling it does standout from its competitors and makes a strong case for itself.

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