Driving ImpressionsBy: Ryan Vrede
Serving in our long-term fleet for its final month, Ryan Vrede got to grips with the impressive Renault Captur to understand exactly why it reigned supreme in the CAR Magazine Top 12 Best Buys for 2024 in the Compact crossover segment.
Looking for your next new or used compact crossover? Find it here with CARmag. Time spent: 3 of 3 months Distance covered: 1 500 km Average fuel consumption: 7,1 L/100 km Driver: Ryan Vrede We like: Almost everything We don’t like: The two-tier arrangement of the gear-shifter and stowage shelf The fact I’m picking the bones out of something as insignificant as a two-tier design concept speaks volumes about this compact crossover. It’s irritating insomuch as it makes accessing my phone tricky (the wireless charging dock is located on the bottom tier). Despite all of this, the minor irritation is utterly overwhelmed by everything that is right about this vehicle. Parting with the keys vexed me to the soul, such was the quality of my experience in Renault’s rebuttal to Toyota’s Corolla Cross and VW’s T-Cross. In fashion terms, this is an unpretentious luxury streetwear label, capable of bloodying the nose of its established piers. It does so with an intense focus on making the basics beautiful, useable, and with enduring quality. Related: Living with it – Renault Captur 1,3T EDC Intens introduction I regularly caught myself looking back at it while walking away. “Yeah, that’s actually bloody good to look at,” I thought. Friends concurred. One was even moved to buy, based almost entirely on the strength of the design. On the inside, soft-touch materials, including a steering wheel, wrapped in what feels like a decades-old leather jacket, elevate your driving experience. The seats are comfortable and grippy, but also easy to clean for those with kids at an age where this is a real concern. I’m a bigger guy, 95 kg and 1,75m tall, and those seats embraced me like I had the body of a 22-year-old CrossFit addict. Related: Living With It – Renault Captur 1,3L Turbo EDC Intens [Update] In terms of interior stowage space for the random things you’ll collect over a period of months and never use or throw away until your partner threatens separation, you’re covered. I also never grew tired of the interior architecture, which has been the case with a clutch of other vehicles in the fleet. In this regard, the media console is a focal point, and, importantly, is easy to navigate for those without an M.I.T. degree. Clean lines amplify the aforementioned driving experience. Enough of the fluff, most people will make a purchasing decision with key criteria – boot and seating space – at the forefront of their minds. I had the Captur at a time in my life when my football and cricket seasons overlapped. And, as if my body wasn’t sufficiently broken, I’ve added padel into the rotation of sports I attempt to be competent in. As a result, boot and seating capacity became essential. The 404-litre boot comfortably swallowed a combination of a large cricket bag, a mid-sized duffle, and a backpack, or a combination of two large cricket bags, and a backpack. Dropping the backseat gave me enough room for anything more substantial. Substitute cricket, football, and padel bags for a dog (or two with the seat folded down) or a stroller and the accompanying baggage for a day out with the little one/s, and you’ll be absolutely fine. Two adult men fit comfortably in the rear. Three worked, but not without their thighs pressed close to each other. Three small kids will fit with enough room for them to swing an iPad that hits a little head and causes the meltdown that will ruin your day. The other key criterion will be performance. The gutsy 1,3-litre turbo punches out 113 kW and 270 N.m of torque. It goes fast but does so with the type of gracefulness associated with vehicles double its price. My daily commute to work in traffic was made bearable by my French carriage, shooting around the city was a breeze, and weekend retreats were negotiated with consummate ease. Critically, the Captur wasn’t thirsty. The consumption is hovered around 7,1 L/100 km, which, for a family or individual who is operating on a tight budget, makes financial sense. This figure dropped to around 6,7 L/100km on a 220km round trip to Hermanus, making it a strong choice for those who enjoy regular road trips. Overall, the Captur stands up powerfully in every key design and performance dimension for its category. It is easy to make an argument for it being the best of the bunch in a segment laden with strong competitors which is why it clinched the CAR Magazine Compact crossover title in our Top 12 Best Buys for 2024. Browse thousands of new and used cars here with CARmag.
Keyword: Living With It – Renault Captur 1,3L Turbo EDC Intens [Update 3]