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This is Renault’s take on the burgeoning baby soft-roader segment. It has been around in Europe since 2013 and is one of more than half a dozen to be launched in New Zealand during 2015.
Renault New Zealand is placing great store on the expected success of the Captur on our market so that it can replicate the French company’s ongoing sales recovery being enjoyed by its native European markets.
The capture is based on the Renault Clio platform, with a raised ride height and like many offerings in this segment, without all-wheel-drive. What it does have however is good looks, especially its brighter, lollipop two-tone colour scheme.
After a brief drive of the car at the Goodwood Festival of speed, I found the car was safely neutral, well-balanced and possessed of terrific ride quality - which you’d expect being based on the brilliant Clio chassis.
While we are not sure of the New Zealand specification as yet, we do know that the Captur will not use the 900cc base engine option here, or the 1.5-litre diesel. Instead, it will feature the 1.2-litre turbo petrol four, with 88kW on tap, for a brisk zero to 100kmh of ten seconds flat.
The Captur in undeniably family (and dog) oriented, with plenty of space and some original techno touches. Good boot space, great rear seat room and a very driver and front passenger environment maintain Renault’s excellent record for this kind of thing.
The well-sorted dash has a powerful multimedia system and touch screen, which, like the Clio’s is a cinch to get used to. All major items fall easily to hand and the driver can settle into one of the best driving positions in the light SUV business.
From the safety, economy and emissions standpoints - it’s what everyone talks about these days - the Captur is hugely impressive. Its Euro NCAP rating is a full five star score, while the 88kW petrol car manages a commendable 5.5L/100km with an emissions level of 125g/km.
Overall, this is an impressive car and when it arrives in New Zealand in November it will move straight to the top of the light crossover desirability stakes, with an expected price in the mid $30k area and a very high standard specification level when compared to Japanese and Korean offerings in this rapidly expanding segment.
Bon chance, Captur