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The Renault Captur has won the award for the Best Small SUV in the What Car? Car of the Year Awards.
Renault’s answer to the ever-growing crossover market, the hatchback-based Captur, which Top Gear described as ‘a Clio on steroids’, was praised by the judges’ panel for its spacious and user-friendly cabin, as well as for its quiet operation, small list price and low CO2 emissions.
This is the latest in a long string of accolades that the Captur has picked up, after it was named top of the crossover list in the Next Green Car Awards last summer and it was also named Best Compact Company Car by Business Car Manager earlier in January.
It was a big day for the car industry when the idea of making a functional family hatchback-sized car which shares some of the styling characteristics of a 4×4 but without the cost. Crossovers, as they’ve become known, have risen to popularity and there now seems to be an insatiable appetite for them among consumers.
Compared with its direct competitors, the Nissan Qashqai and Juke as well as the Skoda Yeti, the Captur is both bigger and taller, which means a more spacious interior along with a better view of the road.
While obviously based on the same SUV format that inspired its rival crossovers, the Captur also borrows some of the pinched-in waistline of the Renault Clio, giving it just the right mix of aesthetics from both its rugged off-roader and family car progenitors.
Although it might be partly based on rough-and-tough 4x4s, the Captur is not about hardcore off-roading and is instead very family focused with two-wheel drive. It’s powered by either an 89bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine or two petrol options, a three-cylinder 89bhp version or a four-cylinder 119bhp variant, each of which have an average 0-62 of just under 10 seconds.
The exterior features bold colour schemes and also offers a large amount of customisability options with a wide range of colour packs available. Inside, the Captur features a nice layout with a light and airy cabin and a raised seating position that offers excellent visibility as well as an admirable amount of room in the back for passengers and a boot that’ll swallow even the biggest of baby buggies.
The storage area also features a handy floor divider that fits horizontally across the back and makes it much easier to slide large and heavy items in and out of the car without having to drag them out from the bottom of the boot.
Despite the raised height, the Captur handles corners well and without an excessive amount of body roll and the suspension is comfortable and more than adept at smoothing out potholes, speed bumps and all other manners of urban road inconsistencies.
The Captur’s nomination completes this year’s trifecta of victories for Renault at the What Car? Car of the Year Awards, after the company also garnered prizes for its Megane Renaultsport 265 Cup which picked up its fifth Car of the Year Award, and the completely electric ZOE Expression which took the title of ‘Best Green Car.