Renault South Africa has launched an updated version of the popular Captur sub-compact crossover vehicle. With over 6 500 units sold in Mzansi so far since it arrived in May 2015, and over 800 000 global customers found since 2013, Renault can be quite proud of its success. As such, the changes have been made minimal but highly impactful so as not to alienate current owners, but still attract new ones.

According to its maker, the Captur remains a proper crossover, which means it straddles between genres such as hatch, small SUV and MPV. That said, this is not an off-road vehicle. In fact, it doesn’t even have all-wheel-drive (AWD), so keep it on the tarmac or light gravel roads. Exterior updates are apparent from the front end which gets a set of new C-shaped surrounds for the foglights and LED Pure Vision Lights. The rear LED lights have also been reshaped.

New 17-inch alloy wheels are striking, while the raised ground clearance of 17cm makes it easier to see through the large glass area. Trims have now been whittled down to just two; Blaze and Dynamique, the former being the entry-level trim. Depending on which one is chosen, buyers will be able to take from one of 6 monotone or 8 bitone exterior paint colours.

The interior has received improvements not only in the use of higher-quality materials, but also in terms of the technology applied. There is a new smaller steering wheel, gear lever and seats. Spaciousness is quite evident, especially for those sitting at the back who are able to slide their seats forward by up to 16cm. Several storage solutions are available to all passengers, one of them being the central armrest with extra storage. The boot itself is two-fold, with a deeper facility below the main floor. Boot space itself is standard at 377 litres, rising to 455L, and ultimately 1 235L with the rear seats folded down.

A new infotainment system with a touch screen, called R&Go has been introduced as standard. It has a customisable interface that works with your smart phone to bring itself to life, and includes a range of useful apps, Bluetooth connectivity, and a dedicated phone cradle for different phones.

Three engines will be offered to customers; a 0.9-litre petrol turbo with 66kW and 135Nm, a 1.2-litre turbo putting out 88kW and 190Nm, as well as a turbo diesel displacing 1.5-litre and pushing out 66kW and slightly higher torque than previously, of 220Nm. The 1.2 and 1.5 are only available with the Dynamique trim. A new EDC double clutch automatic will only be sold with the 88kW model, while the rest come standard with a 6-speed manual. I got behind the wheel of the bigger-engined models and found them highly compliant, very comfortable and well-behaved on the road. The pulling torque from the diesel proved adequate for mild overtaking too. Renault claims average fuel consumption figures of 5.4, 3.6 and 5.4 litres per 100km for all three respectively. Based on past experience, that diesel should be able to achieve these.

The Renault Captur sold 11 989 units between July 2016 and July 2017 here in Mzansi. It is one of Renault’s star products and will continue to sell well, even as the market has seen a dip over the past two years. With all the new refreshments and a lower entry-level price, Captur should continue to capture the hearts of many looking for a vehicle in this segment.


2017 Renault Captur Prices

Blaze 66kW (R229 900)

Dynamique 66kW (R269 900)

Dynamique 1.5 dCi 66kW (R294 900)

Dynamique 88kW manual (R294 900)

Dynamique 88kW EDC auto (R309 900)

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