Saturday, September 21, 2013

Renault's new Captur is quite a catch

Well I’ll tell you what... It’s still yob lob. I moaned about it a couple of weeks ago, but I just don’t get it.
What the hell is going through the minds of morons who throw bags of rubbish out of their car windows?
Blimey George, what’s brought this on? Well I’ll tell you that, too.
I’ve been driving around in Renault’s latest little offering, the Captur.
Yes I know it should be spelled Capture but the French do anything they like.
Anyway, my Captur, which is a sort of mini SUV, came with a startling 1.2-litre engine that had so many petrol-saving features it achieves a claimed average of 52mpg.
You’ll notice my use of the word “claimed” there, but bear with me. Lightweight construction, energy recovery systems, stop-start engines and, in the diesel, vapour recovery and specially-coated cam followers to reduce friction all add up to lower emissions.
The billions spent by car companies across the world cumulatively add up to a cleaner planet.
People care, especially if it saves them money, so what does litter yob do? He chucks all his crap out of the car window.
The Captur that I drove came with a startling “Eco” system that reduces engine torque, lowers throttle response and adjusts the air-con and heating controls, which together saves power and cuts emissions.
Best of all, though, you can change its touch-screen radio/sat nav screen to mark your driving out of 100, and it even tells you how to drive more efficiently and what you’re doing wrong. First time I tried it I got 76, but I later managed 81.
You won’t, of course, get anywhere near 52mpg but after a week of tootling about I still got 44mpg, which is pretty good. So the Captur is a fuel-efficient vehicle, that’s for sure, but what else will draw people to it?


Well, most owners will be impressed by its spaciousness. The rear seats are on rails and slide back to provide massive leg room.
There’s a removable oddments tray/litter bin for rear seat passengers, door pockets that double as bottle holders, nets on the back of the front seats, a height adjustable boot floor which is carpeted on one side and rubber on the other, a pop-up storage box on top of the dash and a deep two feet long boot which extends to five feet with the back seats folded down.
The Captur is practical and fuel efficient, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I think it looks weird, but that high-up seating position offers excellent all-round vision.
Trouble is, you pay for the extra height with a ride that is far bouncier than a normal car.
It may only have 119bhp, but 140lb of torque makes it a decent performer in mid-range, it will cruise quite happily at 80mph, turning over in reasonable silence at just under 3,000rpm.
And that just about covers it, except for one thing. Like all Renaults it is massively well equipped, and all of it comes as standard.
Best gadget of all has to be its keyless entry and start system.
Mums will love the Captur for its practicality, roominess and high-up ride. I’m not sure that dad will like it so much, while yob lob idiots wouldn’t care about it, or anybody.
Image Rating:
REAR MIRROR MONSTER: Looks far bigger than it really is thanks to deep V-shaped black slash across the bonnet and massive twin light housings on each side. Makes it surprisingly menacing.
BACKSIDE BEAUTY: Rounded shape and lights which cut into the boot from the sides make it a very neat job. Pretty.
PLAYTIME PLEASER: Sat nav, climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, trip computer, auto cornering lights and wipers, parking sensors, keyless start and entry, four electric windows, electric door mirrors, CD-stereo with Bluetooth, aux and USB connections.
NAUGHTY NIGGLES: Glove box may be deep but it’s so narrow you can’t get anything in it other than a bottle. And no spare tyre, just a blow-and-go kit.
TASTY TOUCHES: Removable, washable seat covers to keep your car looking like new.
FAST OR LAST: Takes a bit to get it going, but it handles well and is a relaxed and fuel-efficient cruiser.
WONGA WONDER: Without even air con as standard, base-spec cars aren’t hugely equipped, but top end models are big on value.
WOULD AN ESSEX GIRL LIKE IT?: With looks like that it’s hard to say. But who can read a woman’s mind?