- Published: Wednesday, 22 October 2014 06:00
In the brochure for the Captur, Renault lists no less than 13 different colour combinations for its funky new crossover. You can have it in plain black or white, or opt for striking two-tone options like the orange with white roof scheme you see here, a light blue shade with white roof, or even a version in black with an orange roof, among numerous others, Given the car's combination of cutesy and chunky looks, the two-tone shades does give it a slight resemblance to certain Pokemon characters, and offering bright and breezy colours such as Arizona Orange or Pacific Blue (to give Renault's official terms) only serves to show what kind of car this is.
But then again, what is the Captur? Well, it is one of the now-numerous compact crossovers that are now popping up all across Europe, and are gradually making their way to our part of the world. Renault's fellow French carmaker released their equivalent, the 2008, here last year, and they will both soon be joined by the equally-funky Citroen C4 Cactus before this year is out. Other similar models from European carmakers include models such as the Ford EcoSport and the Opel Mokka, neither of which has been confirmed for our market yet. But the proliferation of such models is proof positive that the compact crossover market is a growing one indeed.
Clearly the Captur, with its two-tone paint and misspelled name (it's pronounced 'capture'), is a crossover which doesn't take itself too seriously, and is aimed at the kind of youthful and exuberant lifestyle sorts who spend their weekends at the beach rather than just trawling through boring mall after boring mall. To that end, the Captur offers some nifty tricks to serve that market. For example, upholstery is kitted out in fabric, and the 'skin' can be unzipped and removed for easy washing. The boot, too, features a removable floor with two different surfaces on each side, a standard 'plush' felt-lined one, and a hard plastic one. Very thoughtful indeed, and it's nice to know that Renault encourages owners to fully utilise their Captur and get them dirty with such convenience features.
It doesn't stop there too. The rear seats can slide fore and aft to offer variable boot space and rear legroom as you wish. And there's a removable cubby of sorts just behind and between the two front seats, which is useful for, er, something. We're sure the creative sorts who buy a Captur will find something to do with it.
When they've finally finished mucking about with the various bits and bobs on the Captur, and finally begin to start driving it, they'll find a pretty lively car that boasts as much energy as they do. Local Capturs are powered by a 1.5-litre turbo diesel which produces 88bhp and 220Nm of torque, which doesn't sound like a lot, but it's actually more than enough to propel the Captur along nicely around town, in a generally smooth fashion thanks to its 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox. As a whole though, the Captur driving experience reflects the same type of laidback nature as its potential owners, with its overly light steering and softly-sprung ride not set to win any awards in terms of driving dynamics.
But that's not what the Captur is meant to do anyway. Rather, it is designed to offer something for the young hippies who shout modern catchphrases like "YOLO" and "Why so serious?" The funky Captur reflects that lifestyle choice, and is able to put up with all the assorted activities that these folks indulge in thanks to its thoughtful practical features. They may be as colourful as a Pokemon character, but the Captur is certainly no monster.
NEED TO KNOW
Engine 1,461cc, 16V, turbo diesel inline 4
Power 88bhp at 4000rpm
Torque 220Nm at 1750rpm
Gearbox 6-speed dual clutch automatic
Top Speed 170km/h
0-100kmh 13.5 seconds
Fuel efficiency 3.9L/100km
Price $126,999 with COE
Also Consider: Peugeot 2008, Suzuki S-Cross