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Renault Captur enters the ranks

Forgotten, the round and sparkling dynamism of the original model.  The new generation of Renault's small SUV takes itself a little too seriously.

You don't change the style of a winning car.  For the Clio, entirely renewed apart from its exterior appearance, Renault has adopted this maxim inspired by the German automobile which has seen generations of Volkswagen Golf and BMW 3 Series drawn almost identically.  Launched a few months after the city car with the diamond from which it is derived, the new Captur does not change its appearance but it changes its personality.  The brand has decided that the alert and carefree little SUV that collects sales records should now be taken seriously.  As much to say at the outset, this is not a very good idea.

 The first in a segment that it inaugurated in 2013 and which it dominates expanding sales, the Captur distributed at 1.5 million units is 11 cm longer (it now measures 4.22  m).  Its front face has widened but still has the same emblematic grille - introduced at the beginning of the decade, it is starting to date a little - while the stern, whose lights have been stretched to the extreme, adopts the recipes in vogue  , without too much originality.

 The car, which has a slightly heavier silhouette with lowered glass surfaces, does not lack poise but the charm does not act.  Weighted with multiple shots of gouge on the sheet, chrome inserts, false exhaust outlets and air intakes as installed at the head of the gondola, it appears oversized.  Forgotten, the round and sparkling dynamism of the original model.

 The gentrified Captur adds to this by adopting not always happy color combinations (the version with a bright orange roof and silver-gray bodywork, among others) supposed to express a non-conformist spirit which, de facto, is no longer its trump card.

 Bringing Renault's small SUV into line also allows - it must be recognized - to take care of the comfort and well-being of the driver and his passengers.  Developed on a new platform shared with Nissan (after twenty years of alliance between the two brands, it was time), the new Captur (from 18,600 euros) significantly improves its services. 

Its extra centimeters expand the space available in the rear seats and bring the capacity of its trunk to 536 liters, up from 81 liters.  Arguments that will not leave indifferent customers from the upper segments wishing to opt for a more compact model, therefore less penalized by ecological taxation, but little tempted by the lackluster Kadjar that Renault will soon renew.

 Plethoric competition

 The most obvious progress can be seen in the interior, where most hard plastics have been replaced by foamed, soft-touch materials.  The new digital instrumentation is pleasing to the eye and, from the intermediate trim levels, a large 9.3-inch screen takes center stage in the dashboard.  At the rear, the seat slides over 16 centimeters but at the front, the passenger is not entitled to a hanging grab handle.

 Longer, wider but not heavier, the Captur lands perfectly on the road but its direction could be more generous in sensations.  We must salute the breadth of the range of petrol engines (100, 130 or 155 hp), the most powerful of which no longer pushes the front axle to its last limits, as was the case with the previous generation.  In the spring, a hybrid-rechargeable petrol engine - this will be a first in the segment - will be integrated into the range.  It will develop 160 hp, will be able to provide a range of up to 65 km in electric traction and will emit less than 40 g of CO2 per km.  Its price has not yet been announced