FIRST DRIVE: Renault Captur dCi 90 Dynamique S

Renault Captur
Renault Captur
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You know a car maker is trying really hard to connect with young buyers when it purposely misspells the name of its new offering to grab maximum attention in the marketplace.

Renault is the latest in a long line of manufacturers content to rip up the dictionary, and its Captur – without an ‘e’ – enters an important and growing category, that of mini SUV.

There’s no avoiding the fact that the Captur does look good. Displaying elements of Clio alongside its high-rise hatchback stance, Renault’s mini SUV is offered in a bold and bright choice of exterior colours plus Mini-like contrasting shades for the roof, wheels and air intake frames. The end result is a car with the capacity to shame some of its more conservatively styled rivals.

It’s fair to say that the Captur can be categorised as a ‘high-rise’ Clio. The mini SUV’s five-door hatchback layout certainly apes that of the conventional compact hatch, and in light of an increasing number of buyers downsizing from larger vehicles there’s a lot to be said for the Renault’s modest dimensions.

A fraction over four metres in length, the Captur is rooted in supermini territory. However, with a generous 200mm of ground clearance, in relative terms it towers over the Clios and Fiestas of this world.

Factor in a wide opening tailgate complete with a waist level load lip and reversible boot liner and you’ve got a package Renault hopes will tempt families out of their existing, conventional hatchbacks, estates, SUVs and people carriers.

Certainly, on the cost of ownership front Renault’s current plan on focusing on frugal, small capacity petrol and diesel engines should find favour with cost conscious motorists. Captur’s 1.5-litre 90 horsepower diesel motor is more than capable and registers just 95g/km CO2.

The same is true of the petrol alternatives. Turbo technology again features alongside an all new 1.2-litre 120 horspower motor, and like the diesel option there’s the prospect of above average mpg in the real world.

Generous standard equipment across the four model range – including a good spread of safety kit – completes what is an attractive package – visually and from a practical perspective. Furthermore, the Captur can be had with a high-end audio and navigation system, Bluetooth phone and MP3 player connectivity plus removable and washable seat covers and a full keyless go option.

PRICE: Captur range from £12,495 to £18,895.

ENGINE: 1.5-litre diesel unit developing 90bhp.

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual transmission as standard, driving the front wheels.

PERFORMANCE: Maximum speed 106mph, 0-62mph 12.6 seconds.

ECONOMY: 76.4mpg.

CO2 RATING: 95g/km.