Used Renault Captur (Mk2, 2020-date) review

A full buyer’s guide on the second-generation Renault Captur


Verdict

Renault got off to a good start with the original Captur, and with the second take on the formula, this ultra-compact SUV became only more appealing.

It’s no wonder the Captur is Renault’s most popular car, with its smart exterior design, high-quality cabin and impressive powertrains.

When we pitched the Captur against a Honda HR-V and SEAT Arona, it was the French contender that came out on top. The Renault repeated the feat when we tested it against the Hyundai Bayon and the Citroen C3 Aircross, and in another group test the Captur beat the Ford Puma and the Peugeot 2008.

It’s fair to say that of all the B-segment SUVs that you can choose between, it’s the Captur that we recommend the most highly, which is why if you do buy one, you’re unlikely to regret it.

There was a time when SUVs were big, bulky and rather cumbersome for British roads, but over the years the choice of Sports Utility Vehicles has got much bigger as some of those choices have got much smaller.

The smallest of the breed is the B-segment SUV, which is the size of a supermini, but with a raised ride height for better forward visibility, as well as easier entry and exit.

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The first of these micro-SUVs was the 2010 Nissan Juke, and it was only a matter of time before Renault introduced its own take on the formula, because the French brand is partnered with the Japanese one.

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Sure enough, in 2013 the original Renault Captur burst on to the scene, looking like exactly what it was: a raised Clio. That was no bad thing though, because the Clio was a great start point, which is why the original Renault Captur was such a hit – and its successor is even more desirable.

History

The original Renault Captur arrived in 2013; its successor hit UK roads in March 2020, priced from £17,595.

At first there were three-cylinder 1.0 and four-cylinder 1.3-litre petrol engines, the former rated at 99bhp (TCe 100) and the latter at either 128bhp (TCe 130) or 153bhp (TCe 155). Diesel fans could choose between 94bhp and 114bhp versions of a 1.5 dCi engine.

At launch only Play, Iconic and S Edition trim levels were offered, but in August 2020 the SE Limited arrived, to sit between the Play and Iconic, offering extra alloy wheel designs and a contrasting roof colour. The RS Line also arrived with sportier design details inside and out.

Three months later the Captur E-Tech plug-in hybrid joined the range, then in August 2021 the Captur E-Tech mild hybrid was launched; both cars were fitted with a 1.6-litre petrol engine.

Which one should I buy?

All of the engines are perky enough, although moving up from the entry-level petrol or diesel engines brings noticeable performance benefits.

The manual and automatic transmissions are pleasant to use, but we’d avoid the Play trim (which is extremely rare), because it’s relatively basic, although standard equipment does include cruise control, LED headlights, electric windows front and rear, climate control and a 7-inch touchscreen with DAB and Bluetooth.

Moving up to the mid-range Iconic brings rear parking sensors, 17in alloy wheels, two-tone paint, navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The range-topping S Edition adds front parking sensors and a rear-view camera, part-synthetic leather trim, a 9in display and wireless phone charging. Also included are blind spot warning, high-beam assist and an auto-dipping rearview mirror.

Alternatives

The Nissan Juke looks distinctive and offers decent  value, plus it’s good to drive. The Volkswagen Group offers three alternatives: the SEAT Arona, the Skoda Kamiq and the VW T-Cross, all of which offer great engines, user-friendly cabins and impressive build quality.

The Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic are related to each other; they’re both well equipped, reliable and come with a generous warranty. The Ford Puma is one of our favourite micro-SUVs because it’s so good to drive, offers excellent value and is very practical.

If comfort is a priority, check out the Citroen C3 Aircross, which also looks distinctive and comes with some impressive engines. Meanwhile, the Peugeot 2008 has a great interior and looks fantastic, while the Mazda CX-3 has a premium-feeling cabin, is great to drive and looks good.

What to look for

Spare wheel

The Captur was supplied with a tyre mobility kit, although buyers could pay extra for a spacesaver spare wheel. New spare wheels are available via www.thewheelshop.co.uk, from £140 including tools.

Hybrid power

The Captur E-Tech came in two forms: hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Whereas the former was fitted with a 9.8kWh battery pack to give a 31-mile electric range, the Hybrid had a battery pack of just 1.2kWh.

Software issues

Software glitches are seemingly the most common problem. The trip computer, display brightness and tyre pressure monitoring are just some of the things that randomly reset themselves.

Vibrations

Some E-Tech plug-in hybrid owners have experienced vibrations at low speed, but these disappear as soon as the speed rises to more than 20mph. It’s not known if the fault is electronic or mechanical.

Interior

You can forget the fragile Renault interiors of the recent past, because the Captur’s cabin exudes quality.

There are plenty of high-quality materials and soft-touch plastics throughout, the infotainment systems work really well, and the optional digital instrumentation is impressive.

The ample cabin space also impresses, versatility is excellent courtesy of a sliding rear seat, and it’s not as though the pay-off is a lack of boot space, because at 404-536 litres it’s plenty big enough, and with the back seats folded there’s an even more useful 1,275 litres of carrying capacity available.

Running costs

All Capturs need to be serviced every 12 months or 18,000 miles.

Services alternate between Minor and Major, which are effectively an inspection and then an oil and filter change. The two services are priced at £97 and £199 and they can be combined, but by the time a Captur has had its third birthday it’s then eligible for cut-price maintenance.

From this point on more comprehensive services are offered, billed as Essential (at £129) and Full (£179).

The former is, in effect, an oil and filter change with an inspection; the latter includes a few extra replacement parts. Every three years or 72,000 miles the brake fluid has to be renewed (at £108), and while the engines don’t have cambelts they do have accessory belts that need to be replaced every six years or 90,000 miles, at about £400.

Recalls

Whereas the original Captur was recalled on six occasions, for problems as diverse as poorly manufactured front wheel hubs, faulty headlights and seatbelt buckles working loose, the second-generation Captur has been recalled just the once so far.

The campaign was launched in May 2020 and it affected 22 Capturs built in August and September 2019. These were fitted with a panoramic glass roof which could detach as the car was driven, because of faulty bonding. The solution was to replace the roof altogether, bonding a new one into place.

Driver Power ownership satisfaction

The second-generation Captur made its Driver Power new car survey debut in 2021, when it notched up a respectable 37th place out of 75 entries.

That put it a couple of entries ahead of the SEAT Arona, but it was beaten by the Peugeot 2008 (12th), Ford Ecosport and Puma (35th and 14th), the Kia Stonic (34th), the Nissan Juke (26th) and the Hyundai Kona (first).

The high spots for owners are reliability, driving pleasure, overall quality and the navigation (for which it came first). Owners are less impressed by the value, the fuel economy, the shortage of cubbyholes and the safety features.

Tell us about your car in the Driver Power survey…

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