Long term Renault Captur Dynamique road test and review
IT'S a sure sign you're getting old when you're told a car is cool, funky and lifestyley, so therefore isn't aimed at you.
That appears to be the reality with our new long-term test Renault Captur Dynamique, as these stylish little crossover SUVs are certainly being pitched at the childless set, and the buying demographic - according to an informed local car dealer - is couples sans kids and empty nesters.
With two small children in car seats needing to be lugged around - and their respective junk in the trunk (buggies, bikes, etc) - our family is firmly in the mid-size SUV preferring set, but we're up for the Captur challenge to look Euro chic.
So let's deal with the basics.
The Captur's underpinnings are shared with the light Clio hatchback - explaining its small size - it seats five, comes with a 66kW 0.9-litre three-cylinder or 88kW 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol (ours being the latter), and they've been selling like hotcakes in Europe since their 2013 launch there. Segment leaders, no less.
Available grades are Expression (starting from $22,990) and Dynamique (from $27,990), with our car adding a leather interior for $1490 and metallic two-tone paint for $800, bringing its cost to $30,280 before on-roads.
Proving I'm still down with the kids (and baby boomers), I find the styling quite captivating: the Captur is a beautiful looking thing.
Ours is Mercury grey with black roof which sadly isn't the funkiest of combos. Corsica orange or Riviera blue suit the SUV's youthful styling better, while I'm quite partial to the Diamond black body with orange roof variant.
You can also go quite colourful inside too, which on initial impression is well laid out, simple and comfortable.
Leather seating is a boon, but the cabin plastics aren't too premium feeling and the touchscreen does take an age to fire up.
The Captur is of decent space considering its Clio base however. Kiddie seats went in fine without much compromise to front seat positions, while the boot has extra storage under a false floor to give 455-litres.
I've removed the floor permanently already, and baby buggy, bags and child's bike all fit in - just. Sliding rear seats are also a neat idea should we ever be travelling without kid car seats.
I like the fact the seat covers can be removed and washed (ideal for messy kids and dirty sport lovers alike), heated seats are great on cold mornings and fuel consumption hasn't crept much above quoted.
That said, it annoyingly runs on minimum 95 octane fuel, plus the Bluetooth connectivity so far has been sketchy.
I'll report driving impressions next, testing if the quirky Captur has the dynamics to match its funky styling.