rench car maker Renault is set to launch a brand new crossover in the Indian market. The Captur is about to enter a segment which has some very strong competition. The SUV segment for the last couple of years has been the fastest growing in India and after the Lodgy and the Duster this is the French car maker’s third tryst with the segment. All three cars are very different from each other which just shows how Renault is really in the mood to capture a strong share of the pie.
One of the most striking things about the Captur is the way it looks, it’s quite modern, contemporary and unlike anything we’ve seen o Indian roads till date. On the front use of elements like the piano black in addition to chrome adds a lot of appeal. The grille isn’t very big in size but still makes an impact due to the big Renault logo housed right in the centre. Another highlight are the sparkle LED headlamps which come with floating turn indicators something that’s associated with more premium cars. There’s cladding all over the car which gives it a muscular look. Renault says the Captur was always meant to be a dual tone car and there’s a different colour on the roof, pillars as well as side view mirrors. The rear too is extremely attractive. The ripple tail lamps, a spoiler and the use of chrome are lovely bits. Renault also offers a host of customisation options on the Capture and the ultimate aim is that no two Captur’s look exactly the same. This car presents the exclusivity you’re looking for. Having said that, it would’ve been nice to see a sunroof and roof rails on the car.
You really have to bend your way to get inside the Captur because the seat position is rather high but once you’re inside you realise it’s a pretty premium cabin. With the Captur the French car maker is including its famed “Platine” variants to India which means there are some additional features when compared to the regular variants. The touch screen system is the same as seen on other cars from the brand. It is not compatible with Apple car play and Android Auto but gets better audio output because of 4 speakers from Arkamys. The Infinity instrument cluster and the ergo seats are worthy additions to the car and ergonomically as well there are a lot of storage options. As seen on the earlier cars from Renault even the Captur gets keyless entry and instead of the conventional key there’s a key card that needs to be inserted in the slot to turn the ignition on. The second row offers good space and because the car is wider than its rivals 3 passengers can sit here comfortably. The boot space stands at 392 litres but feels a lot more owing to the hatch shape which always offers a lot more practicality. But the car does not a 60:40 split ratio on the second row which would have made things even more practical.
The Captur is being launched in both Petrol and Diesel engine options. Both are 1.5 liter mills but the Diesel is more powerful at 110 PS and also offers more torque at 240 Nm. We could only sample this engine on our drive in Goa and as is the case with a lot of other cars that use the same 4 cylinder mill, here also there’s good refinement and the NVH levels are kept in check. The peak torque kicks in low at 1750 rpm which is a good number. The 6 speed manual gearbox responds well to your needs and the gearshifts are slick. The hard clutch though is a bit of an exercise every time you need to change gears. But unlike the Duster there will be no Automatic versions on offer once the car is launched in the market next week.
Ride & Handling
Owing to its crossover shape the Captur is a car that handles pretty well. It’s also stable both at low and high speeds. Rid equality also is decent and on the both the rows the car is able to soak in the bumps and potholes. Safety is also taken care well on the Captur as the car gets two airbags and ABS as standard. It also comes with two lateral ISOFIX features with a top tether in the rear seat. The car is not being offered in a 4×4 avatar but come with a very good ground clearance of 210 mm and also has hill start assist.
The Captur really is a lot more than a fancy looking Duster and despite them sharing a lot of attributes there’s also a lot that sets them apart. Bookings are open on the Renault Captur app and the company website for an amount of 25 thousand rupees. Launch is due in the in the next few days and looking at the history of how Renault prices its cars in India, even the Captur could come with an attractive price tag. In that case the crossover might trouble its rivals in the market.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars