THERE are a whole host of car makers turning out small SUVs at the moment so to be a success in such a crowded marketplace a new car has to stand out.

Renault has been making the Captur now for seven years and have updated and uprated Europe’s best selling small crossover over time to get us to the ‘all new’ 2020 version, which is our test car this week.

After having a string of small SUVs on test recently the first thing that struck me was how much more comfortable the Captur was than similarly priced rivals – many of which is actually undercuts by several hundred pounds with a starting price of £18,295.

It also feels a much bigger car from inside and has a comprehensive kit list in our Iconic TCe 130 guise which came in a smart Iron Blue with Diamond Black roof, 17” diamond cut alloy wheels, wireless phone charging and an emergency space saver spare wheel – all of which added just over £1,100 to the standard on the road £20,295 price.

The entry level Play version has hands free entry, locking and start (a feature I particularly like), android and apple connectivity, auto headlights and wipers, auto folding door mirrors, eco mode, cruise control, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning and a host of safety features.

Standard equipment on the Iconic model adds sat-nav on a central touchscreen, upgraded alloys, better interior materials, auto air con, extra rear and tailgate window tints and full LED head and tail lights.

The Captur has a choice of three petrol turbo engines and two diesels, all of which are new. The entry point is a 1.0-litre TCe petrol triple with 99bhp then a four-cylinder petrol with either 129bhp (our car) or 153bhp. The diesel options, both a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, develop either 94bhp or 113bhp with a shade under 58mpg possible.

A 158bhp Captur E-Tech is due soon which will have two electric motors, 29 miles of electric range and be the first the first plug-in hybrid Captur.

Like the original Captur this second generation model shares its underpinnings with the Clio although this new platform is substantially more advanced with modern safety and assistance systems.

Engine noise insulation is also improved and the car weighs 50kg less than its predecessor, thanks in part to an aluminium bonnet and composite boot lid.

The Captur has grown in length – by 110mm – with the wheelbase up by 20mm. It is also taller and wider than the car it replaces – Renault say every body panel is new – and is now one of the largest in its class.

A week with the cute crossover proved a very pleasant experience and even ‘her indoors’ was won over by its Gallic charm commenting on the level of comfort and equipment.

So the latest Captur looks like being another hit for Renault with good performance, attractive running costs and a high level of standard equipment. Buyers also look for style, flexibility and value for money and the new model stands out in that increasingly competitive small SUV/crossover marketplace.

For more information see www.renault.co.uk

By Motoring Editor Steve Howarth

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