Renault was among the very first car makers to venture into the compact SUV market space in India with the Duster. The massive success of the Duster proved that Renault was right. The duster had ruled its segment for long until Hyundai decided to spoil the party with the Creta. The Creta came along as a much modern, more sophisticated and feature-laden rival and got the customers hooked to it. The Creta took away a lot of Duster buyers, even though bit being considered expensive over the Renault. Renault needs to win back its bread and butter segment and it needed to act fast. The result was the Renault Captur, which can be understood as the classier, more suave version of the rough and tough Duster, in simple terms. However, the Capture does not share any design similarities with the Duster, though they both share the same MO platform.
The Duster caught the Indian market’s eye with its no-nonsense practical, butch yet pleasing looks. It commanded respect on road with its boxy rugged form. The Renault Captur, on the other hand is all curves and appeal from any angle you lay eyes on it. The new curvaceous coupe like form lends a premium and sporty air the Captur with a stance that looks ready to pounce. Renault brought in design elements from the likes of the hot and stunning Megane hatch from back in Europe. Especially the front grille is reminiscent of the Megane and is compliments well by the good looking full LED Headlamps on the Captur. More of this sporty air arrives through the LED DRL’s that run on the lower bumper, designed to mimic a boomerang. The Coupe sort form is further elaborated by the cars side profile that offers a long swooping roofline that exudes sporty air and fun to drive quotient. The car wears great looking 17-inch alloy wheels and the overall exterior sporty theme is rounded off at the rear by tail lamps that wraparounds the rear end and the big bumper. The Capture is both longer and wider than the Duster but shares its wheelbase with the Duster that stands at 2679mm.
Inside the cabin is where the Renault Capture creates that highly dividing bittersweet experience. On the positive end, the moment you enter the cabin you are greeted by a roomy ambience that is both airy and pleasant. Renault has used light colour shades and a low set dash to great effect in making the car feel spacious. The dash itself has a much more modern design and is a welcome departure from the Duster’s almost rural, sturdy design. The most notable inclusion is of a touchscreen infotainment system that has a decent 7-inch display and is complemented by a much funkier instrument cluster as well. This also makes the central console look neat and minimal without being too busy. The infotainment display in itself is easier to handle and has big fonts to help while driving. However, this is where the bad of the interiors start to show. The graphics on the infotainment system look like they came from old school computer games and are archaic, to say the least. The Hyundai offers a much more modern take on this aspect and makes the one on the Renault look cheap. Then there is the matter of the quality of the material used inside the cabin, most of the plastic parts do not suit the car that effectively costs upwards of INR 15 lakh on road. The fit and finish too isn’t great to talk about either and same holds true for the switchgear and the control knobs. Renault needs to upscale these to make the car feel like it commands the premium it asks for. However, the Renault Captur scores pretty well in terms of the comfort it provides to its occupants. The front seat is large and comfortable while the outside view is also big a clean due to the presence of a big windscreen and considerably thin A-pillars. That said, the swooping roofline and a high placed seat, even though it can be adjusted for height, can make taller people feel being too close to the roof. The rear passengers get seats that offer decent support to thighs and are well contoured as well. However, due to the coupe-like form, the rear window and glass panels are small making the car feel a lot less airy at the back. In terms of luggage space, the Captur offers a decent 392-litre boot that should be more than adequate enough for most needs. It is also fairly practical to use since it has an intrusion free bay access as well. One could have further extend the luggage space on the Captur had Renault had offered a rear seat split in a 60:40 ratio. And that is a real shame. That said, the cabin does offer practicality through a number of storage spaces. The front door pockets are rather big and there is a large pace just under the centre console along with an addition of two cup holders. These are placed to let the front and rear passenger enjoy their drinks while on the move. Glovebox though isn’t very large but is deep and narrow. Other significant features on the Renault Captur include the like of a Satellite navigation, rain sensing wipers, aux, Bluetooth and USB support. We like the addition of LED headlamps that automatically turns on with decreasing light conditions. There are also those fine looking dynamic turn indicators. There is climate control, rear view parking camera, keyless entry and start, AC vents for rear passengers and leather-clad seats on the top spec variant. Sadly though, Renault does not offer more than 2 airbags on the car.
The Captur gets the same 110bhp 1.5-litre K9K diesel unit from the Duster but gets better refinement along with an improved drivability. This lends the Captur to have a much linear drive as compared to the Duster. The NVH levels are also better controlled in the Captur as against the Duster. The mid-range offered by the engine is punchy and helps with most overtaking needs out on the highway as well. The clutch and gearbox are also much smoother to operate than on the Duster meaning the Captur is much easier to live within the thick city traffic conditions. Just like the Duster, Captur also offers a brilliant ride quality over almost all road surfaces. Even the biggest of the potholes are no big concern for the Captur’s suspension setup and that makes the Captur a delight to putter around in the city. The handling of the Captur is also fabulous lending a confidence inspiring drive every time. It is stable at all speeds and is easy to manoeuvre around the city as well.
Available in 10 variants including the three offered in the 1.5-liter petrol unit making the Renault Captur is priced between INR 10 lakhs for base Petrol to the top of the line diesel at INR 14 Lakhs. It competes with the likes of Hyundai Creta, Ford Ecosport, Renault Duster, Nissan Terrano, and Jeep Compass among others. Renault Captur – Pro’s Great ride Quality Good handling Great Looks Powerful Engine. Smooth and Refined Renault Captur – Con’s Below par fit and finish. Fierce Competition.