The Renault Captur sits in one of the most competitive segments of today’s motoring market, the Crossover segment, but it has held its own proving a popular choice since its introduction in 2013. Adding further to the Captur range makes a lot of sense for the French brand as it is currently the second largest selling model in their line-up.
The Captur ‘Signature’ now sits proudly at the top of the Captur range with the hope of luring a number of new buyers to the brand. It’s packed with quite a number of additional interior and exterior flares. These include an eye-catching two tone Flame red with a gloss black roof paint finish, a new grille, a number of subtle exterior chrome details on the boot lid and side skirts and 17 inch two tone alloy wheels. On opening the front driver and passenger doors you are also greeted by exclusive door sills and unique ‘Signature’ door mats setting it apart from the ‘Life’ & ‘Intense’ models. The interior has also been lifted considerably with some colour coded detailing that wraps attractively around the infotainment system on the centre console, the door speakers and air vents. The 7 inch touch screen infotainment system itself has also been upgraded now featuring USB connectivity on top of its Bluetooth capabilities. A new 3D stereo system has also been fitted. The most significant addition however is the leather seats which bring an increased feeling of quality to the interior. The Captur has always been a good looking crossover, but now offers this tweaked range topping spec for a very attractive €22,190.
The Captur Signature is still just as practical as ever offering good head room, a spacious interior and decent space for two toddlers or three kids/adults in the back. Its 377 litre boot may not be the biggest for a car of its size but more than ample to store a buggy and the usual everyday items. Driving the Captur remains the same experience. The Captur is not a high riding crossover but it does give you an elevated impression from the driving seat and the new leather seats in the Signature add an extra firmness and comfort. The driving position is good and on the road, it offers quite a supple ride absorbing Irish roads lumps and bumps in its stride.
The signature is offered with the same existing two 3 cylinder turbo charged TCe 90 and TCe 120 petrol options and single diesel dCi diesel variant. Our test for the week car was the 900cc 3 cylinder petrol TCe 90. The advantage of this small petrol unit is that it is very refined right the way through its 5-speed manual transmission. While it does offer 135Nm of torque, it’s hard to feel any of it under acceleration and this is a major disadvantage of the cars performance. It is immensely frugal but the complete lack of power may be the main reason why. It was just too apparent on each days commute even in one situation where a truck pulled over on the hard shoulder to allow me to pass and I really had to squeeze every inch of power out of the engine just to get by him at a very respectable speed. The driving experience becomes frustrating in situations like this. Perhaps a personal gripe, but I struggled with the issue. Another side to the Captur is that it may not look like an off-road machine, but the Captur ‘Signature’ does come with Renault’s ‘Grip Xtend’ traction control system as part of the package so you can switch it to four wheel drive and put it through its 4x4 paces if the mood so takes you.
The Renault Captur is very competitively priced among its main competitors starting at just €19,590 and looking as good as it does, is a very attractive option for many. When compared to the Nissan Juke (€19,795) and Peugeot 2008 (€19,290), it sits square in the middle. But despite the latest Jukes increase of boot space from a measly 251 to a more practical 352, it’s still not as big as the Captur’s, neither is it as good to look at. The Peugeot packs a 350 litre boot but feels like the most spacious of the three and pips the Captur for a single reason, its more responsive 3 cylinder petrol engine.
If you are not the type to be bothered by the performance of the Captur and are more concerned with the creature comforts that a car of its type offers, then you cannot argue with the level of specification the Renault Captur ‘Signature’ offers over its rivals for just an extra €2,600.