Small engine, big impressions: Driving the Renault Captur

This week in Keo’s garage, the Renault Captur gets awarded flying colours for performance and comfort, delivered in a stylish, compact package. 

Image: Renault

Last week, I had the chance to live with the Renault Captur, navigating the daily commute and a Sunday road trip with my family. The experience? Surprisingly rewarding.

Driving from Vredehoek to Pinelands every day, I was impressed by how the Captur’s compact 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine (inspired by Renault’s Formula 1 expertise), delivered a punchy 113 kW and 270 N.m of torque. Don’t let the engine size fool you, it packs more power than you might expect. Its 7-speed automatic transmission with Renault’s EDC technology offers smooth gear transitions, which really shone through in stop-and-go traffic. Combined with sturdy steering, the car gave a confident and responsive drive

Image: Renault

Inside, the Captur plays a strong game in the comfort and style departments. The redesigned interior boasts a floating centre console as part of the Captur’s Smart Cockpit. The 9.3-inch multimedia screen, set in portrait style, provides the command center for infotainment and other controls. And, I can’t forget the high-quality fabric seats – they made every drive a lot more comfortable. I was also really impressed with the sound system.

Related: Reliable riding in the Renault Koleos

At the weekend, the Captur smoothly transported my partner, our baby daughter, and myself from Vredehoek to Simon’s town. Cruising down the M5 to Muizenberg and over Boyes Drive, the vehicle’s handling felt assured and secure, even with Cape Town’s erratic weather throwing a mix of rain and sunshine at us.

The return journey took us through Fishoek and Constantia before rejoining the highway, and I had the chance to appreciate the practicality of the Captur. The boot space is generous, at 404 litres, and can be expanded to 1,275 litres with the rear seats folded flat – it effortlessly swallowed all our day-out paraphernalia.

Image: Renault

Aesthetically, Renault has given the Captur a sportier redesign with prominent curves and athletic proportions. The two-tone colour scheme (our model was Passion Red) and the 17-inch wheels add a touch of style that helps it stand out in a crowded segment.

Fuel economy came in at a reasonable 6.6L/100km, and given that it’s priced between R454,999 for the 1.3L Turbo EDC Zen and R499,999 for the Intens – the model we got to test – the Captur represents a solid option for those looking for a stylish, yet practical, family vehicle.

In short, the Renault Captur did a commendable job of balancing daily utility with comfort and style, handling everything from mundane commutes to erratic weather on long drives. It may not be a performance powerhouse, but as a practical and reliable family vehicle with a bit of flair, it shines.

Renault Captur at a glance:

Price: 1.3L Turbo EDC Zen – R454 999 / 1.3L Turbo EDC Intens – R 499 999

Engine: 1.3-litre four-cylinder “Formula 1 inspired” engine

Power: 113 kW

Torque: 270 N.m

Transmission: 7-speed automatic with Renault’s Efficiency Dual Clutch (EDC) technology

Fuel Economy: 6.6L/100km

Boot capacity: 464 litres