Steering Wheel Wonderings

Steering Wheel Wonderings

Renault Captur review


Renault calls the Captur ‘an urban crossover’, though in industry parlance it’s a ‘B-segment crossover’.

The manufacturer’s planners are predicting that EU sales of such crossovers will leap from 257,000 units in 2012 to just short of 500,000 in 2013, taking a healthy 14 per cent slice of the supermini market. They also expect the Captur to become the brand’s second best-seller in UK.

In the flesh, the Captur is certainly an eye-catching car. Go for the duo-tone roof and body option and the car stands out even more, partly because the contrasting colour extends to the A-pillars. It’s all the more striking with the exterior trim Gloss Pack fitted around the fog lights and to the sills and grille.

There are 24 exterior colour combinations along with three matching interior and exterior trim packs, called ‘Arizona’, ‘Miami’ and ‘Manhattan’. There also also three different roof decals.

The Captur is based on the same new-generation platform as the Clio estate, although it has been modified with a wider track. It is quite compact, measuring just 4.1m in length and 1.53m high, including a useful 200mm of ground clearance. The decent 2.6m-long wheelbase works with a 60/40 split rear bench seat that also slides to allow up to 215mm of kneeroom.

Inside, the fresh-looking dash plastics are finished in a modern dimple pattern and there are some usefully deep cubby holes in the centre console. Renault has also patented the removable seat covers.

With the sliding rear seat set right back, you get a reasonable 377-litre boot, extending to a healthy 455 litres with the bench slid fully forward. There’s also a double-sided (carpet and rubber) hard boot floor that splits the rear luggage space and creates a substantial – and hidden – storage space.

Renault offers the Captur with its new, sweet and punchy small petrol turbo engine, which drives through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The 120bhp unit has the legs for twisting hill roads while proving to be very smooth on the motorways. The engine is a good match for the company’s new dual-clutch ’box, which was almost complete viceless unless you stamped on the accelerator.

The 90bhp dCI diesel engine is impressively refined, although it becomes vocal in town on a trailing throttle and on long uphill roads, the driver needs to stay on the ball and drop down a ratio to keep the car’s speed up. It can manage a relaxed relaxed 12.6sec 0-62mph time but the upside is a claimed combined economy of 76.4mpg, which should mean nearly 60mpg in the real world.

Certainly, the Captur isn’t going to whet the appetite of the keen driver. It has lightly weighted controls and is easy to punt around. That said, it could be made to flow along rather nicely on French A-roads.

However, the big flaw facing this car’s translation to the UK is the ride on very poor surfaces. While it would glide along on smooth roads, on patches of typical French A-road, where it encountered broken surfaces, the wheels crashed and pattered to a surprising degree.

The Captur is very much a style and lifestyle statement. You’ll find similar interior versatility in an MPV, but the Captur is much more about showmanship and the ability to completely customise the car inside.

Buyers are also given some strong practical reasons to buy the car. Renault offers a comprehensive ownership package including a four-year warranty, four years’ servicing and four years’ roadside cover.

Overall, the Renault Captur is not a captivating driving experience, but that’s not the point. Its style, freshness, value (compared to, say, Mini’s line-up) and overall buying package should ensure that it is a success.

If you are looking for your own Renault Captur and you are situated in South Africa – be sure to contact Group 1 Renault today!


Looking good from every angle: The All New Renault Kadjar - Full Review

Renault's new Renault KADJAR crossover SUV meets the increasing demand from customers for an SUV that isn't out of place in the city. The vehicle meets the brief completely as it has rugged yet modern styling and is compact enough to navigate tight streets with ease.

The new Kadjar is launching in South Africa right now. Swing by a reputable dealer such as Group 1 Renault and Test Drive the Renault Kadjar.


2016 Renault Duster Launched with New Look


The Duster was invented with the European market in mind, but it's played a crucial role in developing markets like Russia, India or Brazil. The Clio-based crossover is probably the most popular and profitable car Renault has got, so it's not surprising updates are frequent.

Renault Brazil has just revealed its 2016 Duster model, which appears to have a new set of cosmetic touches. From the front, we notice a new silver bumper insert at the bottom, a different grille to the 2014 Duster facelift and tinted headlights with LED accents.

At the back, the 2016 Duster has similar changes, so we quickly move our attention to the interior. There, the door panels are said to have been revised with much better materials. The instrument cluster has new lighting, and the Media NAV Evolution brings upscale touches by integrating GPS navigation and real-time traffic information for major Brazilian cities.

The 2016 updates were brought about as an answer to the launch of the Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade in Brazil. Renault engineers have worked with both engines available on the Duster to increase power output slightly while reducing fuel consumption.

The base unit is a 115 hp 1.6-liter petrol available only with a 5-speed manual on the Dynamique and Expression trim levels. Renault follows this up with a 2-liter 16-valve unit which is mated to either a 6-speed manual or an optional 4-speed automatic. The unit delivers 148 hp and 18.1 kilogram-force meter (177.5 Nm) of torque on ethanol, or 142 hp and 17.1 kgfm (168 Nm) on gasoline.

Editor's note: our sources within the French automaker say a new Duster will come out by 2017 and will be visibly larger, but the Brazilians will keep this one for the foreseeable future.

New international models always take some time to reach other countries, so if you are looking for a 2016 Renault Duster in South Africa, contact a reputable dealer, such as Group 1 Renault.

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New Renault Duster: Revamped, revitalised

WINNING FORMULA: Renault builds on the local success of it Duster with design and interior tweaks as well as revised diesel engine. Image: Wheels24 / Sergio Davids ~ Wheels24

• More than 8000 units sold in SA

• New production factory in Romania

• Revised diesel engine

• Revised exterior and interior

Revamped and revitalised, Renault's facelifted Duster has arrived in South Africa. Enhanced inside and out, Renault builds on the local success of its Duster with refreshed styling, new features and improved turbo diesel.


Since its launch in 2013, Renault has sold more than 1.3-million globally and 8000 units locally.

According to Renault: "The first Renault model designed to meet stringent European standards - yet be capable of conquering international markets where usage and road conditions are considerably more rugged - two years down the track, Duster continues to be a formidable contender in South Africa’s B-SUV segment."

The Renault Duster line-up remains unchanged; two specification levels (expression and dynamique), two engine options (petrol and diesel) and two variants (4x2 and 4x4)

The 1.6 normally aspirated petrol (Expression and Dynamique 4x2) is capable of 75kW/148Nm and is mated to a five-speed manual. Fuel consumption is rated at 7.6 litres/100km with emissions of 181g/km.

The 1.5 dCi turbo diesel engine (Dynamique 4x2 and 4x4 models) is capable of 80kW/240Nm. The revised diesel outperforms its predecessor in terms in terms of fuel efficiency, with a claimed consumption of 4.8 litres/100km (down from 5.5 litres/100km) with emissions of 127g/km (4x2) and 135g/km in 4x4 guise.

What's new

• Two chromed horizontal grille strips (instead of three) and re-designed Renault diamond logo

• Less chromed trim at the front

• New roof bars with Duster moniker etched into the aluminium insets.

• Body coloured side-mirrors

• New alloy rims.

• Parking distance control (standard)

• Patterned fabric replaces plain seat and door panel design.

• 7" touchscreen satnav (Dynamique variants only)

• Cruise control now standard

• Leather trim and seat optional on all three derivatives


Sure the new diesel is refined with, Renault says, reduced consumption but can it walk the talk? Renault SA pitted journalists against each other in its Duster eco challenge (part time-trial, part economy run). In reality, it was more akin to a 300km off-road rally as we took on tar and dirt roads throughout Parys.

During the run I kept an eye on the fuel gauge throughout, while my navigator observed a stopwatch to make sure we reached our check points on time.

I achieved 4.8 litres/100km but due to time penalties was relegated to second place. The winner achieved 5.03 litres/100km without receiving a single penalty.

Overall, an impressive improvement by Renault.


Only 4x4s are equipped with traction control, a feature desperately needed in 4x2 variants, especially for those hoping to tackle mild off-road terrain.

The Duster is unsettled by poor terrain with plenty of driver input needed at moderate speed. It's a pity since the 4x4 is very capable and Renault has identified its 4x2 as its most popular derivative. Perhaps Renault can include traction control as a future upgrade.

Other faults include a lack of refinement at high speeds.


Production of the 2015 Duster has been moved from Chennai, India to Pitesti in Romania and is now manufactured at the same factory as its Sandero sibling.

Product manager at Renault SA Jeffrey Allison said: “Moving production to Pitesti provides us with the opportunity to refresh Duster within a sharper turnaround time - good for the brand and good for our customers here in SA."


The Duster is a bargain compared to other SUVs with similar talents. It’s not perfect but if you’re looking for space and practicality, the Duster could be the car for you. If you're in need of a something more upmarket you could consider the Renault Captur.

The Renault Duster takes on the likes of Nissan Juke and Ford EcoSport in South Africa.

The Duster is sold with a five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty, a three-year or 45 000km service plan (service intervals at 15 000km) and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Pop into a reputable Renault approved dealer, such as the new Group 1 Renault dealership in Stellenbosch and take this baby for a test drive!

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