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Renault Captur is clearly more upmarket compared to Duster

June 11, 2018 18:34 IST
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Now, we have with us the Renault Captur which under the skin is a Duster but the company claims that the former is a more premium offering. So, is it? Time to find out.

SUVs and crossovers (that look like SUVs) are the cars that are in trend today in the Indian market and their rising sales graph shows.


All thanks to the practicality quotient and of course, the bad country roads, choosing an SUV/crossover makes sense as these vehicles are at ease tackling bad roads rather than a hatchback or a sedan.

Renault entered the compact SUV segment with the Duster and clearly took the market by storm until the Hyundai Creta was launched.

The Creta was a more expensive proposition than the Duster and yet managed to eat into the sales of the latter.

Now, we have with us the Renault Captur which under the skin is a Duster but the company claims that the former is a more premium offering. So, is it? Time to find out.

Just going by the looks of it, yes! The Captur definitely looks premium. Unlike we've seen on any Renault cars before, the company's European origins are evident here.

The front fascia is the most delicious as well as aggressive looking. Delicious because of the full-LED headlights with floating indicators and the Sapphire LED DRLs.

Aggressive because of the grille with the large Renaut logo and the silver-finished skid plate in the lower part of the bumper.

In silhouette, the Captur is more a crossover but with some SUV aspirations.

There is black cladding all-around the body, the flared wheel arches, 210 mm of ground clearance and the large 17-inch diamond-cut alloys give it an SUV's appeal.

The LED tail-lights complete the looks of the Captur.

Hop inside the car and what grabs your attention immediately are the three-spoke steering wheel, the touchscreen infotainment system and the part digital and part analogue instrument console.

Starting with the steering wheel, this three-spoke unit looks good and also feels good to hold too.

There is a Platine insignia on it which states that you're inside the cabin of the top-end Captur.

Look a little above and the Infiniti instrument cluster draws your attention.

This console definitely looks the part. The infotainment system is user-friendly and intuitive to use and gets Navigation as well but the fact that this unit is lifted directly from the Kwid (Renault's budget car) does hit on the cabin's premium aspirations.

There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto either. The quality of the dashboard is not all that great (more soft-touch plastics would have been better) but is a definite improvement from the Duster's.

The dual-tone colour scheme aids in the airy feel in the cabin.

The Platine variant gets dual-tone black and white leather seats which look premium, especially with the diamond quilting but the white portions might tend to get soiled soon enough.

Both the front and rear seats offer good comfort and support while knee room in the rear seat is limited, the headroom is average.

Taller passengers might find the under-thigh support lacking both at the front and rear. In terms of features, the Captur comes with ambient lighting, automatic headlights and wipers, LED cabin lights, cooled glove box, automatic climate control and an ARKAMYS-tuned sound system.

The crossover gets 392-litres of boot space which might not sound impressive on paper but will do the job of gobbling up a weekend's luggage of a nuclear family.

The Captur comes in two engine options - 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines.

The one we're driving is the 1.5-litre K9K diesel which makes 110 PS of power at 4000 RPM and 240 Nm of torque at 1750 RPM.

The oil burner's performance is punchy in the low-end and the mid-range with practically no turbo lag.

The clutch is light and the NVH levels in the cabin are great. For now, the vehicle comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox only and the throws are quite nice and short.

Expect the diesel-powered Captur to return a fuel efficiency of 12-13 km/l in the city and around 15-16 km/l on the highway.

The crossover shares its underpinnings with the Duster and that's no bad thing at all because the ride quality is just supple.

It handles all the undulations on the road like the Duster while offering good feedback from the steering.

The feedback, at times, is more than what you would like and that can get irritating.

That said, the vehicle is also planted while taking on corners and body roll is a bare minimum. Brakes do a job of shedding speeds while the grip from the tyres is great.

In terms of safety, the Captur gets dual front airbags (four on the top-spec Platine variant), ABS with EBD, Hill Start Assist, ESP and rear parking camera with sensors.

While the after-sales of the company isn't great when compared to its immediate rivals, the French automaker is moderately increasing its reach in the country.

The Renault Captur is clearly a more upmarket and an almost premium car when compared to the Duster.

It has got better-looking exterior and interior and there's certainly some novelty to it.

Of course, some things could have been better like the infotainment system and better utilisation of cabin space.

That apart, with little compromises if the traditional boxy SUVs aren't your thing and you prefer something different then the Captur should be the car you should be putting your money on.

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