The new Renault Captur has become bigger and has a more sophisticated interior to appeal to a broader group of buyers in a bid to keep hold of the top spot in the small crossover/SUV segment. The Captur also will be the first Renault to offer a plug-in hybrid drivetrain.
For the new generation, the Captur has moved to Renault-Nissan's CMF-B architecture, which also underpins the latest Clio small hatchback. Renault says the platform is 50 kg lighter and improves underbody aerodynamics to reduce emissions.
The styling of the new Captur is "evolutionary," Renault says. All the body panels are new, but the overall exterior shape is familiar. There are more SUV design cues, including aluminum roof bars, a higher belt line, and bolder lower body and wheel molding. The Captur also gains chrome accents at the beltline, doors and front and rear fascias. More weight saving is achieved with a composite tailgate and aluminum hood.
Christophe Dupont, Renault's head of design programs, said the wider customer base the automaker targets includes buyers who might be looking one segment higher at compact SUVs.
The new Captur is 110mm longer than the outgoing model at 4228mm, with a 20 mm longer wheelbase. Trunk space has been increased by 81 liters to 536 liters. Rear-seat legroom has grown by 17mm, and the front seat bases are 15mm longer.
Renault hopes the changes also will boost Captur sales in the key market of China. Dupont said Renault designers kept the Chinese concept of "Daqi" in mind, meaning something that has balance or presence.
The Captur's interior reflects the model's upscale aspirations. A "floating" central console is made possible by an electronic shifter, allowing for storage space underneath. A 9.3-inch touchscreen is angled toward the driver. The Captur was introduced in 2013 and it led its segment in Europe every year until this year, when it was overtaken by the Volkswagen T-Roc.
Competition is now fierce in the small SUV/crossover segment. When the Captur was introduced, it had one rival, the Nissan Juke. There are now more than 20. The Captur passed the Juke for the segment lead in 2014.