WITH a truck load of upgrades and changes, does the 2019 Renault Captur Intens offer more punch, is it cleaner and more fuel efficient, and most importantly, is it still fun to drive? The short answer is yes to all of these questions.
Now in its fourth year on the Australian market, the Captur has evolved thanks to chic and curvy exterior styling, a bright colour range, and adventurous interiors. For the other changes, you’ll have to jump behind the wheel and let the engine do its thing.
The Captur range is powered by a new 1.3-litre turbo petrol motor that debuted late last year. It produces a more powerful 110kW and 250Nm through the front wheels, while reducing fuel consumption to 5.4-litres/100km (claimed).
The best fuel economy we could achieve during testing was 6.5-litres/100km; still very impressive. It’s also a second faster when speeding from 0-100km/h, down to 9.2 seconds from 10.2.
What we also noticed during testing is that if you don’t drive it hard, the new Renault Captur Intens tries really hard to be fuel efficient and give you the best bang for your petrol buck, and it even has Eco mode for extra lean fuel running.
From the outside, it looks quite small, but looks can be deceiving. Yours truly stands at 191cm, but once inside, and having completed the rudimentary seat, steering, mirrors start checklist, the spaciousness became obvious.
It’s got plenty of legroom up front, although if you push the seats all the way back, rear leg room is limited for taller passengers. It’s a funky little beast, this Captur. It has a youthful interior that is just different enough to separate it from the mainstream brands.
The Intens has lots of goodies too, including a fixed panoramic sunroof, self-parking capability, inbuilt R-Link SatNav, Android Auto connectivity, and LED headlights (with see-around-the-corner front fog lights).
There’s a sliding back seat, a double-level boot that expands from 377 litres to 1235 litres when you drop the rear seats, heated door mirrors and front seats, an Arkamys sound system, and a good spread of parking sensors on the front, rear and sides.
It makes for a pretty handy small SUV, and with a low 1284kg kerb weight, the Captur has an almost-sport like feel. It handles as if it’s on rails when you put it through its paces, and the dual clutch gearbox adds to the fun when you switch to manual mode.
There are no paddles here to manage the gears, so you need to revert back to shifting the stick for the next cog. But you do get rewarded with a gurgle and a crackle at the exhaust end, which sounds pretty cool.
It’s worth noting that the gearbox does not cope well in reverse at low speed, with our test vehicle shuddering while the transmission tried to work out revs and gearing. The auto stop/start function is painful too.
It’s the usual caper with these things, you come to a complete stop at a set of lights or in traffic, the car cuts itself to save fuel, and when you lift off the brake it comes to life again.
But there’s a lag in the Captur, a lag that lets the vehicle roll freely before it fires. On an incline, if you weren’t covering the brake pedal, that moment of lag could be quite scary.
The 2019 Renault Captur Intens rides 17-inch two-tone alloy wheels, and is offered with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, and capped-price servicing for the first three visits to the dealership (every 12 months or 30,000km).
You can buy one for $30,990 plus on-roads, and it comes in a variety of colours, including Diamond Black, Pearl White, Mercury Grey, Flame Red (as tested), Atacama Orange, Ocean Blue and Ivory White. All options come with Diamond Black trim.
Our test vehicle was provided by Renault Australia. To find out more about the 2019 Renault Captur Intens, contact your local Renault dealer.