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This Renault captures a few tech surprises

The new Captur 1.3 Turbo Intens delivers a range of technology elements that are unexpected in a compact SUV, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

The new Renault Captur 1.3 Turbo Intens is a surprising car from both a performance and technology perspective. 

For a small SUV, with a small engine and small pretensions, it puts in unexpectedly big acceleration when one pulls off. In a neat parallel, the infotainment system seems outsized when one climbs inside the compact interior. At 9.3-inches, the touchscreen is one of the largest in its segment. Thanks to its portrait format, rather than the typical landscape view presented by most infotainment screens, it delivers an expansive view when one needs it, especially with mapping and camera views – reversing camera and parking sensors combine well – and gives a multitasking vibe when using Android Auto or Apple Car Play.

The one drawback is that these still depend on a smartphone being plugged in via USB, but the on-board tech on the touchscreen, powered by Renault’s EasyLink system, delivers its own surprises. Most impressively, the Car Settings menu button presents one with a beautiful visual guide to the Driving assistance options in the car, namely Blind Spot monitoring, Lane departure warning, and Traffic sign recognition. The latter was the biggest surprise of all, considering one rarely sees it in cars of this class.

One of my most impressive features of the Captur is the “multi-sense” drive mode selector, which allows one to choose from Eco, Normal, and Sport modes. Eco is great for fuel efficiency, while Sport is great for performance. 

Eco was my preferred mode, especially given the richness of the information provided in the infotainment system. Aside from giving a score for eco driving (don’t ask), it also rates the driver’s Acceleration (had to test that, see?) and Anticipation, gives a score history, and offers coaching in eco driving. That’s a feature I’ve often seen, but rarely so appropriately positioned.

It also offers traditional options in a more interesting way, with cruise control and speed limiter buttons easily and intuitively available through control buttons on the left-hand side of the steering wheel.

The onboard navigation, regrettably, was no surprise, proving as inadequate as on any other ordinary vehicle trying to compete with smartphone options.

A wireless charging pad proved convenient for passengers whose phones were not plugged into USB, a heated steering wheel was another surprise bonus on cold winter mornings, and the panoramic sunroof was a big favourite for letting in natural sunlight.

The 113kW Formula 1-inspired engine offers 270Nm torque, and advertises fuel consumption from 6.6L/100km, thanks to a 7-speed automatic Efficiency Dual Clutch (EDC) gearbox. 

Although our focus is on the automotive technology of the car, we can’t end without a nod to the Captur’s stylish design. A distinctive front end and a curvy body is complemented by a dual-tone black roof, in the case of our review vehicle contrasting subtly with a blue body. It looks like fun, and it feels like fun.


The Captur is backed by a 5 year/ 150 000km mechanical warranty, a 3 year/ 45,000 km service plan, and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.

Availability and price

The Renault Captur is available across the following exterior paint colours:

Ivory White; Marine Blue; Mercury Silver; Oyster Grey; Passion Red and Ocean Blue.

The Zen model derivative colours are presented in monochrome while the Intens version is bi-colour. 

Recommended retail prices are:                                            

  •  Renault Captur 1.3L Turbo EDC Zen: R454,999
  •  Renault Captur 1.3L Turbo EDC Intens: R 499,999
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