Renault Captur I , one of the best-selling cars in modern history, enters the Almost Cars arena. Renault Captur I, for when you want an SUV but can’t afford an SUV.

As there was once a saying about the Astra G and Astra H: If you want a convertible but don’t have the money for a convertible, you buy an Astra convertible. So it is with the Renault Captur I: If you want a crossover, but can’t afford a crossover, you get a Captur.

Built on the Clio IV platform, the Renault Captur I looks good, has a decent reliability track record, and looks like a crossover. They say it looks like a crossover because it has no off-road credentials or any system to help it on snow or rough terrain. It’s just a Clio with stilts.


Do I get anything else besides more ground clearance in the Renault Captur I?

  • Fortunately, the 2500 euro difference between the Clio and the Renault Captur I isn’t just about some taller springs, some plastic and a more interesting paint job.
  • You get an independent MacPherson strut front suspension like the Ford Focus II once had, you get a bigger glovebox and you get other options like windows, seats,  roof.
  • Yes, a Renault Captur I costs as much as a Duster, but a Captur is smaller, better equipped and a bit better built. Plus for many people the size of a Duster is too big for the city and for others, it’s all about the logo. The Dacia Duster is bought by people who want a practical car, the Renault Captur I is a car bought by people who want looks and style. 


Put them all together and you get a car that wants to take the place of the first generation Qashqai: A simple, small, cheap car that looks like an SUV even though it isn’t, and is also reliable. If the Nissan Qashqai has failed miserably in the reliability department, the Renault Captur I is holding its own.

That is, of course, if you’re careful and keep the Renault Captur I concept as a cheap city car. Tick too many boxes and you can easily skip 21,000 euros, at which point it’s not a cheap city car. And the Renault Captur I remains a city car because the diesel engine present is the sort of rural cousin that you know as hard-working, but it doesn’t seem so honed for urban life.


Renault Captur I Engines


  • 0.9 TCe of 90 horsepower  – Renault got the 0.9 petrol from Mercedes in exchange for their own 1.5 dci diesel. An excellent engine that has made a splash in the Clio IV, Logan II, Sandero II and other lesser cars. Yes, it’s as muscular as Jeremy Clarkson, but for city life it does the job excellently and has no reliability issues either.
  • 1.2 TCe of 120 horsepower  – Withdrawn in 2019 due to reliability scandals between Renault and Nissan, this engine hasn’t wreaked much havoc in Renault or Dacia’s backyard. However, there can be issues with some engines in terms of oil consumption and premature engine death. The problem was with the Nissan rather, the fact is that this middle child had a short life cycle.
  • 1.3 TCe of 130 and 150 horsepower – Now we’re talking about something else. After being caught with their pants down with the 1.2 TCe, the French said “the second time won’t do it anymore” and came up with a new engine. There’s not much to say about reliability because the engine was released 5 minutes ago, although there are no issues reported yet. Be careful with the particulate filter though, this is one of the first petrol engines to have a GPF, gasoline particulate filter.


  • 1.5 dCi K9K of 90 and 110 hp – Launched in 1315 since the Clio II or the first Logan, this engine still proves it can. A sort of Piers Morgan of engines, the 1.5 dCi simply refuses to age and remains relevant even after 500 years of activity. Beware instead of the particulate filter and the timing belt that needs replacing every 60,000 km or 4 years.



Renault Captur I General Issues


  • All that independent suspension sounds good until it starts losing components. A bearing, a bushing, a wishbone, another bushing, a 500 bill at the service. That sort of thing.
  • The navigation and infotainment systems are made in a hurry by programmers who do training courses on Youtube. Expect many visits to the dealership for various updates.
  • The EDC automatic gearbox has some misses so I am writing this information for those two Renault Captur I automatic owners. First generation, pre-2017 gearboxes had clutch munch issues but luckily the 2nd generation solved the issue.


Renault Captur I Verdict

The Renault Captur remains an excellent car for those or those who want something small and fashionable for the urban traffic. It scales the kerbs, has 4 seats and a decent boot, and is reliable and economical. However, I don’t understand why you would choose a Captur over a Clio. If you’re not just going to drive on the pavement and you don’t live anywhere near horrible roads, you really don’t need the Captur’s ground clearance.


Which engine do you recommend? The 90 horsepower 0.9 TCe ties in perfectly with the urban character of the Renault Captur I. It’s small, reliable, cheap on taxes, and cheap on maintenance. I know, I have a Zanussi with a bigger engine at home too, but for the Renault Captur, you really don’t need much more.