Test drive Renault Kaptur. A big difference

When, for the first time, Renault announced the Capture for the Russian market, many thought it was finally a small crossover based on the Clio hatchback.

And after a while it became known that our “Capture” will begin with our letter “K”, not the “C” abroad, and it will not be a compact raised French hatch, but a converted Duster. And then it became clear that if the car did not blow up the consumer market of compact affordable crossovers, then it would be exactly how it should be shaken.

Looking at the European version of the SUV, you understand the leadership of the French brand. There was no need to try to adjust production at Avtoframos under the CMF platform, which formed the basis for several Renault and Nissan. Instead, Russians were offered proven utilitarianism, but in a stylish package that could attract the attention of the audience.

Just look how much the two differ, in general, the same car. The European is deprived of all-wheel drive, has a completely different engine range and a set of gearboxes. He, of course, is easy, but he inherited a close salon. It has a perfectly urban ground clearance, which is not suitable for a two-hundred-millimeter mark from the Russian version of the crossover.

Everything becomes clear, as soon as you look under the skirt of the French model. And it goes, of course, about Captur. The car is created on the principle of “nothing to fence the garden” – it’s just an elevator hatchback Clio, which also occupies a budget segment in Europe and also looks like a donor.

But our Kaptur is not a Duster. Compare these two models – it’s absolutely ungrateful. They certainly have a lot in common, but they are created completely for different purposes. Kaptur is made for city driving with a slight hint of impassability. The car itself is by no means easy – its weight exceeds 1,400 kilograms, the clearance, as we have already stipulated, goes off scale and is closely approximated to the maximum marks in the class – 204 mm.

Due to the extended wheelbase of up to 2,673 mm, the rear part of the cabin is distinguished by its high capacity – passengers will not have to chin to their own knees. In a word, a parking lot localized for the Russian market with a claim to off-road capabilities is our man’s blue dream. But this is only on paper, but how is it in reality?

In fact, the keyword description of the crossover is “localized”. Yes, do not forget that the car was created under our roads, with an emphasis on the quality of our roads and for the mentality of our consumer. Assembly of the car is carried out on the Moscow “Avtoframos”, which also imposes a raid, if not cheap, then deliberate budget.

If you compare brochure photographs of the interiors of “Eurocaptrura” and “Roscaptery”, then it is very difficult to feel any difference. Design, layout and ergonomics leave an exceptionally pleasant impression. But, as it usually happens, around the corner there was a big terrible and hairy “But”.

At the first visit to the salon there is already a familiar feeling. It’s like if you were twelve years old and you were waiting for a birthday present for the “playstation”, and only got “nintendo” – good, but not that! Indeed, the Captain without warning produces a shot with quality finishes. Almost everywhere cheap plastic is used, and some ergonomic solutions evoke memories of the postmodern exhibition.

I do not know who thought of placing the activation buttons for the cruise control and the maximum speed limiter under the handbrake, but this person is now very sick with sleep, because under his burning ears any pillow turns to ash. Not that cruise control is a constantly used function, but when you paid for it, I want to see it in an adequate place.

There is also an economical mode of fuel consumption button, which dulls the reaction to the accelerator pedal pressing, making the already smooth car more vegetable.

Nevertheless, despite the budgetary plastic and occasional squeaks, the cabin is quite quiet. On what did not begin to save, so it is on noise isolation, for which many thanks to the creators. You can not hear the excessive hum of the engine, or road noise. And the more surprising is the Kaptyurov know-how – a brilliant cardan of the steering wheel, which bravely throws solar bunnies from under the block of pedals. What prevented him from hiding it is a big mystery, but we hope that in the near future this design miscalculation will be eliminated in the production.

As for the driving characteristics, the Capture is not able to surprise even the top engine with the “automatic” and all-wheel drive. Under the hood is the same engine that is installed in the Duster, issuing the familiar 143 horsepower. There is a certain choking of the motor, which is connected with a four-stage “automatic” – old, but reliable. The maximum torque begins to appear only at high revs, which obviously increases the non-micrometerage flow. True, all these nuances of motor work have long been known by Duster.

Nevertheless, the suspension is tuned so briskly that it allows for considerable clearance to undergo sharp turns at a solid speed, without fear of demolition. The all-wheel-drive is triggered with a slight, barely perceptible delay. Management does not deliver any exceptional pleasure – the steering wheel is heavy and empty. Feedback is devoid of any kind of information, but it’s still better than in Duster.

Yes, compared to the older Duster, Kaptur exhibits miracles of maneuverability, but there is still room to grow. It is necessary to gain speed and appoint a date for a hole, as the steering wheel will immediately knock out of hand – yes, it should be kept exactly the same as on other cars built on the B0 platform, though it was upgraded for Kaptur, calling Global Access.

From the market point of view Kaptur has every chance to gain a foothold if not on the first line of the hit parade of the “Most Popular Crossovers”, then certainly in the top five. In fact, it is the same Duster, but exactly as it should be. And it’s not a modern and stylish design, no. Simply, it’s simpler, more convenient, and not done so that the driver adapts to it, but vice versa. He is quite able to adapt to the needs of his owner, regardless of gender. Yes, girls should also pay attention to this let budget, but rather unpretentious and utilitarian car. In addition, in service it will be comparable to the already well-known Duster.

And if you dig deeper, you can find a nice bonus in terms of equipment and the cost of the basic Kaptur – on stuffing it is even cheaper than similar equipment for Duster.

Drivers who prefer comfort and laziness “automatic” to the active lifestyle of a man with a “mechanics”, it is worth waiting for the arrival of versions with the “Nissan” variator, which is combined with the same engine 1.6. In Renault, he is betting on this option, which can really shoot.

Text: Sasha Stolyarov

Photo: Roman Vyshnikov