Paris - The second-generation Renault Captur SUV, revealed on Tuesday, follows in the footsteps of its Clio sibling by pushing upmarket with a more grown-up look and feel.

Likewise, the new Captur is based around the company's modular CMF-B platform, which was designed from the outset to accommodate an electric powertrain and the latest electronic architecture, while also pioneering semi-autonomous driving technologies in its segment. It is also set to be the first Renault product to be fitted with the company’s new E-Tech Plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The Captur has grown in size too, being 110mm longer than before, and the exterior design appears more mature and athletic, while fully-LED headlights are now standard across the range.

The cabin appears similar (but not completely identical) to that in the new Clio, and here it is quite a radical departure from its predecessor, promising to “set new standards for the class”.

In terms of design it features a new ‘floating’ centre console, TFT digital instrument cluster and an optional portrait-oriented touchscreen that’s said to be the biggest in its class. Angled towards the driver, it houses an all-new Easy Link multimedia system with always-on 4G connectivity that supports a wide range of services.

Renault also promises much improved materials and as with the two-tone exterior, the cabin can be individualised through a wide range of colour packs, including the bright orange scheme that you see in the accompanying pictures.

In terms of practicality, the new Captur offers 17mm more rear legroom than before, while the boot capacity has swelled to 536 litres (81 litres more than before) and owners can vary the ratio between the two compartments thanks to a sliding rear bench seat.

Wide range of engines

It is too early to confirm the South African engine line-up, but an encouraging sign is that European buyers get to choose from a wide range of powertrain options across the petrol, diesel and hybrid spectrum.

The petrol range kicks off with Renault’s brand new 1-litre, 3-cylinder TCe turbopetrol, which produces 74kW and 160Nm. 

Next up is a 1.3-litre turbopetrol, available in 96kW/240Nm and 114kW/270Nm guises.

On the diesel front, Renault offers an improved version of the familiar 1.5 dCi engine, with output levels of 70kW/240Nm and 85kW/260Nm. Depending on the engine selected, buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and seven-speed EDC dual-clutch gearbox.

From 2020 the Captur will become the first vehicle in its class to offer a plug-in hybrid powertain option, the new E-Tech powertain mating an electric motor to a 1.6-litre petrol engine and offering a claimed range of up to 45km between charges.

Level 2 autonomous driving

The tech pioneering doesn’t end there. The new Captur is said to offer the most extensive range of equipment and advanced driver assistance systems in its class. Key among these is the new Highway & Traffic Jam Companion, which offers Level 2 autonomous driving assistance - although drivers are still required to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times.

Other available driver assistance features include a 360-degree camera and active emergency braking with cyclist and pedestrian detection.

Renault is aiming to launch the new Captur in South Africa during the second half of 2020, with local specifications and pricing set to be announced closer to launch.

IOL Motoring