We were recently loaned a Renault Captur Intens for an extended period to learn more about living with one of the latest additions to the local crossover market.

There are over 11 500 examples of the previous Captur running around in SA. That’s not a small number in anyone’s book. And that number is precisely why it must’ve really hurt Renault SA that the latest-gen Captur took a few years to land on our shores.

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But, it finally made its way here a few months ago and we recently slid behind the wheel so we could get better acquainted with the latest arrival to Renault’s new-car portfolio.

Family Face

The all-new Renault Captur has an appearance that leaves in no doubt as to which family it belongs. The standout features on the exterior include C-shaped head- and taillamps, a signature of most of the modern Renault range. The successor retains many of the hallmarks of the predecessor, such as the overall shape, high waistline, etc, but all the details are crisper in appearance. 

There are two derivatives in the current Captur range, Zen and Intens (more on which in a bit). Both are fitted with 17-inch alloys. Zen versions have wheel caps while the Renault Captur Intens has alloy rims. The large rim/tyre combo helps create 174 mm of ground clearance making it an ideal kerb hopper in the urban jungle.  

The new Captur is over 100 mm longer than the version it replaces. The added length has resulted in a claimed 404 litres of boot space, really handy for a family car. The boot also features a movable floor for added security. The rear bench can slide through a range of 160 mm, which allows you to choose between more rear legroom or increased luggage volume, as needs dictate.

New-age Interior

The Renault Captur Intens has embraced the new-age, touchscreen dominated interior treatment that is the fad these days. This higher-spec derivative has a 9,3-inch screen. The system offers Android Auto along with Apple CarPlay in addition to wireless smartphone charging. Oh, and there is standard on-board satellite navigation.

The screen also serves as the display for the standard reversing camera.  The system isn’t the most intuitive to use, and we found that scrolling through radio stations, for instance, requires too much of the driver’s attention. However, there are remote audio controls and a smaller screen within the main cluster to make that task easier.

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Two Derivatives

As mentioned earlier, buyers of the new Captur get to choose from Zen or Intens versions. Wheels and exterior colour combos aside, there isn’t too much to choose between them. To justify the price difference Renault SA has added a larger touchscreen, a heated steering wheel with a leather-feel covering. Other differences are an auto hold function on the electronic handbrake, a height adjustable front passenger seat, lane-departure warning and a blind-spot sensor.

One Powertrain

A 1,3 turbocharged engine is the sole engine option in the new Captur range, regardless of the derivative you choose. There is also only a single transmission type, too, a seven-speed dual-clutch. The engine produces 113 kW of power along with 270 N.m of torque. Renault says that combo uses fuel at a rate of 6,6 L/100 km. We didn’t quite match that claim but the 7,3 litres/100 km we managed during a week of mixed-use driving is not that far off.

On the Move

The Renault Captur Intens is an agreeable little car that we found really easy to jump in and head off without much thought into the process. We suspect that is exactly how most owners prefer it. We did find the pistol-grip-style gear lever a little lightly sprung, which means it’s easy to bump out of gear into neutral. It’s a small gripe but one worth mentioning.

However, operation of the transmission when on the move is without fault. At no point did we reach for the steering wheel-mounted paddles to override the choice of gear. In fact, the newer drivetrain is commendable as a replacement to the older car. There is more torque on tap from lower down, which is definitely noticeable. 

The ride quality, too, must be mentioned. The high-ish profile tyres and softly sprung suspension work in unison to create a ride that isolates occupants from all but the worst road imperfections. Kudos to Renault’s engineers on that front.


Half a million rand… That sounds like a lot of money, doesn’t it? It was once the price point of executive sedans, entry level sportscars or high-end SUVs. However, times have changed and that’s about the amount of money one has to fork out to buy a crossover with a decent engine and room for a small family.

There are options on offer from all the mainstream brands in this segment, from Audi to Volkswagen by way of Honda, Hyundai, Kia, et al, and that’s before even delving into the Chinese offerings. The Renault Captur Intens is a good product that deserves a look, though there is plenty of competition out there that is a match of the French product.

Model: Renault Captur Intens
Price: R499 999
Engine: 1,3-litre inline four, turbocharged
Transmission: seven-speed, FWD
Max power: 113 kW
Max torque: 270 N.m
0-100 km/h: 9,6 sec
Top speed: 193 km/h
Fuel consumption: 6,6 km