WHAT is the best-selling Renault?
That would have to be Clio, you say.
No. It is the Renault Capture.
The little SUV that is heavily based on Clio, so you were half right.
Now in its second generation, the quietly popular engine has completely overshadowed the somewhat sub-par driving characteristics of its predecessor.
Actually, it handles pretty well now.
But perhaps more importantly to your target market, it also looks a heck of a lot better.
With a noticeably curvier aesthetic and something added to its stance, it can’t be confused with the outgoing model.
Initially launched only in petrol and plug-in hybrid forms, this latest hybrid addition, generously electrified but without cable faffery, proves to be right in the sweet spot.
And it’s also kind of weird, as many of its direct rivals, like the VW T-Roc, Skoda Kamiq and Seat Arona, still don’t offer a hybrid option.
The hybrid Captur includes a 1.6 liter petrol engine, a 1.2 kW battery and two electric motors that allow it to always start on 100% electricity and, at the touch of a button, run briefly on demand as a Pure EV if and as long as battery reserves allow.
It’s nice and quiet, too, for the vast majority of the time, only becoming vocal when the naturally aspirated petrol engine is suddenly in full gear.
With three different drive modes and three levels of brake energy regeneration, it’s impressively customizable so you can run the battery down a bit more or take advantage of the extra power from the electric motors.
The Captur’s electronic technology and elegant advanced automatic gearbox were designed in collaboration with the Alpine F1 racing team.
But that doesn’t mean you will challenge Fernando Alonso behind the wheel, because you won’t.
Boot space is decent, pushing the 440 liters by sliding the rear seats forward. A simple but very useful little feature.
Another stylish touch is the floating center console with a wireless phone charger located below.
The updated lineup of models begins with “Evolution,” which features 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and a 7-inch iPad-style touchscreen, moving on to “Techno,” then “RSLine,” being the choice of high-end with redesigned bumpers, bigger wheels and even bigger touch screen.
The hybrid Captur costs £1,000 more than the similarly powerful petrol Captur, and is almost £5,000 cheaper than the plug-in hybrid.
You do the math. He is the right one.
KEY FACTS: RENAULT CAPTURE AND TECH HYBRID
Motor: 1.6-litre petrol hybrid
Energy: 145 hp, 250 Nm
0-62mph: 10.6 seconds
Maximum speed: 106mph