By Seán Creedon

I love the new Renault cars where you get a fob to open and close the doors. The beauty of it is that you can leave the fob in your pocket, handbag if you are a female, and the car will unlock automatically as you approach it and then the car locks automatically when you walk away. It’s a brilliant service and you never have any worries about trying to find your keys.

Every week I get a new car, the first thing I check is the price because that’s the first thing most people I meet always ask.

So let’s get this out of the way first, the new Renault Captur starts at €21,995. But be warned, as with most car companies that’s just a starting figure, the more goodies you want in your new car, the more expensive it will get.

Before the Lockdown, Renault were doing very well, and in February the finished the podium in third position in the new car sales charts. The new version of the Renault Captur, which I drove last week, was in first position in the compact SUV segment and their new Clio continues to be the best selling petrol car.

Since its launch in 2013 Renault has been key to defining the compact-SUV segment with almost 10,000 registrations to-date.

The Captur has been one of the most successful compact-SUVs ever sold in Ireland. It played a role in growing compact SUVs market to over 10% of the new passenger car market last year.

You would need to be wearing your ‘Renault Anorak’ to spot the changes to this new version of the Captur. It’s 110mm longer than the previous model, hence the need for that Anorack. At the front there is a more prominent grille and new LED lights, while at the back there are large C-shaped brake lights.

Inside the dash is dominated by a 9.3-inch touchscreen, it’s like a massive tablet on the dash.  The large screen comes in the top of the range S-Edition, but you will have to make do with a smaller screen on more basic models. The seats were bright and comfortable.

Space has been improved in this edition. The cabin is a little wider and there is an extra 17mm of rear seat legroom. The rear seat slides back and forth by as much as 160mm, meaning you can choose between more boot space, or more passenger space.

With the seat fully forward, the boot measures a generous 530 litres. And the good news is that you get a spare wheel, which is always appreciated.

When the Captur was launched seven years ago, Renault described it as a blend of MPV, SUV and family hatchback and said the car should appeal to a broad spectrum of customer tastes. 

The two-tone roof is accentuated by a bold chrome strip giving the roof a floating appearance.

The pictures you see here are of an orange coloured car, but my test car came in an attract shade of white. It comes in three levels, Play, Iconic and S-Edition and as I said earlier starts a just a fiver short of €22k, or €199 per month.

New customers can choose from 11 exterior colours and four roof finishes; a total of 90 colour combinations. Available in 1.5-litre diesel and1.0-litre petrol.