• All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant

Renault wants to reiterate the success of the first-gen Captur crossover with an all-new second-gen model

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Renault unveiled an all-new generation of its Captur crossover at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it wasn’t really on many people’s radar, even though the previous generation model sold over 1.5 million units since its introduction. So the new Captur is a really rather important model for Renault; it’s not terribly exciting for automotive journos or enthusiasts, but as a car people are actually going to buy, it is quite significant.

The first-gen Renault Captur mini-SUV was launched in 2013 as a front-wheel drive-only crossover that replaced the Modus mini MPV (people carrier). And with its impressive sales record, Renault proved that it was the right vehicle to launch at that specific time. However, back then the Captur was the only other vehicle of its type and size available (the other was the mechanically related Nissan Juke), whereas now there are more than 20 similar vehicles that buyers can pick from.

That’s why Renault had to step up its Captur game considerably and address some of the issues that the old car had. Firstly, the new car looks far more distinctive than the old one which was called “egg-shaped” and featureless by some. The new Captur’s interior is also significantly improved, with a completely new layout and much better materials - the old Captur’s interior was completely devoid of pleasant plastics and in this respect it really felt like a budget buy.

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The second-gen Captur’s exterior design certainly has more flair to it than before. The vehicle adopts the headlight and grille design combo from the new Clio, but it looks meaner than the hatchback.

Its headlights are more aggressively slanted, its bumper has wide, sculpted openings and the hood has noticeable strong creases running up it and these all add up.

From the side, the new Captur looks more elongated, with a more slanted windscreen and a greenhouse that doesn’t look as tall as that of the old model. It also retains the contrasting (floating) roof, but it does have a slightly different C-pillar design that gives it a more premium feel.

The boring rear light cluster of the first-gen Captur is gone. In its place is a pair of much snazzier C-shaped full-LED taillights that emphasize the new car’s wider flanks (and its width in general). They are so much more interesting to look at and they help lift the look of the rear quite significantly.

All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant Interior
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The more dramatic makeover awaits inside.

The interior of the new Captur is (thankfully) all-new - Renault really needed to redesign it from the ground up because aside from being more spacious than you would have expected, it really didn’t have that much going for it.

What Renault has done is not give the Captur a different interior to that of the current-gen Clio (which is what it did for the first-gen model), opting to fit it with pretty much exactly the same interior as the Clio hatch. There are minor differences between the two dashboards, namely in the shape of the climate control vents, door panels and some pieces of trim, but it looks like it’s nine tenths the same interior.

All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant Interior
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That means it can be had with the same fully-digital gauge cluster (that Renault calls “Smart Cockpit”) displayed on either a 7-inch screen, or a larger 10-inch screen. The (optional) infotainment screen is the same as in the Clio too - the curved portrait-style 9.3-inch screen that runs an all-new multimedia system called Renault Easy Link.

Renault also gave automatic versions of the new Captur a rather snazzy looking “e-shifter” gear selector lever which has mood lighting and which can apparently be “customised with contrasting colored coverings.” Unlike the very similar Clio, though, the center console of the Captur actually ‘floats.’ We’re not sure if this is a feature reserved solely for self-shifting models, but it’s definitely quite cool and dramatic looking (and it enhances practicality too).

As with the previous-gen Captur, the new model won’t be sold with all-wheel drive in any spec.

Under its hood, Renault will offer it with more powerful engines than those available in the old Captur.

The gasoline range will kick off with the TCe 100 engine, a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo, but there will also be the TCe 130, a 1.3-liter four-pot turbo, as well as the TCe 155, a more powerful version of the latter.

All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant Exterior
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One diesel engine will be offered, Renault’s 1.5-liter dCi four-pot, in two states of tune: dCi 95 and dCi 115. The latter will be available with an optional seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, along with both versions of the 1.3-liter gasoline engine.

The biggest news from under the new Captur’s hood has to be the plug-in hybrid powertrain - a first for the model. Renault calls it the E-Tech powertrain and it pairs a 1.6-liter non-turbo four-cylinder engine to an electric motor in the gearbox housing and another that replaces the starter and alternator.

Renault says the system draws power from a 9.8 kWh battery pack which is good enough for a maximum all-electric range of 45 km (28 miles).

The car can also be driven at speeds up to 135 km/h (84 mph) on electricity alone, thus making an emissions-free short highway commute feasible.

Tech levels have also been enhanced for the new Captur. It gets the self-explanatory (but optional) Highway & Traffic Jam Companion that essentially turns the Captur into a Level 2 autonomous vehicle, at least for 13 seconds at a time - that’s how long the car allows the driver to keep their hands off the wheel, before having to take control of it again.

All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant Exterior
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The car’s autonomous emergency braking system now features cyclist and pedestrian detection capability, and traffic sign recognition is built into the (optional) adaptive cruise control system. Renault also offers 360-degree around-view cameras and self-parking.

Renault will begin sales of the 2019 Captur later this year, but so far pricing or trim structure has not been officially announced. But since it has grown a bit compared to the old car, and it has more tech and luxury, it will probably be a bit more expensive than the model it replaces.

Further reading

2013 Renault Captur High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Renault Captur.

Andrei Nedelea
Andrei Nedelea
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