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Renault aims to Captur a new set of drivers

This is the Captur, Renault's new urban crossover.

Launched here yesterday, it is, as a First Drive confirmed, an intriguing blend of MPV, SUV and family hatchback which, the French car-maker hopes, will give it broad appeal while adding a splash of glamour to the mostly utilitarian B segment.

Renault also hopes that its newcomer will challenge in popularity the likes of Nissan's Juke, and Hyundai's iX 35 and the Toyota Yaris.

Built in Valladolid, Spain, on the same platform as the new Clio but with wider tracks and a longer wheelbase, it will arrive here in July.

Pricing won't be announced until closer to launch but you can expect to pay €18,000.

It will be powered by turbo engines, including – in petrol – the three-cylinder, 898cc Energy TCe 90 and – in diesel – the Energy dCi 90, which, Renault claims, returns 78.4mpg with emissions at just 95g of CO2 per km, the lowest in its class.

The dCi 90 model will also be available next year with Efficient Dual Clutch automatic transmission. 'Stop&Start' will be standard across the range, too, with all engines featuring deceleration and braking energy recovery.

It will come in two trim levels, Life and Intense. Keyless entry and starting are also standard, a hands-free key card is available for the second equipment level and upward, aerodynamic flaps are available on most versions while there's a plethora of optionals to assist the driver, such as a "driving style indicator", and multimedia connectivity options.

Like most MPVs, the car has a muscular sculpture. With a ground clearance of 200mm, it has an imposing stance on either 16 or 17-inch wheels. Flared wheel-arches add to robust yet sporty looks.

Inside the cabin, a high driving position gives a commanding view, while rear legroom of 215mm is 75mm more generous than in the Clio.

Among a number of novel features is the 60/40-split sliding rear bench seat, which comfortably seats up to three adults and can be folded to form a flat floor, while there is 27 litres of lidded stowage.

A large boot offers between 377 and 455 litres (depending on rear bench seat position) with 1,235 litres available with seats folded.

On a First Drive of 120km along the scenic Basque coast the car proved agile, quiet, comfortable and well finished.

It's as likely to turn heads as it is to shake up the competition.

Irish Independent