Renault launches the Captur in India between ₹9.99 and ₹13.88 Lakhs

Crossovers might be the ‘in-thing’ in India now but it was Renault that kicked off this storm way back in 2010 with the Duster. That was when the term ‘crossover’ was relatively unheard of and SUVs meant heavy, body-on-frame vehicles like the Tata Safari and Mahindra Scorpio. It’s quite ironic then the Duster has been left trailing behind by newer and modern rivals like the Hyundai Creta and Maruti-Suzuki S-Cross. Renault is now playing catch up and it hopes to do so with this, the Captur.

Launched in New Delhi yesterday, the Captur is available in three petrol and four diesel variants. While the RXE, RXL and RXT are common to both engines, the Platine Edition, a world debut, is exclusively available with the diesel engine. The petrol variants retail between INR 9.99 and 11.69 Lakhs while the diesel variants are priced from INR 11.39 Lakhs and go upto INR 13.88 Lakhs.

Under the hood are two engines that aren't new to us. The diesel is the tried-and-tested 1.5-liter K9K mill in the 109 horsepower tune that's seen in the higher variants of the Duster. The petrol option is the 1.5-liter H4K unit churning out 105 horsepower and 142 Nm of torque. The former gets a 6-speed manual transmission while the latter is paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox. Automatic transmission is not on offer at the moment.

Despite sharing the nameplate and styling elements, the Captur we get is not the same Captur on sale in Europe. The Indian Captur is based on Duster’s low-cost ‘M0’ platform that also underpinned the Lodgy and Logan to name a few. As a result, the Indian Captur is bigger and potentially more abuse-friendly than the smaller but much-advanced Clio-based European Captur.

The naming confusion aside, the Captur looks every bit French and unmistakably Renault. The fascia is dominated by a V-shaped grille that houses a rather large ‘lozenge’ logo at the center. Subtle chrome highlights, along with sleek LED headlights and unique C-shaped LED DRLs lends the Captur a touch of class. The floating indicators, available on the flagship ‘Platine’ variant, looks pretty cool. The muscular profile is characterized by flared wheel arches and steeply-raked window line. The soft and rounded rear gives the Captur more of a crossover look than a SUV, just like its arch-rival from Maruti-Suzuki, the S-Cross. 

Renault is offering a host of customization options over and above the usual dual-tone colours with the Captur, a trend that’s fast catching up in the Indian market. 

Unlike some of its rivals, even the base variant of the Captur is well loaded. Don't believe us? Get this. All variants of the Captur get ABS with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist, driver and passenger airbag, impact-sensing door unlock, speed-sensing auto door lock, automatic climate control, rear cooling vents, Smart Access Card for keyless entry, push button start, steering-mounted audio and phone controls, integrated 2-DIN audio system with USB, Aux and BlueTooth functionality, roof spoiler, projector headlamps and LED DRLs. 

While the ‘feature spread’ increases as we move up the variant ladder, the much-hyped ‘Platine’ variant gets exclusive goodies like side airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, cornering lamps, gold accents in the cabin, illuminated vanity mirrors and glove box and full leather upholstery. 

The interiors, though similar in appearance to the European model, isn’t the best of designs out there. Build quality, fit and finish are expected to be a notch above the Duster, given the premium positioning of the Captur. One of Duster’s strong points is the space on offer for five adults and the Captur should be no different, given that the platform underneath is the same. That would also mean the Captur is endowed with the Duster’s revered ride and handling characteristics. Add to that the 210 mm ground clearance and the Captur should have no problems navigating our roads. The absence of an All Wheel Drive option is inexplicable, considering the cheaper Duster offers it.

With style, space, features and exceptional ride by its side, the Captur sure is a competent crossover. But, the pricing isn't what we would call competitive. Sure, the Captur would bring in additional volumes for Renault but will it become a smash hit like the Duster did when it was launched?

Will the Indian public overlook the Creta and the S-Cross despite their cheaper price tags and stronger brand pull? Sounds tough, no? That's what the folks at Renault India have gotten themselves into. Let’s wait and watch how this plays out.

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