With the first generation of Captur, the French car group has already established itself as the leader in the urban SUV segment. With this new version, more careful, Renault aims to move upmarket, but also to revive the tumultuous Chinese market.
Just four months after the launch of the new Clio, Renault is launching a new generation of its Captur, its urban SUV (also known as the B-SUV segment). Launched in 2013, two years after the Nissan Juke (first of its kind), Captur has revolutionized the European automotive landscape by further compacting SUVs dominated by the Nissan Qashqai and Toyota Rav4.
Since then, it has been followed by the Peugeot 2008, less identified as an SUV in its first version, then Opel Mokka. But it is since 2018 that the French car manufacturer was joined by a salvo of competing models, especially from the Volkswagen group.
From 1 to 20 competitors
“When we launched the Captur, we had a competitor, today we have 20,” says Frederic Clermont, marketing director of segments A and B. But this success is not scary, on the contrary, it has consolidated this segment in favor of a Captur now endowed with the comfortable and juicy status of leader.
The sales of Captur are around 240,000 sales per year on average over the last three years, a stable figure despite the sharp rise in the segment (+ 41% in 2018). Mechanically, its segment share fell by 5 points to 13% in Europe.
“To remain a leader in a context of exacerbated competition is already an excellent performance and it was not won”, nevertheless insists Frédéric Clermont.
All in all, it has sold 1.2 million units since its launch.
In addition to a challenge of leadership, Renault is betting on the move upmarket with this new Captur, in the wake of his alter ego sedan side, the Clio. Thus, like her, the new Captur keeps most of the stylistic codes to the point that it will be difficult to distinguish the two generations. If not, however, its size since it extends 11cm to measure 4.23m.
“100% of the parts are new”, we are assured at Renault.
“We wanted it to be more modern, more muscular and more expressive by looking for stronger SUV codes,” said Christophe Dupont, design director of the Captur program.
Among the other attributes of the SUV, the new baby of Renault is equipped for the first time with roof racks, it will be more elusive and body shoulders should be more pronounced.
But it is inside that the real revolution takes place. Renault has focused on perceived quality and ergonomics in order to target a higher-end clientele. On the automatic version, an overhead console gives a touch of modernism and daring. On the connectivity side, the Captur welcomes a new system to replace fire R-Link become totally obsolete. EasyLink is completely customizable, more ergonomic too. The dashboard is also digitized, like what its competitors like Peugeot are now doing.