In-depth reviews

Renault Captur E-TECH plug-in hybrid review

The Renault Captur E-TECH is a small plug-in hybrid SUV that promises a 32-mile electric range – but does it do enough to stand out in an increasingly crowded class?

Renault Captur E-TECH Hybrid
Overall rating

3.5 out of 5

Pros

  • Low emissions
  • High-tech cabin
  • Smooth electric running

Cons

  • Expensive to buy
  • Some cheap materials
  • Hybrid system can feel jerky
Car typeElectric rangeFuel economyCO2 emissions
Plug-in hybrid29-32 miles178-188mpg34-36g/km

Renault – maker of the ZOE electric car – has found a way to make normally pretty pricey plug-in hybrid technology affordable. Unlike the Clio E-TECH supermini, which offers no meaningful pure-electric range and can't be plugged in to charge, this Captur E-TECH SUV is a full plug-in hybrid capable of up to 32 miles of electric range and CO2 emissions from 34 to 36g/km. It's one of the smaller plug-ins on the market and so is particularly efficient, on paper at least.

Renault has revamped its small SUV for this generation and the results are welcome – a high-quality interior with versatile rear seating features, along with much-needed improvement in the infotainment department. The car now boasts one of the best interiors in the class – one that can challenge models in the class above for fit and finish.

Boot space is down considerably on petrol and diesel models due to the car's 9.8kWh battery, but the rear bench slides forwards and back to help maximise the room on offer. And with those seats pushed all the way back, rear-seat occupants get acres of legroom.

On the move, the Captur plug-in hybrid is particularly enjoyable in pure-electric mode, offering smooth and quiet progress for up to 32 miles – very useful for shorter journeys and urban crawls. However, in hybrid mode the two power sources can feel a little mismatched: the switch between petrol and electric power is far more noticeable than in the non-plug-in Clio.

There are currently three trim levels available, S Edition, R.S. Line and E-TECH Launch Edition. All are well equipped and get our preferred, larger 9.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system complete with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and internet connectivity. It's a slick system that really lifts the interior ambiance, as well as offering control over the car's hybrid functions.

Elsewhere, Renault's reputation for safety is upheld: the Captur plug-in boasts a strong Euro NCAP rating and comes with a long list of safety and driver-assistance features. A five-year/100,000-mile warranty should ensure peace of mind, while a free BP Pulse wallbox home charger helps to sweeten the deal.

Overall, the Capture E-TECH is a solid plug-in hybrid SUV that should suit company-car users with smaller families down to the ground – and will also appeal to private buyers who do lots of urban miles but need the flexibility of petrol power.

The list of direct rivals is quite small but filled with talent – the larger Kia Niro and Hyundai Kona hybrids run it closest. For a more detailed look at the Renault Captur E-TECH plug-in hybrid, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

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