Renault Captur gets five-star rating, but brand's leadership on safety weakens
- Tristan Honeywill
- On May 29, 2013
Euro NCAP crash test results for the Renault Captur give the car a five-star safety rating, but there are signs the company is placing less emphasis on safety. Once a leader
in the field, giving buyers premium levels of safety in affordable family cars, Renault’s latest model suffers from just a couple of basic errors and lacks the kind of driver assist technology options a lot of people now want.
The Captur is a mini-crossover based on the Renault Clio, designed to broaden its range and its brand’s appeal. The higher driving position and roomier interior will appeal to many and the five-star safety rating is reassuring.
It may not be perfect for families with young children, however. In Euro NCAP’s main crash test, the safety people spotted that the three-year old dummy’s head struck the C-pillar. The contact wasn’t necessarily life-threatening, but it is serious and the loss of the points in this section of the assessment meant that Renault only just managed to achieve the five-star rating.
The score was also compromised slightly by the whiplash assessment of the front seats, judged to provide only marginal protection in the event of a rear-end crash. Most manufacturers these days are getting good ratings for this without trouble.
In the Safety Assist section of the assessment, Renault also failed to pick up the points on offer for fitting an Intelligent Speed Assist system to keep the driver aware of speed and speed limits.
Options on the Captur focus mainly on colour schemes, gloss packs and ways to personalise the car. That’s pretty common in this style-conscious segment. However, while competitors such as Ford and Fiat now offer city-speed autonomous emergency braking systems on most new vehicles, it seems Renault did not foresee the strong demand for these technologies from family car buyers.
The Captur is a great looking car and a more practical alternative to the Clio, but more companies are launching new cars of this type. It will be interesting to see whether they will offer more safety technologies to buyers.
- Renault Captur starts at £12,495
- The Dynamique Medianav model (£14,995+) has a cornering function that uses the foglights to illuminate tight corners as you turn into them. This is a useful way of broadening your field of vision, but it does not provide the same benefits as fully adaptive headlights
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