The Renault Captur E-TECH Hybrid on test for Changing Lanes!
The Renault Captur E-TECH Hybrid on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the new Renault Captur Hybrid!

Renault joins the hybrid pack with the new Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid. The ever-popular Captur now offers buyers the choice of petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid power, as tested here for Changing Lanes.

Based on the latest generation of the Captur – which launched in Ireland in 2020 – the new Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid offers buyers a pure electric driving range of up to 50 km with CO2 emissions as low as 34 g per kilometre.

What’s new for the Captur in 2021?

Priced from €30,170, the new Renault Captur E-TECH sits at the higher end of the Captur range. There are two well-equipped trim levels – S-Edition and the all the bells and whistles E-TECH launch version (from €31,170). Under the bonnet, there’s a 1.6-litre petrol engine, which combined with two electric motors and 9.8 kWh battery produces 160 hp, making it the most powerful Captur in the range. It’s also an automatic by design for even more convenience in traffic or town.

At Changing Lanes, we are very fond of the latest generation of the Captur. Now in its second generation, the Renault Captur has really hit its stride in design and quality. It sports more mature styling but still looks fun, classy, and colourful. Interior quality has improved with a stylish finish that suits this small SUV very well indeed.

The Captur E-TECH Hybrid range starts from €30,170
The Captur E-TECH Hybrid range starts from €30,170

Inside the Renault Captur Hybrid

Inside the 2021 Renault Captur, you will find a comfortable cabin filled with Renault’s latest digital technology and infotainment. The portrait style touch screen measures 9.3 inches as standard and looks very contemporary in the centre of the dash, with crisp graphics and compatibility with smartphones through the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces. The driver also has the treat of a full digital driver display, which includes some information about the hybrid system for this special E-TECH model.

The Captur also appears perfectly sized with a good feeling of space inside the cabin, good shoulder room and feels roomy in the back for this class of vehicle. The rear bench can be slid forward and back as an extra practical feature. Boot volume is down on the standard diesel and petrol versions of the car – between 265 and 379 litres depending on position of the rear bench.

Equipment levels are very high with our S-Edition test car packing in traffic light recognition, cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, 17″ alloys, automatic climate control, automatic high beam, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, roof bars, two tone colour paint, rear privacy glass and wireless phone charging.

Inside the new Renault Captur E-TECH Hybrid
Inside the new Renault Captur E-TECH Hybrid

So what’s it like to drive?

Based on Renault’s modular CMF-B architecture, the new Captur was designed for electrification from the start. E-TECH powertrains use advanced technology influenced by the Renault DP World F1 team, including a multi-mode clutchless gearbox for smooth and swift responses.

The Captur E-TECH hybrid takes off super silently in electric power. It remains smooth and sophisticated in the cabin, dealing with bumps in the road well despite its compact nature. The extra power available in this car is a real surprise and battery powered acceleration a delight for the right foot. Who knew 160 hp in a Captur could feel so good? It gives this car the maturity and responsiveness of a larger, more sophisticated car.

The Captur handles the road well but it is not a sports car, with the battery adding some weight that makes it less up for a dance through corners. But we are happy with the Captur’s performance and think that Renault engineers have done a good job here.

Remember you can charge this car in about three hours at 3.6 kW and enjoy up to 50 km on full battery power. This is ideal for buyers who can charge regularly and drive around town often on electric power. I was a bit tardy when it came to charging, but I still managed to achieve an average fuel consumption over a week of driving of 5.7 litres per 100 kms. Not bad at all!

The Captur E-TECH is powerful and efficient
The Captur E-TECH is powerful and efficient

Did you like it?

The Renault Captur is a fantastic small SUV. Our recent test drive was a reminder of all we love about this car – stylish, fun interior, spacious and practical. So what happens when you add plug-in hybrid?

Renault is revving up their entire range at the moment with the addition of hybrid to Clio, Captur and the Megane range. Of course any manufacturer worth their salt needs to be rolling out this technology at the moment. Renault already markets the popular all-electric Renault ZOE. But plug-in hybrid can be an interesting stepping stone to going full electric, allowing users adapt to charging a car and running on electric power.

Renault has meshed plug-in hybrid technology well into the Captur so we are impressed with this car’s feel on the road and power. Even without charging it posts some competitive efficiency figures. Though the real bonus is for buyers who run on electric power regularly and keep the battery topped up.

Captur has already got some great petrol and diesel engines on offer in the range. The Captur plug-in hybrid has a high spec and automatic gearbox, but it still commands a high list price with some compromise to boot space.

We like the Captur plug-in hybrid – it’s a good car – and when you compare it to other high spec automatics in the Captur range, it’s priced in the same ballpark. Whatever way you look at Captur – petrol, diesel or hybrid – it makes such a great small SUV.

2021 Renault Captur - a great small SUV now with hybrid power!
2021 Renault Captur – a great small SUV now with hybrid power!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Renault Captur E-TECH Plug-in Hybrid
1.6-litre petrol electric hybrid
160 hp
10.1 seconds
Top speed: 
173 km/h
Fuel economy: 1.5-1.6 l/100 km
CO2 emissions (WLTP): 
34 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€140 per year