Small in stature but big on space the Urban Crossover has been steadily gaining fans since Nissan launched the Juke in 2009. We test drive two recent French arrivals, the Peugeot 2008 and Renault’s Captur
What is it? More hatchback and less SUV the urban crossover blends MPV like interior versatility with a high driving position. The Renault is based on the Clio while the 2008 is a beefier version of Peugeot’s 208.
Who is it aimed at? If you are after practical family transport with a go anywhere appearance outside and a bit more space inside then one of these urban crossovers just might be the car for you.
Styling? Pronounced ‘capture’ Renault’s new Captur is essentially a Clio on steroids, with chunkier SUV styling it shares styling features with its smaller sibling including a wide black grille and sharper and more aggressive-looking headlights. Similarly conceived the Peugeot 2008 is based on the award winning 208 but is higher, longer and wider than its hatchback sibling. With smart styling and numerous personalisation options the Captur is a real head turner and makes the conservative styling of the 2008 almost dull by comparison.
Under the Bonnet: Our Peugeot test car was powered by a 1.4-litre diesel. There is plenty of power for city driving but when overtaking it lacks some punch and its noisy with quite a bit of road and wind intrusion. Other options include a 1.2 petrol or two 1.6 diesel units. Under the bonnet of the Captur lurks either a 1.4-litre diesel or a tiny 898cc petrol engine. Our test car was the petrol version and on the road its surprisingly good .
What about Inside? Behind the wheel there is great view in both thank to the raised driving position. Inside the 2008 the chic styling from the 208 is carried over and it is spacious, comfortable and very plush. The boot is larger than the 208 with all seats in place but it can stretch to 1,193 litres with the seats folded. In the Captur funky is the buzzword and there are some really nice details and clever touches. Families with small children will love the zip off seat covers that you can remove and wash and features like the sliding rear seat will only add to the appeal of this car. The quality of the 2008 is better throughout but for sheer quirkiness we preferred the unique styling of the Captur.
On the Road? The Captur is good around the city, while the spaciousness and high driving position gives the impression of a larger car its compact proportions make it perfect for zipping around town and you can park it just about anywhere. The light steering makes easy work of city manoeuvres. Negotiating the urban jungle it soon becomes apparent Peugeot’s 2008 is neat and nimble. It is good to drive, there is little body roll on corners and it’s very easy to manoeuvre. Both cars are set up for comfort rather than sport but they are engaging to drive.
And Safety? The Renault Captur scored a max of five stars when it was tested by the EuroNCAP and has a variety of adult, child and pedestrian safety options. There’s no Euro NCAP rating for the 2008 yet but there’s no reason to think it won’t achieve five stars. It comes well equipped with ESP, 6 airbags, child safety locks and cruise control-speed limiter as standard.
Options? Two trim are available on the Captur, Life and Intense. There is also a long list of personalisation options including a contrasting roof. Three versions of the 2008 are offered, Access, Active and Allure. Like the Renault Captur, the 2008 does not have four-wheel drive but it does however come with an optional grip control system that can be fitted on Allure models For an extra €255. This system gives you maximum traction on slippery or muddy conditions so it is a very credible alternative to traditional 4WD systems.
What about fuel economy? The Peugeot 2008 delivers an excellent 4 litres per 100 kms (70.6 mpg) on combined driving of motorway and city while the tiny little petrol engine in the Captur manages 5 litres per 100 kms (56.5) over the same roads. Co2 emissions are 104 and 115 g/km respectively so motor tax is €190 for the 2008 and €200 for the Captur.
Okay so the Verdict? Both cars combine space, style and practicality and you will not be disappointed with either. The Captur is a very tempting proposition if you’re looking for a stylish car with attitude that delivers economical driving on a budget while Peugeot’s 2008 has a very chic interior and good handling. The 2008 just nudges ahead in our opinion. Overall it’s better to drive and with the option of grip control it’s the more practical of the two.
|Peugeot 2008||Renault Captur|
|Active 1.4 HDi 5dr||Intense Tce 90 S&S|
|No of Doors||5||5|
|No of Seats||5||5|
|Price Range||€18,595 – €23,945||€19,390- €22,490|
|Euro NCAP – Overall||Not tested Yet||5|
|Engine Size cc||1398||898|
|CO2 Emissions (g/km)||104||113|
|Seats Up (litres)||360||377|
|Seats Down (litres)||1235|
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9th October, 2013