PARIS – France’s major auto makers choose the Geneva auto show as their first battleground for small crossovers.
A week after Peugeot shows its first pictures of the Peugeot 2008, Renault released its teasers for the Captur, a 162-in. (412-cm) -long cross/utility vehicle sharing a platform with the Clio IV and Nissan Juke.
The Juke, with its flamboyant design, opened the segment, but when the French market becomes the battleground this spring, the biggest volumes likely will be taken by the two local marques.
It’s not as certain elsewhere. Besides the Juke, the Mini Countryman and Suzuki SX4 play in the same segment, while coming entries include the Ford Ecosport, Opel Mokka and Volkswagen’s Tiguan, even smaller at 152 ins. (386 cm).
Renault’s car is 0.8 in. (2 cm) shorter than the Juke and 1.6 ins. (4 cm) shorter than the Peugeot 2008.
The Captur initially will be built at Valladolid, Spain, where it will replace the Renault Modus. It is expected also to be made in Brazil, which seems to have customers for this body style. Peugeot plans to make the Peugeot 2008 in Porto Real, Brazil, and Volkswagen showed a prototype of its Taigun at the Sao Paulo Auto Show last year.
The Captur has the brand’s front face with smiling grille reaching the headlamps brought to Renault by its head designer Laurens van den Acker, but it is more soberly sculpted than the Juke.
Like the Peugeot rival and the Mini, the Captur will be offered with 2-tone paint.
Renault says the car is a cross between an SUV, minivan and hatchback in terms of look, space and driving characteristics. Its large wheels help give the impression of being tall.
“Renault Captur is an unaggressive compact crossover, with a solid spirit of practicality,” says Benoit Bochard, director of Renault’s A- and B-segment vehicles.
Renault plans to have considerable high-tech features in the series, including hands-free starting, hill assist, a camera and rear radar. Options will include the in-dash Renault R-Link touchscreen multimedia tablet, Bluetooth and an upgraded audio system with six speakers.
It is expected to be fitted with Renault 4-cyl. diesel and 3-cyl. gasoline engines, the best of which will offer carbon-dioxide emissions of 96 g/km.