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Big Blue

Summer car rental part 3

OK, delayed final summer holiday is now over with us having returned from the South of France on Wednesday night. The previous Wednesday we had arrived in Nice, where I dumped W2.0 and the girls in T1 whilst I made the annoying trek to T2 to the car rental centre. I made sure I told Enterprise that this is shite as they have an empty desk at T1, they know my flight details and could simply have a car in T1 Kiss and Fly driven over for me by the agent if they gave me a remote terminal in T1.

So, the car. Look away now if you're one of the forum members that bought one of these:



Yes, a Captur and they are already pretty common in France from what I saw. As a design I can see where the money has gone on making it look cool and desirable. They do look good and are very practical for a family, with the sliding rear seat being a great item as the girls need fuck all leg room so it swallowed the 2 Samsonites and the McLaren with no bother. The rear seats cope with giant Recaro car seats, too:



So how does it drive? Like a peppy little diesel auto should. It sits at the requisite indicated 140kph with us and our luggage on board, makes the hill up to mother's house with no problems (refer back to the 2013 rental of a Fiat Punto 1.2 for further info!) and has enough spec to make it feel like a modern car. The dash is not too bad and no doubt some more up-speccing would make it better still.



I have a few gripes and they're not really that major. The cruise control on off switch is a random button down by the handbrake. WTF? All the other cruise switches are on the steering wheel; this just seems like ergonomics gone off the rails. Then there's the display for the computer / trip etc. It just looks like a cheap 1983 digital watch display, as can be seen from the top of this picture:



But far worse is the radio controller by the steering wheel. This really HAS come from the Renault Fuego (remember them?) parts bin. It's a completely different plastic to everything around it and if it cost 20p I'd be amazed at the overpricing. Horrible:



But like I said they're not major. The biggest problem the Captur had was that as soon as I arrived at mother's, I removed the child seats and put them in her DS4 which is at least 2 classes above in feel and spec. It's just not big enough to take all 5 of us (including Ma, obviously) in comfort from Nice to home (1hr 15) whilst child seats are involved.

I did take the Captur out with just the family to Lac du Ste Croix and whilst it didn't handle like a sports car, it coped with the very nice curvy roads really well and managed a couple of overtakes with no issues. So after all that, fuel consumption? It was an auto so don't expect much. 28mpg over 260kms. Give it 30mpg as the previous hirer may not have brimmed the tank like I did.

One last look at the exterior: it's the best bit.



Chris M Wanted a V-10

Re: Summer car rental part 3

Big Blue wrote:

So how does it drive? Like a peppy little diesel auto should.
..... fuel consumption? It was an auto so don't expect much. 28mpg over 260kms. Give it 30mpg as the previous hirer may not have brimmed the tank like I did.

Someone's got lead feet. Even my wife with her South American (always on either the accelerator or brake) driving style gets over 50mpg from ours, and I can get over 60 with a little effort
Frank Bullitt

Re: Summer car rental part 3

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Big Blue wrote:

So how does it drive? Like a peppy little diesel auto should.
..... fuel consumption? It was an auto so don't expect much. 28mpg over 260kms. Give it 30mpg as the previous hirer may not have brimmed the tank like I did.

Someone's got lead feet. Even my wife with her South American (always on either the accelerator or brake) driving style gets over 50mpg from ours, and I can get over 60 with a little effort


I suspect BB's had the 29.9mpg problem!
Roadsterstu

Not the horrendous review I was expecting, BB! EMR is still wanting one but test driving has been postponed until her eldest has been despatched to uni this weekend.
Martin

28mpg is awful, but it was a hire car, so about right.  A surprisingly good review
Big Blue

The Schreibmaschine is currently showing 15mpg average as I'm in and out of London, so 28mpg is epic
PG

Renault have hit the spot with the Captur.

But totally agree re the weird LCD display and the plastic radio controller. Manufacturers spend millions or billions on product development and yet they seem to be able to include different grades and colour of plastics in interiors and cheap crappy displays and switches. Does nobody in a senior sign off position ever get in and go "this just looks shit, what on earth were you thinking?"
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

PG wrote:
Renault have hit the spot with the Captur. But totally agree re the weird LCD display and the plastic radio controller. Manufacturers spend millions or billions on product development and yet they seem to be able to include different grades and colour of plastics in interiors and cheap crappy displays and switches. Does nobody in a senior sign off position ever get in and go "this just looks shit, what on earth were you thinking?"

I suspect the poor designers come up with something nice, that looks "all of a piece" and of good quality, only for the bean counters to say, sorry, you have to use this horrible old switchgear that dates back to 1987, because it's cheaper and nobody* cares anyway.

* other than people who post on car forums
PG

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
I suspect the poor designers come up with something nice, that looks "all of a piece" and of good quality, only for the bean counters to say, sorry, you have to use this horrible old switchgear that dates back to 1987, because it's cheaper and nobody* cares anyway.

* other than people who post on car forums


Bloody bean counters.  

I suspect you may well be right in some cases. For me good design is also something that can be built, and good engineering will allow a good design to be built faithfully.

And a decent set of matching interior design and plastics is a combination of the above plus meticulous attention to detail by the project managers.
Giant

I'm pretty certain my old Renault Extra work van had the same radio controller. Cutting edge back when it was launched no doubt, but by the time it came to be my work wheels (firm are notoriously cheapskate when it comes to transport) it was a decade old and the controller, whilst still present in body, but not in mind.
TreVoR

My '93 Clio had something very similar.  I removed it when I replaced the OEM Philips stereo when it started chewing tapes.
boc70

PG wrote:
Renault have hit the spot with the Captur.

But totally agree re the weird LCD display and the plastic radio controller. Manufacturers spend millions or billions on product development and yet they seem to be able to include different grades and colour of plastics in interiors and cheap crappy displays and switches. Does nobody in a senior sign off position ever get in and go "this just looks shit, what on earth were you thinking?"


With that display, they were probably thinking 'haha, look what happens if you put in 58008 and turn it upside down!'
Michael

I see a lot of these but I don't like the way they look, it's a very generic style and Renault could do better. What do I know, they clearly sell regardless.
PR

I has one of these in France last year and quite liked it for what it is. The power steering is so light that a fly running around the wheel rim could probably turn it, there's plenty of roll and it doesn't ride with quite the cosseting aplomb those other characteristics would lead you to expect, but it was a willing and spacious device. Mine was spectacularly economical - I drove 800km in it and it only took 40 of diesel to fill it again.
Alf McQueef

I like those - they are a good example of what these sorts of mainstream manufacturers absolutely have to do these days - basically jazz up what is a small, cheap car to look like something interesting. Renault have done that well, in the past small cars were often made to look pretty nasty.

Someone has indeed got lead feet - I got over 50mpg from the Focus estate 1.6tdi we loaned in Austria... And only half of that was long motorway trips.
Bob Sacamano

Michael wrote:
I see a lot of these but I don't like the way they look, it's a very generic style and Renault could do better. What do I know, they clearly sell regardless.


They are too narrow in my opinion, the stance just looks wrong. Full marks to Renault for trying something different though.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

They're not that narrow, only just fitting through a standard UK garage door opening without folding the mirrors

You really need the 2-tone paint finish to make them look "right", otherwise the Captur looks like just another small crossover
Giant

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Michael wrote:
I see a lot of these but I don't like the way they look, it's a very generic style and Renault could do better. What do I know, they clearly sell regardless.


They are too narrow in my opinion, the stance just looks wrong. Full marks to Renault for trying something different though.


They don't look right to me either, an amorphous egg shape with fashionable details stuck on. A kind of Mr Potatohead kind of car.
Frank Bullitt

I do like them but then I like that sort of thing generally.

The short squab on the front seats are what ultimately made me shy away from them and some of the plastics inside are dubious too.

However, I did like it and can see why they are very popular. Once they introduce a 1.2 manual petrol I can see them getting even more popular.
Stuntman

I quite like the look of them.  Although if the Cactus is a direct competitor I'd have one of those in preference judging purely on looks.
gooner

My Megane tourer had the toggle switch for the cruise/speed limiter down by the handbrake too. When I first got it I couldn't work out why the cruise buttons on the steering wheel didn't work!

It also had a cheap feeling button festooned chunk of plastic beside the steering wheel for the radio controls. I'm so glad the big Vauxhall has its controls on the steering wheel. That said I did get used to using an outstretched index or middle finger to adjust the volume so it wasn't a big issue.
Frank Bullitt

gooner wrote:
My Megane tourer had the toggle switch for the cruise/speed limiter down by the handbrake too. When I first got it I couldn't work out why the cruise buttons on the steering wheel didn't work!


I'm sure I read somewhere that renault's idea was that if the driver had an issue the passenger could turn the cruise off but that does sound slightly odd.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Giant wrote:

They don't look right to me either, an amorphous egg shape with fashionable details stuck on. A kind of Mr Potatohead kind of car.

Really?




Stuntman

Take the moonboots off, and put up a picture of Mr Potato Head for comparative purposes
Giant

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Michael wrote:
I see a lot of these but I don't like the way they look, it's a very generic style and Renault could do better. What do I know, they clearly sell regardless.


They are too narrow in my opinion, the stance just looks wrong. Full marks to Renault for trying something different though.


They don't look right to me either, an amorphous egg shape with fashionable details stuck on. A kind of Mr Potatohead kind of car.
Michael

Bob Sacamano

OK, I LOL'ed
Big Blue

I saw one this morning without the different coloured roof and Chris is correct: they look blander without it.

I forgot one other thing: it had rear drum brakes. Yes, you read that correctly. Drum. Brakes.
Roadsterstu

Bob Sacamano wrote:
OK, I LOL'ed


I've started to lol in text messages and annoy myself when I do it. Now you've done it, in here of all places, I realise there is no hope for the human race.
Bob Sacamano

Roadsterstu wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
OK, I LOL'ed


I've started to lol in text messages and annoy myself when I do it. Now you've done it, in here of all places, I realise there is no hope for the human race.


LMAO  
Michael

ROFL!
Bob Sacamano

Big Blue wrote:
I saw one this morning without the different coloured roof and Chris is correct: they look blander without it.

I forgot one other thing: it had rear drum brakes. Yes, you read that correctly. Drum. Brakes.


The three 15 & 65 plate Focus's I've had have also had drum brakes, something I was very surprised about. You can certainly feel it when you have to brake more heavily than usual - you feel as if most of the work is being done by the front discs.
PG

Big Blue wrote:
I forgot one other thing: it had rear drum brakes. Yes, you read that correctly. Drum. Brakes.


As a teenager who grew up with four wheel drum brakes and no servos on many cars either, drum brakes are just right up there as having no rightful place on a car.

Did it have leaf spring suspension as well?

Or is that fashionable and OK again now that Volvo have reseurrected it for the new XC90?
Martin

I'll add to the list of surprised posters....drum brakes?!

That Mr Potato Captur is brilliant!
PG

Martin wrote:
That Mr Potato Captur is brilliant!


+1
Frank Bullitt

Drums are fine on the back of lighter cars, less maintenance and they aren't exactly doing a lot apart from stopping it swap ends.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Drums are fine on the back of lighter cars, less maintenance and they aren't exactly doing a lot apart from stopping it swap ends.

The Ka has small rear drums; the C-Max discs all round.  The drums on the rear of the Captur aren't that big
Roadsterstu

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
I saw one this morning without the different coloured roof and Chris is correct: they look blander without it.

I forgot one other thing: it had rear drum brakes. Yes, you read that correctly. Drum. Brakes.


The three 15 & 65 plate Focus's I've had have also had drum brakes, something I was very surprised about. You can certainly feel it when you have to brake more heavily than usual - you feel as if most of the work is being done by the front discs.


Most of the work is always done by the front brakes. This is why front discs and calipers are usually bigger. There are a lot of cars with drums at the rear. They are totally fit for purpose on smaller cars. They do look a bit pants through the alloys though.
Frank Bullitt

My A2 has rear drums as does the 1.4 petrol but 1.4TDI 90 and 1.6FSi's have discs - most owners need them replacing every 4-5 years due to corrosion being as a result of a lack of use. The drums on the back of my A2 have not, in 11 years or 114k, required a moments attention (touch wood!)
Roadsterstu

Frank Bullitt wrote:
My A2 has rear drums as does the 1.4 petrol but 1.4TDI 90 and 1.6FSi's have discs - most owners need them replacing every 4-5 years due to corrosion being as a result of a lack of use. The drums on the back of my A3 have not, in 11 years or 114k, required a moments attention (touch wood!)


I assume you mean A2 not A3. Unless I have been really dim and missed that for some time...
Frank Bullitt

Fat finger syndrome rather than brain removal!
Martin

The rear brakes seem to do more work than the fronts on the 535d, as they've got 7,000 miles left and the fronts 10,000.  I'll get them done at the same time, which will be around the 28-29k miles mark
Frank Bullitt

Are they thinner to start off with though?
Big Blue

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Are they thinner to start off with though?


and smaller!

The chances of rear brakes doing more than the fronts are pretty much zero! Almost every time I buy a used motorbike i need to service the rear caliper as most riders don't use the rear brakes because they're piss poor riders (to the extent some Hondas and BMWs have linked brakes so the stability balance from the rear can be had by those that think brakes are just the right hand lever). 70-80% front on a bike as that's where the weight transfers to when you brake. Too much rear and they just get dragged along, locked up.
Martin

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Are they thinner to start off with though?


I have no idea.  It's the first car I've had where the rears don't last 50%+ longer than the fronts.  They're not much smaller than the fronts.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

Big Blue wrote:
The chances of rear brakes doing more than the fronts are pretty much zero!

Unless they are constantly being applied by the traction control?
Big Blue

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
The chances of rear brakes doing more than the fronts are pretty much zero!

Unless they are constantly being applied by the traction control?




Is that a comment on Martin's driving style?
Martin

I don't notice the light on all that often, but it could be the case as I deploy all the torks regularly!

I washed it yesterday and paid particular attention to the amount of brake dust.   The rear wheels had at least 80% of the brake dust the fronts had, so they're working fairly hard.
TreVoR

I would imagine that being an estate with self levelling, it will have a load compensator on the rear.  Modern cars with EBD also send more balance backwards when they sense the rear start to lift under braking.
Big Blue

I should shut up really as die Schreibmaschine recently had new brakes at the rear.

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