Renault Captur E-Tech Plug-in Hybrid review (2020)

11 Aug 2021, 16:20  •  Review  •  Door koen

Renault presents various hybrid models under the new E-Tech label. The Captur also gets an E-Tech version. How do you like this plug-in hybrid?

E-Tech

The fact that (partly) electric powertrains are on the rise is nothing new for a long time. Renault already had fully electric models in its range, which fall under the Z.E. label. Now the brand also comes with hybrid models, which are given the E-Tech designation

Completely new powertrain

The hybrid E-Tech powertrain is completely newly developed. There are two versions: ‘regular’ hybrid and plug-in hybrid. Both have the exact same drivetrain, only the battery pack differs. We already drove the Renault Clio E-Tech Hybrid, a ‘normal’ hybrid. Let’s see how you like the plug-in version in the Captur.

Renault Captur E-Tech new petrol engine

The E-Tech powertrain consists of a 1.6-litre petrol engine and an electric motor. The new petrol engine, specially developed for the E-Tech powertrain, has an output of 91 hp. No specific power is specified for the electric motor, but the system power of the powertrain is 160 hp for the plug-in hybrid models. The ‘regular’ hybrid Clio has 130 hp.

New Renault Captur interior

With the Captur (and Mégane), the battery pack is placed under the rear seat. As a result, it does not take up any interior space, so that the interior dimensions are identical to the regular petrol versions. With the Captur, the rear seat can still be moved 16 cm in length. The luggage compartment still measures 379 liters, with storage space underneath for charging cables.

The ‘E-Technology’ also ensures a wonderfully quiet drivetrain in the Captur. We drive away almost silently and even when the petrol engine kicks in, there is still peace on board. Not much different than with the hybrid Clio. However, the petrol engine with the plug-in hybrid Captur does not have to intervene as quickly, thanks to the much larger battery pack of 9.8 kWh.

Energy flow Renault Captur

The wheels are always driven by the electric motor. As a result, maximum torque is always immediately available and the car reacts quickly to throttle commands. The petrol engine provides support and assists if necessary. The wheels are therefore never driven by the petrol engine alone. The energy flows can be clearly followed on the adapted, digital instruments behind the wheel.

When the petrol engine kicks in depends largely on how full the battery is. With a full battery, the petrol engine is actually only active when accelerating smoothly. With a moderate driving style, you drive almost exclusively in EV mode. As the battery runs out, the petrol engine will of course also start more often in the meantime.

The automatic transmission gets an extra position with the E-Tech models. In addition to the D for Drive, there is also the B for Brake. In this Brake mode, the car brakes extra strongly on the electric motor, so that extra energy is recovered for the battery. You can then use that energy again at a later time, for example to drive fully electrically through the city.

Compared to the Clio, it is noticeable that the Captur slows down less strongly in Brake mode. With the Captur, it seems to be active especially below 50 km/h. Within the built-up area we were able to drive a lot with ‘one pedal driving’, outside the car the car braked hardly any stronger when the gas was released than in the regular driving mode.

‘One pedal driving’ means that when the throttle is released, the car brakes so strongly on the engine that you hardly need the brake pedal to slow down, if at all. In the case of the Renault E-Tech models, the car brakes in this way up to 7 km/h. You still need the regular brake pedal to come to a complete stop.

Electric on the highway

The fully electric top speed is 135 km/h. During our test drive – in ‘standard’ driving mode – we were able to observe that the Captur occasionally switched to a fully electric drive at a constant speed of 110 km/h. That was about short pieces, at the least gear the petrol engine jumps in again. Real fully electric driving on the highway will therefore not occur very often, but in theory it is possible. And then again: every little bit helps.

Like the other E-Tech models, the Captur E-Tech also has a physical EV button on the dashboard. With that you switch on the Pure mode. Then the Captur always drives fully electrically, as long as the power supply allows, of course. In theory (WLTP) you should be able to cover about 50 kilometers fully electrically. If the battery is almost empty, the E-Tech powertrain functions like a regular hybrid, just like with the Clio.

One pedal driving Renault Captur

More driving modes are available under the collective name Multi-Sense. In Sport, the powertrain is sharpened for maximum power. With the e-Save mode you also drive a lot on the petrol engine, but precisely to save power so that you can drive fully electric for as long as possible at a later time.

Renault Captur E-Tech hybrid Fuel consumption

We left with a fully charged battery. The Captur’s on-board computer indicated an average consumption of only 0.5 l/100 km after more than thirty varied kilometers – the last kilometers of which mainly within built-up areas. So a consumption of 1 in 200! At almost the same time the battery was empty. As soon as the petrol engine became active, the average consumption rose rapidly to 2.1 l/100 km (1 in 47.6).

For comparison: the manufacturer is 1.4 l/100 km (1 in 71.4). That just shows that the practical consumption depends on how you use the car. If you charge it neatly and you drive a lot in the city, then you drive really effortlessly more economical than the manufacturer. If you take it less closely with charging and/or you drive a lot on the highway, you will be well above the manufacturer’s specification.

Renault E-Tech features

For the E-Tech plug-in models, the MyRenault app gets a number of additional features. With this you can, for example, remotely check how much power the battery still has, but also schedule a charging session. For the latter, the car must of course already be connected to a charging station.

Série Limitée E-Tech

For both the Clio and Captur, Renault offers a Série Limitée E-Tech for introduction, based on the regular Intens version. Compared to this, the Série Limitée distinguishes itself with extra decoration, both in terms of equipment and visually. For example, with two-tone body paint, copper-colored exterior accents and light gray and black accents in the interior.

Renault Captur E-Tech price

The E-Tech powertrain can be ordered in combination with (almost) all trim levels the Captur. Prices start at 33,290 euros for the Intense E-Tech, followed by the Série Limitée E-Tech from 35,290 euros. The general price list of the Captur starts at 21,090 euros for the Life with TCe 100 Bi-Fuel petrol/LPG engine. The non-hybrid Intens version is available from 24,990 euros and has the same Bi-Fuel engine under the hood.

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