PUT a Chihuahua beside a Great Dane and it's hard to accept these mutts are of the same species.
The same can be said of SUVs. Park a titchy Holden Trax alongside a Nissan Patrol and it's incredible to see how different the segment can be interpreted.
If you break "SUV" down - Sport Utility Vehicle - a Nissan Patrol's sportiness is about as convincing as Clive Palmer's, and the Trax's utility bit with its 356-litre boot and 2WD layout is equally questionable.
Our long-term test car Renault Captur is one of the SUV little guys, but even though it won't be tackling the Canning Stock Route anytime soon, it still manages to serve as a reasonable lifestyle offering.
I like to bike a bit and when training or competing a fair distance away the cycle needs to travel in the boot. And cyclists know the less dismantling of a bike needed when transporting the better.
The Captur's boot is 455-litres, meaning with rear seats up it's front and rear wheel off (a big pain) for the bike. Easily solved with the rear seats down (giving 1235-litres), unless, like me, you've got two child seats tethered across the back pew.
In some cars (or those without a split-fold rear seat) I need to lower the entire rear seating to fit the bike in, meaning two child seats need to be removed and refitted later.
Pleasingly, the Captur's cargo area was big enough for my bike (with its front wheel off) with just one of the child seats removed and one part of the Captur's split fold seat down. It was still a squeeze, but the Captur passed my bike test, so thumbs up there.
This month I also got a worrying "Braking System Fault" message flashing up on the Renault's dash. It came on intermittingly, but you don't want to take chances with your brakes, obviously.
The joy of having a car under warranty is these little problems are quickly rectified at no charge. My local Renault dealer (Crick's Renault in Maroochydore, which deserves a mention for its efficiency) booked me in immediately to have the problem inspected, collected the Captur from my work and returned it soon afterwards, problem resolved. No disruption to my day at all.
It transpired the brake fluid was low as the reservoir cap hadn't been fitted with the breather hole at the front. A small thing, and thankfully quickly dealt with.
Another 2000km managed this month, and economy still at an impressive 6.4-litres/100km. I'll give the Captur an end-of-term final report next month.
Model: Renault Captur Dynamique TCe 120.
Price as tested: $30,280.
Kilometres this month: 1923km.
Fuel economy this month: 6.4-litres/100km.
The good: Comfortable ride and decent steering and cornering balance, impressive fuel economy, decent specification, lovely looking thing.
The not so good: Acceleration is tardy, smallish size means it's not an ideal family car with two child seats in the back, bluetooth is sketchy.
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