THE boom trend of 2013 is miniature SUVs, and Renault has just uncovered its new offering in the segment.
The Renault Captur compact crossover is due to be launched at the 2013 Geneva motor show in March, but the French brand had uncovered images and some details ahead of its debut.
The Captur is based on the same underpinnings as the upcoming Clio hatchback, and is expected to be offered with the same 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and 1.5-litre turbo diesel.
Renault claims the Captur feels bigger inside than its 4.12-metre footprint suggests it should, with a "large boot" (expected to be about 350 litres) and "innovative stowage solutions". We hope that includes decent cup/bottle holders, some French brands seem to forget when designing cars.
Inside, the Captur gets Renault's tablet-inspired R-Link media system, as well as Bluetooth streaming and a six-speaker stereo. It also gets keyless entry and standard rear parking sensors.
Drive's spies in Europe caught the Captur in pre-production testing late in 2012, and at that time Renault Australia confirmed it was interested in adding the car to local lineup.
Renault Australia spokeswoman Emily Ambrosy believes there is a lot of potential for the car in Australia.
"We are very excited by the release of Captur and believe it has a high potential in the booming small SUV segment," Ambrosy says.
"Although unconfirmed for Australia at this time, we are working towards a 2014 launch."
If it arrives, the Captur will compete with other incoming mini SUVs such as the Ford EcoSport, the Holden Trax, Nissan's long-time-coming Juke and Peugeot's recently revealed 2008 high-rider.
The Captur was previewed by a concept car of the same name at the 2011 Geneva motor show, although that model was far more dramatic in that it had a two-door coupe body rather than a more practical hatchback top-hat.