I’ve just come off the phone from interviewing Sofia Helin, the actress who plays Swedish detective Saga in Nordic noir drama, The Bridge. She drives an alarmingly green Porsche 911 in the series – so what does she think of orange cars?
Sofia, who graduated with a degree in philosophy in the 1990s, thought long and hard about the answer. “I think the green car is perfect for Saga’s dysfunctional character – orange would be one step too far.”
So, there you have it. Conclusive proof from the coolest woman on the planet that driving an orange Captur, or any other orange car, really isn’t good for the soul.
Unfortunately, her own image was then slightly dented when I asked what car she drives in real life. You guessed, a thumping great Volvo…
It’s a flat Monday at Car Couture HQ. The World Cup has ended, we’re out of the Tour de France and I’ve almost finished my box set of Breaking Bad. Not even the orange blob that is the Captur can raise a smile.
This morning I noticed the test car has a tow bar. Interesting, I thought. Renault don’t offer their urban SUV with a four-wheel drive set up but I just wondered if it could cope with a deeply rutted dirt track across the farm…
It’s a route I take every week or so in the summer, humping a load of grass cuttings to the giant compost heap. My ancient Land Rover does it in high ratio no problem – how would the Captur fair?
Easily, as it happens. It seems that the extra 200mm of ground clearance does at least come in useful for something, apart from peering over hedges. Shame Renault can’t offer a 4×4 version, I’m sure there would be a market out there…
Yesterday was a good one for orange – Netherlands won third place in the World Cup and the Marching Season kicked off without much trouble in Northern Ireland. However, I’m still not sure about the in-yer-face nature of the sunburst paint on my Captur.
I took a peep at the Captur colour pot online this morning and what Renault might like to call ‘personalisation’ is really just encouraging people to scream about a very middle of the road SUV. Are there really motorists out there who are so enamoured with their Captur that they want to shout about it?
Well, apparently yes. Apart from the garish colour schemes, a quick search of the Internet turned up the Captur Owners Club. I kid you not – there are people uploading images of their beloved Captur, with outpourings of love for their French fancies.
Some have even given them nicknames like Misty and Kucho – one chap has a picture of his gleaming Captur on his wedding day (adequate grounds for divorce in my book, and I should know).
This may be great news for people who want to set up a website for interestingly-shaped navel dust but surely there’s more to life than this, Nandos and out of town shopping?
Make your own mind up:
I blame Porsche – weren’t they the first to offer an orange car for sale? Or maybe it was the three-wheeled Bond, or I seem to remember MG did something similar…
It’s all a matter for personal taste but orange is up there with yellow as the worst colour ever sprayed on a motor vehicle. OK, possibly pink is worse.
Whatever – I know that manufacturer press offices like to offer journalists bright colours because they look better in photographs. Make your own mind up but I can’t imagine anybody buying one this colour. Or so I thought…
This morning I trundled in to Stow-on-the-Wold to buy a paper. As I arrived at the newsagents, guess what parked behind me? Yep an orange Captur! The owner seemed very pleased with himself but I decided to scuttle off before we got engaged in a conversation on the joys of going orange.
Just the colour you need to be driving in Belfast today, on the glorious 12th. What a strange nation of car drivers we are…
Compact SUVs – there’s so many of them out there these days that they all seem to blend into one. Ten years ago we would have bought a hatchback, now everybody want’s a family car that’s high of the ground with chunky styling.
On paper, the Captur isn’t that different. Despite the looks, it’s front-wheel drive only, which means the 20cm of extra ride height only aids visibility and nothing else.
Yet in the metal, the Captur is actually rather good. It’s been well thought out by the designers, with deeply sculpted side panels, a funky front end that encapsulates a big Renault badge, plus plenty of personalization options. The chrome exterior pack looks especially neat.
And this youthful approach continues inside, with colour-coded seats, a wrap around dashboard and seven-inch display screen.
My favourite feature are the seats bins on the back of the front seats. They are strands of bungee chord shaped liked a spider’s web. Look great – but crap for carrying your kid’s pencils…
I feel like a bit of a fraud driving the XC60. Mainly because I don’t have a family and my hound, Malin, is just as happy on the front seat of a Porsche Boxster as a thumping SUV.
If I was in the family way, so to speak, then the Volvo would be worthy of serious consideration. Which considering I would never have been seen dead in a Volvo estate ten years ago is quite some achievement!
Just like Germany’s magnificent seven against Brazil, this is something of a surprise. I’ve enjoyed it more than Audi’s Q5 and it packs an awful lot more equipment than the BMW X3 too, although it doesn’t drive as well.
Cosmetic changes to the XC60 last year have improved the Volvo still further and I reckon it has the most comfortable seats of any car I’ve driven this year, Bentley included. Yes, the 2.4 diesel engine is a little noisy and the array of safety devices can sanitise the fun but this is an excellent family SUV.
Sensible yes but a worthy rival to German premium brands…
It’s 12 years since Volvo launched its first SUV. The XC90 was incredibly good, which is one reason why the new version doesn’t appear on the market until later this year. Why change a winning formula?
After the success of that car, Volvo put its foot to the floor and produced a whole raft of chunky-looking sports utility vehicles. Last year’s facelift to the XC60 has helped create a car that will fit perfectly into your family life.
And one key reason why buyers opt for the Volvo over other premium brand SUVs is the cabin. It’s not just well-built and an ergonomic joy but simply beautiful to look at too.
Comfortable, refined and very classy, the XC60 may not be as exciting to drive as a BMW X3 but as a package, it’s a whole lot better…