As you might have already know, the Spain-built Renault Captur has just been previewed in Malaysia, with a tentative price of between RM118,000 to RM123,000. Renault's latest crossover is expected to be launched here in the fourth quarter of this year.
The front-wheel drive-only 1.2-litre turbo Captur competes against the locally-assembled 1.5-litre Honda HR-V (from RM98,689), Thailand-made 1.5-litre Ford EcoSport (from RM90,100), and locally-assembled 2.0-litre Mitsubishi ASX (from RM118,131), plus the upcoming Japan-made Mazda CX-3 2.0-litre.
Keen observers might have noted that despite its European origin and higher list price, the Renault comes with only four airbags. This compares against the Ford EcoSport’s seven (RM100,800 Titanium variant) and the Honda HR-V’s six (RM114,744 1.5V variant).
The omission of curtain airbags have little to do with Renault’s distributor in Malaysia TC Euro Cars, because globally, the Renault Captur is only available with four airbags – two at the front, and two at the sides.
According to a report by Australia’s GoAuto, quoting the Captur’s global project manager Christophe Pejout, limitations in the vehicle’s packaging meant that Renault was not able to equip the Captur with curtain airbags. To accommodate curtain airbags, the Captur’s rear-seat area would have to be reengineered and the roof-mounted grab handles would have to be moved to a more intrusive position.
The Clio, which the Captur is based on, also suffers from the same limitations and comes with only four airbags.
Only Four Airbags but Five-Star EuroNCAP Rating
However, Pejout was quick to stress that despite having less airbags than its competitors, the Captur is no less safe than its peers – scoring a maximum five-star rating in EuroNCAP, with an 88 percent score for adult occupant protection and 79 percent for child occupant.
It is important to note that EuroNCAP’s test methodologies do not award scores based on a vehicle’s airbag count but on actual impact protection performance. In EuroNCAP’s opinion, if a manufacturer is able to reduce cost, do away with airbags but yet is able to offer the same level of passive safety protection, they are more than welcomed to introduce such a car.