From £22,175
A more relaxing place to cover miles, with much less engine noise and vibration

Our Verdict

Chevrolet Captiva
Great on space and kit, but too pricey to mix with the best in LTZ trim

Chevrolet's seven-seat soft-roader is decent enough, but its high price pitches it against rivals it can’t beat

  • First Drive

    Chevrolet Captiva LTZ

    A more relaxing place to cover miles, with much less engine noise and vibration
  • First Drive

    Chevrolet Captiva 2.2 VCDi 4x4

    Updated family 4x4 is big on refinement, space and standard kit, but it’s lacking that all-important bargain price.

What is it?

Chevrolet’s big soft-roader, complete with new, upgraded engine and a fresh face for 2011. Here we’re testing the Captiva in top-spec LTZ spec, complete with 181bhp 2.2-litre engine, six-speed auto, four-wheel drive and seven seats. UK buyers also get the option of a six-speed manual gearbox mated to this layout, or a 161bhp manual model that comes in front-wheel drive and five-seat spec only.

What’s it like?

In many ways this new Chevrolet Captiva is a big step forward over the pre-facelift model. The most significant improvements come in terms of refinement and power delivery. Upgrades to the cabin insulation have made the Captiva a more relaxing place to cover miles, with much less engine noise and vibration creeping into the cockpit, and the punchy motor also makes progress very easy.

Mated to the six-speed torque converter the engine offers good response across the range, with the auto box making slightly lazy but well-judged shifts. For all that it is not the most rewarding drivetrain in the class, it’s effective at what it needs to do, and is really quite likeable because it encourages such an easy-going, laid-back driving style.

Less laid-back is the ride quality on UK roads. The Captiva’s chassis set-up has been modified for the 2011 facelift, with the intention of making it more worthy of the ‘sport’ element of SUV, or at the very least a more positive driver’s car. And whilst the steering is marginally better tuned with that in mind, this is still a distinctly stodgy car to drive, now with correspondingly lumpy ride. This could in part be down to the 19-inch alloys that all top-spec LTZ models get as standard, since our test car did settle down on smoother main artery roads, but there’s too much jogging and jarring over typical b-roads. It’s not unforgivable, and is unlikely to be a deal breaker for those who are taken with the Captiva’s looks and practicality, but it could certainly be better.

Should I buy one?

If there is going to be a deal breaker in the Captiva’s portfolio, it’s price. This top spec model comes in at just shy of £32k, and for that sort of money you can get all kinds of family SUVs and estates – if you’re willing to sacrifice the third row of seats then that spreads to include some very good premium options, too.

If you must have the extra seating, and you can work a hefty saving on the list price then you’ll be getting a well-equipped and capable family soft roader. Even so, look carefully at the other options because there are better executions of the big, budget, seven-seat family SUV out there.

Chevrolet Captiva 2.2 VCDi Auto LTZ

Price: £31,845; Top speed: 118mph; 0-62mph: 10.1sec; Economy: 36.6mpg; Co2: 203g/km; Kerb weight: 1903kg; Engine type: 2231cc, 4cyl, turbodiesel; Power: 181bhp at 3800rpm; Torque: 295lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox: 6spd auto

Join the debate

Comments
10

9 May 2011

As good looking as this car is (and that is not to be underestimated) pound for pound I would still go for the equivalent Hyundai.

It's not without its merits but it is still a Chevrolet and residuals will still be weak.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

9 May 2011

£32k for a Chevrolet soft roader or £33k for an E220 CDI estate.

Ok I know the Chevy is a high spec 4WD 7 seater and you'll be able to get big discounts, but the Merc will probably be much cheaper to run and I know which I would rather have on my drive.

9 May 2011

7 seater, AWD SUV type thing from the "budget" end? Kia Sorento pretty much everytime. Not as capable as the last version, but more comfortable, cracking 2.2 engine and trashes the Captiva on most ownership aspects.

jer

10 May 2011

No one makes the mistake of under pricing like the original Mini !

Is the logic there will always be someone who will pay (think your elderly Aunties and Uncles) and if there is'nt they will discount through other channels? This would need a ~20% discount to make any sense.

10 May 2011

I've bitched about this car before so you may already be aware that I leased one of these for 2 (very long) years a while back. 3 years ago the list price for the top of the range LTX 7 seater was a bit over £22k and lease costs were £300 pcm- ish. Back then, at £22k, this car was overpriced. The fact that GM think they can get away with whacking another £10k on to the list price is astonishing.

The new 2.2d is undoubtedly better than the old 2.0d that I had to endure for so long and they have 'spruced' up the top half of the fascia (with a design that looks like an ergonomic nightmare) but really, £32k? It's not even a 7 seater- it's a 5 seater with 2 extra seats in the boot that your children will have tantrums over the prospect of sitting in.

Buy something else....anything else.

10 May 2011

supermanuel wrote the following post at May 10, 2011 8:15 AM:

I've bitched about this car before so you may already be aware that I leased one of these for 2 (very long) years a while back. 3 years ago the list price for the top of the range LTX 7 seater was a bit over £22k and lease costs were £300 pcm- ish. Back then, at £22k, this car was overpriced. The fact that GM think they can get away with whacking another £10k on to the list price is astonishing.

The new 2.2d is undoubtedly better than the old 2.0d that I had to endure for so long and they have 'spruced' up the top half of the fascia (with a design that looks like an ergonomic nightmare) but really, £32k? It's not even a 7 seater- it's a 5 seater with 2 extra seats in the boot that your children will have tantrums over the prospect of sitting in

I agree this is still far too expensive it was too expensive before and is still too expensive there is no way that they should be charging 10grand extra for a revamp. It is a lot better looking do and iff someone can get a discount off 6thosand or more then maybe worth it . Most 7seater,s including the Opel Zafira and Ford S-Max have there third row off seats in the boot basically there is a little bit off a boot but not much so it is not much different that way . I don,t think the new facia looks like an ergonomic nightmare . it looks quite good but not on extra 10thosand good do .

10 May 2011

[quote FastRenaultFan]Most 7seater,s including the Opel Zafira and Ford S-Max have there third row off seats in the boot basically there is a little bit off a boot but not much so it is not much different that way [/quote]

See FRF, that's where first hand experience comes into it. I'm well aware of the fact that 2 of the seats in a seven seater are in the boot. I'm on my 4th 7-seater. Difference is, in a Galaxy or a C5 Picasso or a Scenic or a Mazda5, your children can just about see out of the windows when they are sat in the rearmost seats. You can't see bugger all out of the back of a Craptiva with those curved rear quarterlights. To make matters worse, the tops of the seats in the middle row are so high that you can't see over them either- it's like being in a closed cardboard box, only slightly less comfortable. Trust me- the kiddies will be excited the first time you make them sit in the back, but they'll give you hell thereafter.

[quote FastRenaultFan]I agree this is still far too expensive it was too expensive before and is still too expensive there is no way that they should be charging 10 grand extra for a revamp.[/quote]

Oh, I didn't say that it was £10k less before the revamp- I said that it was £10k for the top of the range LTX three years ago when I got mine on lease. The price has crept up constantly since 2007 when it was introduced.

Even at £22k (£300 pcm) I felt like I was short-changed. I suppose you could save a little bit of money and buy the boxy (in all the wrong ways) Orlando, but the interior of that looks remarkably similar to the interior in the Craptiva so I would hazard a guess that it won't be a better ownership proposition.

If, like me, you need the extra capacity, buy an Alhambra or an S-Max or just about anything else.

10 May 2011

Yup, E Class estate or S-Max if you need 7 seats, or there are lots of alternatives if you don't.

Soft roaders exist to part fools from their money.

11 May 2011

supermanuel wrote the following post at May 10, 2011 7:10 PM:

[quote FastRenaultFan]Most 7seater,s including the Opel Zafira and Ford S-Max have there third row off seats in the boot basically there is a little bit off a boot but not much so it is not much different that way [/quote]

See FRF, that's where first hand experience comes into it. I'm well aware of the fact that 2 of the seats in a seven seater are in the boot. I'm on my 4th 7-seater. Difference is, in a Galaxy or a C5 Picasso or a Scenic or a Mazda5, your children can just about see out of the windows when they are sat in the rearmost seats. You can't see bugger all out of the back of a Craptiva with those curved rear quarterlights. To make matters worse, the tops of the seats in the middle row are so high that you can't see over them either- it's like being in a closed cardboard box, only slightly less comfortable. Trust me- the kiddies will be excited the first time you make them sit in the back, but they'll give you hell thereafter.

[quote FastRenaultFan]I agree this is still far too expensive it was too expensive before and is still too expensive there is no way that they should be charging 10 grand extra for a revamp.[/quote]

Oh, I didn't say that it was £10k less before the revamp- I said that it was £10k for the top of the range LTX three years ago when I got mine on lease. The price has crept up constantly since 2007 when it was introduced.

Even at £22k (£300 pcm) I felt like I was short-changed. I suppose you could save a little bit of money and buy the boxy (in all the wrong ways) Orlando, but the interior of that looks remarkably similar to the interior in the Craptiva so I would hazard a guess that it won't be a better ownership proposition.

If, like me, you need the extra capacity, buy an Alhambra or an S-Max or just about anything else.

Aww very good . Well I have been in and sat in every seat in an S-Max and yes the rear seats were not the best place but they were not too bad .

Your experience with the Craptiva and what you say about the rear seat does sounds very crap and clostraphobic all right .

I think the Orlando looks good do and iff it is priced good it is a nice MPV and different too . Can,t say iff the interior will be good or not do .

11 May 2011

ive always preferred the Captiva to its Antara stablemate even if the Antara has a slightly better feel inside, exterior wise its a better looking brute will be a good used bargain in a few years.

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