In design terms the Captiva is big news for GM, especially in Europe, where the compact SUV market is lucrative. When the Korean-built big brother of the Vauxhall Antara was launched in Europe in 2006, the soft-roader spearheaded Chevrolet’s “new era of design, combining the ruggedness of an SUV with the stylishness of a mid-size station wagon”.
The lines are clean and rugged enough to look imposing but not as heavy-handed as they are in one or two of the Captiva’s less good-looking competitors, the Hyundai Santa Fe and Nissan X-Trail.
A mid-life refresh in 2011 introduced a bolder face, with a re-shaped and sharply sculptured bonnet, a new larger grille, prism-style headlamps and integrated LED turn signals on the outside rearview mirrors.
On the road the Captiva looks fresh, muscular and compact for a seven-seat, four-wheel-drive soft-roader.