We are quietly impressed by the Chevrolet Captiva, if not exactly bowled over by its range of abilities. In one or two areas it is excellent, particularly its chassis, which combines soothing refinement with decent manners, on and off road.

But in the main the Captiva is a middle-of-the-road kind of car, one that neither irritates you nor knocks you sideways with its achievements. And its cabin, although spacious for five with the flexibility of two more occasional seats in the rear, is something of a letdown beside its key rivals.

Brakes are fine but the pedal is too high for some tastes.

The Captiva’s biggest problem, amazingly, is its price. We say amazingly because Chevrolet has a reputation for producing excellent-value vehicles. But in top-of-the-tree LTZ auto guise the Captiva is as expensive as a Freelander and nothing like as desirable.

Go for the cheapest model — the LS five-seater — with the less-powerful diesel engine and the Captiva makes sense as spacious family transport at a reasonable price.

Even with the two extra occasional seats, at an extra cost of just over £1000, a Captiva LT looks a good proposition. But the top-spec Captiva LTZ has ideas a little above its station in life.