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

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

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VX220EDDIE 11 May 2011

Re: Chevrolet Captiva LTZ

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.

FastRenaultFan 11 May 2011

Re: Chevrolet Captiva LTZ

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

FastRenaultFan wrote:
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

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.

FastRenaultFan wrote:
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.

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 .

scrap 10 May 2011

Re: Chevrolet Captiva LTZ

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.