CAPTIVA 5 AWD REVIEW
Vehicle Style: SUV
Fuel Economy (claimed): 8.5 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 10.1 l/100km
Holden’s 2011 revamp of the Captiva range sees an all-new 2.2 litre turbo-diesel under the bonnet, as well as new transmissions and a lightly rejigged interior.
Interior quality and on-road refinement may not be its strong suit, but value for money definitely is.
Quality: Easily-scratched plastics and flimsy switchgear feel cheap. And, although new features like the large centre console bin improve the usability of the cabin, they don’t bring any improvements in quality.
Comfort: There’s a decent amount of room both front and rear for a young family, with all seats trimmed in durable, child-resistant fabric upholstery.
The front seats are quite comfortable and feature adjustable lumbar support. Back seats are flat but ok. The back seat area though loses a few points due to the absence of face-level air vents.
Equipment: Standard features include cruise control, climate control, trip-computer, power windows, front and rear parking-sensors, auto-on headlamps and a seven-speaker audio system with six-disc CD stacker.
Storage: There’s enough space for an average-sized pram in the Captiva 5’s boot, with 430 litres of space with the rear seats raised. Folding the back seats produces a flat area with a total cargo volume of 865 litres.
ON THE ROAD
Driveability: The Captiva 5’s 2.2 litre turbo-diesel inline four is the engine to pick (a 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated petrol motor is also available), producing a healthy 135kW of power and 288Nm of torque.
It’s definitely got great tractability, but driving it around in Melbourne’s suburban traffic meant we couldn’t get our fuel economy to dip below 10 l/100km.
A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available with the diesel; it's a smooth unit that delivers good performance in around-town driving.
There’s a hill-start assist feature to help with standing-starts on inclines, and a descent control system that automatically brakes the car on steep slippery descents.
Refinement: The best news about the Series 2 Captiva 5 is the new-found refinement of its 2.2 litre turbo-diesel. The old diesel was a clattery thing, but the new engine is smooth, quiet and not at all harsh.
We wish we could say the same for some of the cabin plastics, which rattled over harsher bumps.
Suspension: The suspension provides decent roadholding, but fidgets over small bumps and potholes. It’s far from bone-jarring though and settles down appreciably on highways.
An 11.8 metre turning circle gives the Captiva reasonable manoeuvrability in tight squeezes, but it’s a little wider than many others in its segment. The power steering is light though, so twirling the wheel back and forth is less of a chore.
Braking: The all-disc brakes work fine, stopping the Captiva with ease. The brake pedal feels a little on the soft side though.
ANCAP rating: Not tested
Safety features: Front, front side and curtain airbags are standard, while all seats have three-point seatbelts (front seatbelts are also equipped with pretensioners). ABS, brake assist, traction control and stability control help reduce the chance of a collision.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
Warranty: 3 years/100,000kms
Service costs: Service costs may vary, so check with your local Holden dealer before purchase.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
Hyundai ix35 Elite CRDi ($35,490) - Following complaints of excessive suspension stiffness, Hyundai has equipped all 2011 AWD ix35 models with more compliant adaptive dampers to improve ride comfort.
Thanks to a tractable and refined turbo-diesel engine, the ix35 Elite is a capable and family-friendly compact SUV, and well worth the small premium over the Captiva 5. Its spec sheet might not be as impressive, but overall it’s a more polished product. (see ix35 reviews)
Nissan X-Trail TS automatic ($38,240) - Freshly updated earlier in the year, the diesel X-Trail is above par for interior quality and space - its 1773 litre maximum cargo capacity easily eclipsing both the ix35 and Captiva 5.
The X-Trail’s 2.0 diesel lacks the power and torque of the Holden’s powerplant, but it’s compensated for by its decent off-road capabilities. It’s dearer, but a good buy. (see X-Trail reviews)
Ssangyong Korando SX automatic ($32,811) - Ssangyong’s first foray into the compact SUV segment is a solid effort, but cabin quality could be better.
Still, presentable on-road manners and a willing turbo-diesel engine work in its favour, as does its keen pricing. (see Korando reviews)
Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
If value for money matters to you, the Captiva 5 will appeal. The standard specification list is relatively generous, and the strong diesel powertrain/drivetrain combo is hard to fault.
A jittery ride may turn some people off and cabin quality is under par for the segment. But, for less than $35,000, the Captiva 5 diesel delivers value that even its Korean competitors can’t match.