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Chevrolet Captiva 4×4 (2007-2014) expert review

By Adrian Higgins, 22nd December 2007

The verdict

The Chevrolet Captiva is a family 4x4 that offers space, practicality and great value for money.

Expert rating:

3.6

Pros

  • Big on-road presence
  • Impressive value for money
  • Comfortable ride

Cons

  • Poor handling
  • Steering lacks feel
  • Restricted rear seats

Full Review

1. Exterior

The Chevrolet Captiva is a stylish, chunky SUV with stacks of presence. The big, gold manufacturer badge dominates the grille while the car’s profile goes for the coupe-like styling seen on other new SUV/4×4 models including the Mazda CX-7 and Nissan Quashqai. It seems tidy and compact for a car which can carry up to seven.
Our rating: 3

2. Interior

The Chevrolet Captiva might be at the budget end of the SUV spectrum but that isn’t reflected inside the car. The driving position is great, nice and high, as well as being comfortable. The information panel is easy-to-read, though the green illumination might not be to everyone’s taste and the controls on the central console are easy to manage. The Chevrolet Captiva has a good interior which provides a nice environment for longer journeys. Full leather trim is available on the top-of-the-range LTX model and is good quality.
Our rating: 4

3. Practicality

Chevrolet claims the Captiva is the best value seven-seat SUV on the market (the petrol version is only available as a five-seater and there is a diesel option in this configuration too). The third row of seats do not lend themselves to long trips but should be fine for ferrying the little ones’ mates over shorter distances. With all seats up the boot space is limited to just 85 litres. However, flatten the back row, the second row and the front seat and the total load volume increases to a maximum of 1,565 litres. It is more SUV than off-roader.
Our rating: 4

4. Ride and handling

The diesel model Chevrolet Captiva we drove is an SUV with “on demand 4×4 capability”. That means most of the time it operates as a front-wheel drive car with the 4×4 capability automatically kicking in when the vehicle senses the occasion warrants it. Chevrolet claims the on demand 4×4 capability enables the Captiva to match the handling of smaller cars – and it is relatively nimble for a seven-seater. However, the steering is inevitably a little vague and the car wallows in corners. But when it comes to ride quality, the Captiva is excellent.
Our rating: 4

5. Performance

The Chevrolet Captiva comes with a choice of two engines. The entry-level model is powered by a 2.4-litre manual petrol engine. But it is the new 2-litre diesel engine, available with a manual or automatic gearbox which is expected to account for the vast majority of sales and was the version we tested. All models boast roughly the same top speed of 115mph with 0-60mph times of 11.5 seconds for the manual models and 12.2 seconds for the automatic. A five speed gearbox is standard on all models. We found the manual diesel to be responsive with plenty of power available.
Our rating: 4

6. Running costs

Fuel economy is reasonable for a car which can seat up to seven. Both automatic models, petrol or diesel, average 32.8mpg while the manual diesel model should achieve 37.1mpg. Go for the manual model and your car will fall within tax band F, currently a £200 annual bill. Obviously the more passengers you regularly carry the more economical your motoring will be.
Our rating: 3

7. Reliability

The Chevrolet Captiva was launched in 2006 after undergoing three million test miles but it is a little early for reliability issues to have surfaced yet. The South Korean-manufactured vehicle comes under the General Motors umbrella (Vauxhall is its big seller in this country and the Vauxhall Antara its sister car) and is backed by a three year/60,000 miles warranty plus three years AA roadside cover.
Our rating: 3

8. Safety

The Chevrolet Captiva was awarded a maximum five stars following Euro NCAP tests. Its 4×4 capability will assist grip on the diesel models and all cars benefit from safety features, including anti-lock brakes and six airbags (with electronic stability program available on LT and LTX models).
Our rating: 3

9. Equipment

All models come with plenty of extras. The entry-level five-seat petrol-powered LS version comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, electrically adjusted door mirrors, CD player and steering wheel-mounted controls. On diesel models there is a choice of LT and LTX models. The LT model, available with five or seven seats, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, electronic stability program, cooled glove box and leather-covered steering wheel and gear knob. The top-of-the-range LTX model we drove adds 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, trip computer, cruise control, full leather trim, rain-sensitive windscreen wipers and more.
Our rating: 4

10. Why buy?

Chevrolet is as good as its word. You get great value for money with the Chevrolet Captiva. But in terms of the car itself, the feature which impressed us most was the superb ride quality. This is a very comfortable car for drivers and passengers, although, as mentioned above, the third row of seating is best used for short journeys.
Our rating: 4

Expert review 3.6stars

  • Exterior3
  • Interior4
  • Practicality4
  • Ride and handling4
  • Performance4
  • Running costs3
  • Reliability3
  • Safety3
  • Equipment4
  • Why buy?4

Our recommendations

Best on a budget:
Captiva 2.4 LS 5st 2WD
Budget Captiva offers seating for five.
Best-seller:
Captiva 2.0 VCDi LT 7st 4WD
Best selling LT adds 7 seats and alloys wheels.
Blow the budget:
Captiva 2.0 VCDi LTZ 7st 4WD
Range-topping LTX features full leather trim and 18” wheels.

You get great value for money with the Chevrolet Captiva.