CHEVROLET CAPTIVA 2.4 LT 4×4
Buy a Chevrolet Captiva and you can be sure that you’re getting a lot of car for your money. Not only is it comfortable and spacious, but it offers seven seats. So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly SUV that can accommodate the whole family, the Chev is hard to beat
If a vehicle wants to compete effectively in a segment that is as competitive as the compact SUV one, it needs a USP.
What’s a USP, you ask? A unique selling point. There are a lot of good compact SUVs out there, so if a vehicle wants to stay in the game, it needs to bring something unique to the table.
Like a crafty poker hustler, the Captiva has a few cards up its sleeve. Firstly, it offers a three-litre engine, which is quite unusual in this segment. The top-of-the-range 3.0 LTZ 4×4 AT boasts a V6 petrol powerplant that generates 190 kW of power and 297 Nm of torque. You’ll struggle to find a similarly-priced SUV with comparable performance.
The second card is its price. The Captiva is attractively positioned and offers a lot of car for your money. The interior is comfortable and there’s loads of standard kit, even in the base model.
The Captiva’s trump card, though, is its third row of seating. Yes, GM’s SUV competes against compact SUVs when it comes to price, but it isn’t really compact at all. It is spacious and boasts seven seats. Moreover, you’ll find that the last row can actually accommodate two adults — something that isn’t true of all seven-seaters. Finally, these seats can be folded flat into the floor, so they don’t compromise luggage space when packed away.
The Captiva that accompanied us on our Namibian expedition was the 2,4-litre LT 4×4 model. Its engine generates 123 kW of power and 230 Nm of torque, and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Although it doesn’t boast the greatest ground clearance – it is pegged at 175mm – it does have all-wheel drive, an electronic stability programme (ESP), traction control, hill descent control and hill start assist. They all help in dealing with off-road terrain.
During the trip, the Captiva proved that it is a stellar all-round performer. Yes, most people won’t take their Captiva’s off the beaten path, but if they do find themselves on a bad gravel road or sandy track, they can rest assured that the vehicle can handle it.
The Chevrolet Captiva has been a solid seller for GM since its local launch in 2008. With its seven-seat configuration, good looks, decent interior and affordable price (especially on the front-wheel-drive models), Chevrolet’s SUV offers very good value for money, which is why buyers in the market for a crossover have embraced it.
The SUV received an upgrade earlier this year. Most noticeably, the Captiva got a new, chunkier grille, but that’s not the most important aspect of the upgrade by a long shot.
In fact, it received so many important changes that it is closer to a new model than a simple facelift.
The petrol engines, for example, have been changed completely. The previous 2,4-litre powerplant that generated 100 kW of power and 220 Nm of torque have been replaced with one that offers 123 kW and 230 Nm of torque. The old 3,2-litre engine that created 169 kW and 297 Nm has been replaced with a three-litre version that offer 197 kW and 297 Nm. Unfortunately, there’s no turbodiesel version available at the moment, but one is apparently on the way.
The interior has also been upgraded. The controls and fascia design have been overhauled, and nifty gadgets, such as an electronic parking brake and a trip computer on the top-of-the-range model, have been added.
Despite these numerous improvements, the Captiva remains very competitively priced.
CHEVROLET CAPTIVA 2.4 LT 4×4
Engine: 2,4-litre, four-cylinder, DOHC
Power: 123 kW @ 5600 r/min
Torque: 230 Nm @ 2200 r/min
Gearbox: Six-speed manual
4WD: Full-time all-wheel drive
Ground clearance: 175mm
Price: R346 300