Road Tests

Handbook: Chevy Captiva

Time 7:25 pm, May 20, 2011

captiva-1One of Chevrolet dealers’ most popular models has been under the knife for 2011, reports James Baggott.


A refreshed version of one of Chevrolet’s most popular models. The Captiva has been given a new look outside, a nip and tuck inside and boasts all-new engines under the bonnet. Chevrolet makes the bold claim that it invented the SUV 75 years ago with the Suburban and says it’s used those seven decades of experience in this car.


In the UK only diesel options will be offered. Other countries get petrol variants but market research suggested UK buyers weren’t interested in these. Therefore buyers can choose between high-powered (182bhp, which will be the most popular) and low-powered (161bhp) variants of the new 2.2-litre VCDI diesel engine. We tried the more powerful of the two which emits 174g/km, returns 42.8mpg and can hit 60mph in 9.3s. Manual and auto gearboxes are available both of which are pretty competent.

screen-shot-2011-05-11-at-114927WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?

It’s here where the Captiva really stands out. There are three trim levels: LS, LT and top-of-the-range LTZ. Even the bottom of the range model comes packed with kit. Standard spec includes ESC, Bluetooth, six-speaker CD with MP3 compatibility, rain- sensitive wipers, alarm, immobiliser, remote central locking, air con, 17-inch alloys, and electric windows. LTZ gets more including a reversing camera, sat nav and full leather. Buyers can only specify two options – a sunroof and brushed aluminium interior.


Like a big SUV. There’s nothing particularly remarkable about the Captiva apart from the fact it gets the job done without any fuss. The ride is good, it’s comfortable, and there’s lots of space inside. The diesel unit is a little noisy at low speeds, but punchy and capable. What’s really remarkable is just how good it is off road. On the launch we got to put it through its

paces in the snow and it performed impeccably.


What Car? liked the spacious interior and said it was a ‘great looking SUV’, however the magazine’s testers thought the engines needed to be more flexible. Fifth Gear, meanwhile, said the seven seats were handy and it also liked

the looks, but it said the manual gear change needed to be better.


Chevy dealers love the Captiva as it attracts all sorts of buyers into showrooms – and the new model will continue that tradition. It’s a profitable car for the network so knowing this one is even better than the outgoing offering will please retailers. Okay, so it won’t set the world alight, but buyers will love the spec, genuine off-road capability and seven-seat usability in a car that looks pretty good too.


James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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