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Holden Captiva Petrol

CaptivaPetrolJPGSo Holden is pitching its new 2016 Captiva as a family friendly vehicle. Well, as this review of the Holden Captiva Petrol range is being written by a mother of teenagers, I’m in a position to judge whether or not it is.

First of all, how does the Holden Captiva Petrol range look? I have to confess that I’m a practical type and looks don’t matter all that much to me and I want something that just gets me from A to B in one piece with everything I set out with.  However, as the teenagers in question are getting into the L-plate and P-plate stage, looks are all-important to them. OK, this isn’t the hot little convertible my son wishes that he was learning to drive in but it has modern enough styling to not embarrass them. The roof rails and side steps on the LT and LTZ variants look extra good (and can carry the all-important surfboard).

Most modern cars these days come with an automatic transmission, so no matter how much I’d prefer my teenagers to learn on something with proper gears, the closest I’ll get to that in the Holden Captiva Petrol is the Active Select function on the 6-speed automatic transmission that you find in most Holden Captiva Petrol models, with the only exception being the Holden Captiva Petrol LS Manual. However, I wouldn’t select that model on that basis alone. I like the convenience of automatic transmissions, and the fact that the LTZ and LT have all-wheel drive swing me in their favour.

The real difference between the three variants lies under the bonnet. The LS has the smaller of the two possible engines, featuring a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that is at its most powerful (128 kW) at 5800 but has a good amount of torque at the lower end of the revs (for a petrol engine, that is), maxing out at 230 Nm at 4600 rpm.  This stacks up against the 3.0-litre V6 inside the LTZ and the LT, which hits the top of its power curve at 190 kW at 6900 rpm (not that I often floor the revs to that sort of level) and sees the torque peaking at 288 Nm at 5800 rpm.  I’m more swayed by fuel economy than by sheer power, so the fact that the Holden Captiva Petrol LS gets 9.6 L/100 km to the LT and LTZ’s 10.7 (which still isn’t bad for a large family sized SUV with a V6 engine) swings me back this way.

However, no matter what I choose, I’ll be happy enough putting the teenagers in the driver’s seat, as the Holden Captiva Petrol range has a LOT more safety features than the car I learned to drive on did. If I got to drive something with roller-wheel seatbelts and power steering, I thought I was pretty lucky. However, all of the Holden Captiva Petrol range have pyrotechnic pretensioned seatbelts; airbags for front, side and curtain; active rollover protection, cruise control and a brilliant active safety system. There’s quite a lot involved in the Holden Captiva Petrol’s active safety features but the one I like the best is the hill start control – I hate hill starts. However, the ABS brakes with EBD and brake assist, the traction control and the electronic stability control are all very useful. So is the descent control system – coming down a steep hill always gives me the heebie-jeebies.

All the safety features are not likely to impress my teenagers, who think that they’ll never need them. However, they are impressed by the infotainment system. They like things high-tech and they are practically addicted to having non-stop music playing, so the Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, the Phone Projector that talks to their phones so they can play their Spotify lists (dang – I don’t get away from some of those annoying things that call themselves music anywhere!), the auxiliary input and the USB input… and the 12-volt power sockets so they can charge their devices up again. Out of all the technological bits and pieces, although I like the connectivity and the sound system well enough, I prefer the sat-nav, the rear view camera and the rear parking assistance. If I end up opting for the Holden Captiva Petrol LTZ, I also get front parking assistance, blind spot alerting and a rear cross traffic alert. However, everybody finds the dual-zone climate control very handy – and the fact that the third row gets cupholders so there’s no passing bottles back and forwards, with the risk of spilling it all over the cloth upholstery (or leather in the LTZ).

Captiva InteriorAll in all, the Holden Captiva Petrol range certainly does have the capacity to be a great family vehicle. It’s got the space, it’s got the ability to go most places (especially the AWD variants) and it’s got all the safety and convenience features that any family really needs. If it comes down to it, I think my choice out of the lot would have to be the 5-seater variant of the Holden Captiva Petrol LS, as I’ve only got two kids and don’t need the extra third row. I also like the fuel economy and the fact that my teenagers will have to learn to drive a manual rather than being bewildered by gears.  However, we like camping, so maybe the extra space and the 4WD of the LT make that one more desirable. Or the sexy black leather, the parking assistance and the heated front seats of the LTZ might win the day.  Decisions, decisions…

Current model series include:

  • Holden Captiva Petrol LS Manual 5-seater 2WD
  • Holden Captiva Petrol LS Automatic 5-seater 2WD
  • Holden Captiva Petrol LS Automatic 7-seater 2WD
  • Holden Captiva Petrol LT Automatic 7-seater AWD
  • Holden Captiva Petrol LTZ Automatic 7-seater AWD

For any more information on the Holden Captiva Petrol, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Holden dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!