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Holden Captiva

holden captiva

Exterior looks make the first impression, and once you set eyes on the new Holden Captiva you could be forgiven for thinking that this machine must be worth a few extra Aussie dollars.

Visually, one might attach the compact Holden Captiva SUV for being a vehicle more suited to the tarmac – nicely curved and sleek – albeit an urban car with good ground clearance (around 20 cm of ground clearance, in fact). But you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easily the AWD Holden Captiva 7 will take you off the beaten track to your favourite picnic spot or swimming hole (no crocs allowed!). This is a great little SUV – which is also known as a softroader or AWD – that will take you on the majority of dirt roads (e.g. roads to skifields, angler access tracks to rivers) or across a bumpy paddock. And the prospective buyer has a range of styles and engines to choose from. Buy into the Captiva 5 model and the FWD capability lessens the ability off-road a little. But what you loose in off-road ability, you make up for at the fuel pump.

Now that a year or two have gone by since we last had a good look at what a Holden Captiva looks and drives like, I was amused to find that the latest offering for the Captiva range is one spunky looking set of wheels. More advanced in its styling, the compact SUV styling is good looking – smartly sending it right to the top of some of the best compact SUV designs for 2011/2012. The Holden Captiva range boasts the Captiva 5 (five seater) and the Captiva 7 (seven seater).

Distinctively different, you’ll notice that the 2011 Captiva 5 has the chunkier face, with its taller wider headlights and driving lights inserted into the, overall, strong front-end appearance. Take a look at the Captiva 7, and straight away you’ll note that the sleeker headlight design is what sets the two models apart. Nice alloys, stalked wing mirrors and a high waistline are part of any of the Captiva models.

Naturally, if you are going to need to use your Holden Captiva for car pooling duty, then the Captiva 7 is going to be the one for you. The Captiva 7 comes in three variants, with the LX being the flagship model. More interior space in the Captiva 7 will be a welcome asset, while the extra two seats in the back provide extra bum space for tag alongs. However, the interior space is good – and the two folk in the back seats will remain chirpy enough over any long haul, without complaint of a lack of leg space and shoulder room. They’ll continue adding intelligently to any conversation being held onboard the well muted Holden Captiva 7 cabin. Build quality for the 2011 Captiva 5 and 7 is good, and the smaller dimensions of the Captiva 5 make it easier in car parking spaces, and around town.

Under the hood of the Holden Captiva you’ll find some newly designed engines. The 2.4-litre petrol unit is a smooth performer. Sparkling engine response makes for a decent drive, and the up-rated 123 kW and 230 Nm work nicely together to keep the 1700 kg SUV moving along swiftly enough.

The new Holden SIDI V6 3.0-litre petrol engine is available for the Holden Captiva 7 CX and LX models. Copious amounts of torque and power make this a great match for the Captiva. Smooth unhindered acceleration and performance make this a real joy to drive.

Diesel power has to be an option in this day and age, and the 2.2-litre turbo-diesel technology gives the Captiva a real boost – making it both frugal and fast. Equipped with the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox, you’ll find that the Captiva takes city and country driving in its stride. The diesel engine may have less maximum power, but it is torquier (more torquative?).

Electronic stability control and four wheel disc brakes help keep the Captiva well in control and nimble at all times. Impressive traction in the wet helps build driver confidence – thanks mainly to Holden’s excellent Active AWD system. Both the handling and stability of the Holden Captiva are excellent – the Outlander’s judging panel mentioned the earlier model’s suspension as a point in its favour. This remains unchanged. The all wheel drive system has a torque split ratio that is very sensitive to the driving conditions, and the level ride suspension is designed to adapt to load and road conditions, making the Holden Captiva 7 a comfortable ride. Holden Captivas share the same ESP package as Holden’s city cars, but also including active rollover protection and descent control for added grip when doing hill work.

Inside, the Holden Captiva has all the mod cons we have come to expect in a vehicle that is bound to be used as an everyday city car as well as a fun back-country drive. A 12 volt power outlet, an MP-3 compatible CD system (6-disc system for all except the SX) and climate control with filtering are all provided. As you’d expect from GM Holden, the safety features in the Holden Captiva are also fully up-to-date, including full-size driver and passenger airbags, curtain airbags and pyrotechnic pretensioner seatbelts with load limiters in the front seats.

As you would expect, the LX variant of the Holden Captiva 7 is the most luxurious model, featuring leather trimmed seats, fully electronic climate control and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seats. Holden have given the Captiva a distinctive interior design that boasts round dials and switchgear across the front of the dashboard facia. This looks good, and functions well.

This year, we have seen a huge step-up in the Holden Captiva’s overall package. It is a pretty respectable and fun SUV that offers great stability and comfort. My pick would be the diesel variant of the Holden Captiva LX, which combines the more luxurious interior with greater occupant capacity, more torque and better fuel economy. However, you can’t ignore the sublime refinement and power that the SIDI V6 provides.

The Holden Captiva plants itself is a very decent, well equipped and affordable compact SUV alternative. And the price is about right. Check it out with the help of Private Fleet’s friendly staff.

The current model series from Holden includes the:

  • Captiva 5
  • Captiva 7 SX
  • Captiva 7 CX
  • Captiva 7 LX

For any more information on the Holden Captiva, 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 – it’s car buying made easy!

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