The lat­est model gets a new-look front, writes Neil Dowl­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

AUS­TRALIA’S most pop­u­lar SUV is about to be­come even more fam­ily-friendly. GM Holden plans to wheel out a re­fur­bished Captiva SUV to in­creas­ingly more dis­cern­ing Aus­tralian fam­i­lies.

Ex­pected here early next year, the five or seven-seat Captiva starred at this month’s Paris Mo­tor Show as a Chevro­let (right).

The SUV, built by the South Korean Dae­woo arm of GM, has been up­graded and has more power choices but aims to add more value for fam­ily buy­ers.

GM Holden in the year to the end of last month sold al­most 11,000 Cap­ti­vas to make it Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar medium-sized SUV.

It is get­ting a big­ger, two-slot grille un­der a mus­cled-up bon­net, new slim-line head­lights and re­peater in­di­ca­tors in the wing mir­rors.

‘‘We’re not in a po­si­tion to dis­cuss pow­er­trains or fea­tures for our lo­cal model at this stage,’’ GM Holden spokesman Jonathon Rose says.

‘‘But the styling does give a clue about what an up­dated Captiva for Aus­tralia may look like.’’

Global mar­kets have the choice of two petrol en­gines (a 127kW 2.4-litre vari­able-valve four and a 192kW 3 - l i t r e V6) and two 2 . 2 - l i t r e tur­bod­iesels rated at 121kW and 136kW. Trans­mis­sions are new sixspeed man­ual and six-speed au­to­matic units.

The next Captiva has new cabin colours and fin­ishes, a wrap-around in­stru­ment panel and ice-blue back­light­ing. For the first time, it gets an elec­tric park brake that al­lows more room in the cen­tre con­sole for stor­age. Other cabin im­prove­ments are an au­dio sys­tem with iPod, USB and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity.

Euro­pean buy­ers are to have a touch-screen sat-nav op­tion with rear view cam­era. This fea­ture is ex­pected on the Aus­tralian-bound mod­els.

GM says the new Captiva also has more pos­i­tive han­dling and re­duced road, wind and en­gine noise.

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