Your dollar — and your fuel tank — will go further with the latest Captivas
FAMILIES are promised more and less with a mild update to the Holden Captiva SUV.
There is more value in extra equipment and more flexibility on fuel thanks to ethanol compatibility, but less thirst in an updated petrol performance of the family wagon’s fourcylinder and V6 engines.
Sales of Captiva have boomed this year, with deliveries of the Captiva 5 up by more than half and a 2.5 per cent lift on the Captiva 7 despite shortages of dieselpowered cars.
Holden spokeswoman Emily Perry says: ‘‘ We are very happy with how Captiva is going. Medium SUVS are very popular and it’s great to have a solid performer.’’
The company is also looking ahead to the arrival of its big-and-little SUV additions, the Trax and Malibu, next year.
‘‘ The SUV segment is up nearly 60 per cent and to have great new entries will be good,’’ Perry says.
The Captiva 5 and 7 join the V6 and V8 Commodores with ethanol compatibility, but Holden says it is not planning a full-scale switch to E85 engines across its line-up. The flex fuel is not compatible with its top seller, the compact Cruze, nor any of the other import models in its current range.
‘‘ It’s partly a chicken-and-egg thing,’’ Perry says. ‘‘ If the market says there is a demand then we go for it.
‘‘ Apart from the Captiva, it’s really only the V6 and V8 Commodores. We’re looking at it on a case-by-base basis. It’s about where we go with the powertrains.
‘‘ It’s about providing solutions for different customers. Not everyone wants or needs flex-fuel capability. It’s more a wait-and-see on our other models.’’
The E85 package means new Captiva owners can refuel with bio-ethanol fuel, E10, unleaded, premium or any combination of the fuels.
But petrol-powered Captivas are now being delivered with fuel economy that’s improved by up to 10 per cent thanks to recalibration of the engines and drive-train. That cuts the official economy of the 2.4-litre petrol from 9.1 to 8.8 litres/100km in the Captiva 5, with the 3-litre V6 in the Captiva 7 down from 11.3 to 10.1. There are other improvements across the board, including diesels.
There are no visual changes to the latest Captivas, but the 5 gets a new body colour and there is rear parking radar, USB input and a 2000kg tow rating across the Captiva 7 range, with the LX picking up heated front seats and front parking assist.
Holden is also sweetening the deal with driveaway prices from $27,990 and $33,990, as well as a sunroof and 18-inch alloys on the 5 and a sunroof and side steps on the 7.
Perry admits the changes to the SUVS are relatively minor.
‘‘ There are no cosmetics,’’ she says. ‘‘ It’s about improved fuel economy. It’s an ongoing update rather than a mid-life refresh. Any time you can create better value is a good thing.’’
Demand: Sales of the Holden Captiva 7 SUV wagon have risen on improvements made to the range