CAPTIVA AUDIENCE SATISFIED
CONSOLE SPACE A WINNER IN SERVICEABLE MID SUV
THE new Captiva at the entry level may not stir motoring enthusiasts’ blood, but it is comparatively cheap, spacious and up-to-date.
The latest one has a redesigned grille and a classier interior and is comfortable, quite well equipped and has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity standard across the range.
The test Captiva was the LS, listed at $26,490, but is available in some local dealerships at up to $2000 less.
Other models are the LT and flagship LTZ, both all-wheel drives and with a choice of 2.2litre diesel or 3.0litre petrol motors and cost $10,000 to $15,000 more than an LS, depending on model and engine and transmission choice.
There is a good amount of console space available, with a retracting set of cup holders that reveal a cavernous lower compartment. There is a USB power port for continuous connectivity.
The seats are comfortable enough for an extended outing. The back seats fold down completely flat to reveal a huge space for transporting utility payloads if needed.
Other standard features include six airbags, dual-zone climate control, electric power steering, descent control system, self-levelling suspension, leather-bound multi-function steering wheel, auto-on/off headlights, keyless entry and a reversing camera.
The LS rides on 17-inch alloys.
We did a country trip, heading east to Northam then south to Boddington to collect some bits and pieces and to behold some of the fabulous flowering native bush before returning to Perth.
The five-seat LS is frontwheel driven by a 2.4litre petrol motor with 124kW and 230Nm of torque.
The six-speed manual gearbox is quite well mated to the motor and runs happily with normal traffic around town and in the country. Combined fuel figures averaged 9.4 for the week of travel.
On the road the LS Captiva is surprisingly compliant to normal driving.
The gearbox is smooth and easy and the Korean-built Captiva feels quite lively when using the flexible rev range.
The only gripe is the dashboard light that prompts drivers to shift up in an effort to minimise fuel use and does not invite downshifts, leaving inattentive drivers in sixth gear at 60km/h, spluttering up the first hill encountered.
The electric-operated handbrake that I generally dislike actually works well with the hill holder and did not pose a problem after a little getting used to.
All in all a good package for the money and well worth considering if getting into the mid-SUV queue on the way to school and the shops.
Verdict: Good value. The LS has more standard features than most in its class and looks good too.
Holden's Captiva LS is a top-value package.