Chevy Captiva — PinoyExchange

Chevy Captiva

A new entrant into the local SUV market arrives:


Here's a review of the UK variant from

Car reviews: 2007 Chevrolet Captiva
By Damian Doyle

The Captiva is Chevrolet's latest addition to their European stable, aimed at the mid-range family Sports Utility Vehicle segment of a very competitive sector of the market. This car is an important addition, not only to the market; but also to Chevrolet it must attract customers away from more established brands, solely within the European market in order to survive as a product. Launched on 24th June 2007, the entry-level LS, starts at 16,995 with a good selection of trim and engine variants available through to the range-topping 24,920(GBP) LTX equipped with automatic transmission. In plain terms, the Captiva needs to set itself apart from the mainstays in the market to capture the interest of consumers. The Captiva is a seven-seater and is supplied with Chevrolet's first ever diesel engine.

Chevrolet invited me to test-drive the Captiva a month before its launch and flew me to the South West of Ireland where they had a rigorous itinerary planned in the rugged Cork and Kerry Mountains. Less rigorous, however, was my stay at base camp', the luxurious Sheen Falls Hotel and Country Cub in Kenmare. I was waited on and generally spoilt by the smart, attentive staff and stationed in a suite, with a balcony overlooking the waterfall. Needless to say, I was refreshed and ready for the couple of days of demanding driving ahead of me. The weather had taken a turn for the worst and I hoped that the car was everything it was cracked up to be I didn't relish the idea of being stranded in the middle of nowhere, out of mobile range and in the driving rain.

Aesthetically, the Captiva is a good looking car. Everything is neat and pleasing front and rear lights are comfortingly sensible, yet well formed. The shoulder-line is quite high, however closer inspection reveals this to be elementary to a clever design feature raising the shoulder line has the effect of lowering the cabin floor without compromising ground clearance, providing easier passenger access. The A' pillar is rakishly angled, lending a sleek appearance to the front, whilst a nicely angled feature line leads the eye to the rear. The C' pillars at the rear are quite thick but do not appear to have produced any serious blind spots for the driver. The mirror mounted indicators fitted to the higher specced models are really nifty.

The interior of all the models I tested appeared to be well put together, nicely trimmed and generally a nice place to be. If it was my money, I'd definitely go for the leather seats I was thoroughly impressed with the comfort and quality.

First on the agenda, was a series of single-track stone lanes leading to Priest's Leap an isolated summit high in the Cork Mountains. Driving in convoy with about twenty other members of the motoring press fraternity, we must have cut an odd but impressive sight, speeding across the wild terrain of Cork in brand new Chevrolets. Events took a slightly abstract turn, when the car ahead of me took the wrong road at a junction. I followed, as did the two cars behind me and we ended up in the courtyard of a derelict cottage located near the Back O'Beyond, County Cork. Two surprised rural types, who had been working nearby, appeared from behind a cow or something and I hastily explained our sudden presence in their workplace. Sweeping a pair of wire-cutters in the general direction of our four identical SUVs, one of replied them in a broad Cork accent "We thought you'se were the authorities!"

Back en-route we completed the section and arrived at the RV point about thirty miles south of Priest's Leap, thoroughly impressed but ready for the pre-arranged tea and scones. The section had convinced me of the Captiva's prowess as a good off-road vehicle. Even equipped with road tyres, the car's ability to deal with the rough tracks was as good and in some cases, better than the best of its competitors. I had chosen an automatic 2.0 Litre LTX for the section and used the Hill Descent Control on several of the scarier descents the speed of this is set perfectly but you need to trust it; losing your nerve and braking defeats the purpose. Four-wheel drive is selected automatically by the drive system and is linked to the Electronic Stability Control function, removing the necessity for the driver to select differential-lock buttons when the going gets tough. The car will automatically default to front-wheel drive under standard road use.

The range has several engine and transmission choices but the best combination for comfort and performance was the LTX with automatic transmission. Powered by a 1991cc four cylinder high-pressure fuel injection diesel producing around 150 BHP at 4000 revs, married to an auto/tiptronic box, the automatic LTX is capable of 112 MPH. All of which are respectable enough figures, however the fuel consumption is the most impressive in the manual LTX 32 MPG (urban), 42 MPG (extra-urban) and 37 MPG (combined).

The next day, I was given a manual gearbox variant to do my own thing' I headed straight for the Ring of Kerry, mostly because of my knowledge of the demanding sections, but also because of my love for the area. I have many fond memories of the famous rally stages in the area, not least of which is Moll's Gap, an infamous stage with breathtaking scenery, made famous by legendary rally drivers such as Austin McHale and Bertie Fisher. The Captiva's set-up deals with this kind of demanding road use admirably and is comfortable, predictable and confident. The manual transmission is the best choice here gearing down for the eccentrically cambered and sudden opposing bends and crests, allows most efficient driving. I stopped off at White Sands and Carroll's Cove on the way back to Kenmare to revisit the Chevy's off-road ability (and have a bit of fun). I wasn't disappointed the rain had left the dunes in a damp' state and provided challenging conditions that it coped with very well. I was also amazed to find that I still had almost half a tank of diesel to get me to Cork Airport the next morning, despite having driven the car fairly boisterously.

By the end of my visit, I was a big fan of this car I found little to complain about and plenty to rave about. Quite aside from value for money, the Chevy's ability transport it's occupants in comfort and safety, on or off the road, will no doubt carve Chevrolet a successful slice of the local market. Northern Ireland consumers are a smart bunch and I'm predicting a big future for the Captiva in the European new car market.


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