Let me start off by saying I thought I was going to have trouble being objective with this review since I own a Captiva but after driving the MY14 Captiva LTZ around for 2 weeks a can honestly say being objective is going to be easy.
The Series 2 Captiva has been on the market since 2011, and this year it received a minor freshen up when I say minor I mean the front and rear bars and the tail lights.
On the inside the Captiva is pretty much unchanged which isn’t too bad because I’ve always thought the inside was well set out.
The My14 Captiva receives a new instrument panel and is easy to read to in any light, in the centre between the dials is LCD screen that displays the odo and trip metre, to the top is the fuel and really that’s about it. The glaring omission to me is that there is no temp gauge on this model, I like to be able to keep an eye on my temp so I find the lack of a temp gauge really off putting specially when my Captiva has one so I do think its taken a backwards step there.
The centre stack is unchanged the large touch screen lets you access the sat nav and various other functions.
The audio system features Bluetooth connectivity and live audio streaming from your phone which works great, there’s also a USB connection in the sizeable console for plugging in USB sticks etc, etc.
The one thing I find rather unusual is when listening to music via a USB stick in my Captiva songs are displayed on the MP3 function via the touch screen. On this model however the only way to get your music to display is to have on an SD card and have that inserted.
While the stereo is easy to use I feel the sound is not as good as previous models either its just this particular vehicle or whether that’s standard now maybe GM are using different speakers that aren’t as good. Placed side by side with my Captiva for example the same song definitely sounds better in my car. So that’s a bit of a disappointment to me considering one of the things I like about mine is sound.
The LTZ receives a leather bound steering wheel which is comfortable to hold and has buttons for the cruise control, audio system, phone and air conditioning so no need to take your hands off the wheel while driving.
Ok onto main bug bear with the Captiva and this has the been the only thing I’ve really never liked on mine and that’s the front seats.
The MY14 model has leather trim and they have a heating function, it also has electric adjustment that’s the good points.
The bad points are the seats are flat and uncomfortable and offer no support at all when cornering which is an extreme pain as the Captiva corners rather well.
I was hoping this problem had been fixed with this model but nope it hasn’t, the lumbar adjustment is done via a lever and is probably one of the worse lumbar supports I’ve used. There is no up or down adjustment you can only essentially pump it up or let it down. The big problem is the positioning of it when fully inflated the lumbar sits right in the middle of your back I’m of average height so its annoying for me, its sits higher on my wife who is slightly shorter no basically its never been used on my car and I couldn’t use it on this one either.
While the seats are a massive let down for me the seating position while driving is greatg and offers great views.
The back seat is basically the same semi comfortable but could be better, rear legroom is good the 3rd row offers a decent amount of legroom. With the 3rd row folded flat into the floor the is plenty of boot space as you would expect.
On the road the Captiva rides great the suspension is a touch firm which means you do feel some bumps but it does ride nice and but the trade off for that’s means it corners rather well for an SUV and there’s barely an bodyroll.
The 2.2L turbo diesel puts out 132kWand 400Nm of torque so it has plenty of power, the engine is tractable and easy to drive in traffic, there’s some lag off the mark like most diesels it develops its max torque low in the rev range so once you get off the mark it can be quite spritely.
It does also feature an ECO which I does really make a difference as far as fuel economy, I found the Captiva to be decent on economy even in stop start bumper to traffic I seem to spend most of my time in. Turn off the ECO function and its like effectively letting horse loose to run as the Captiva becomes rather responsive and can move rapidly when required. I tested this out going up a hill at a constant speed of 60km/h whilst in ECO mode the Captiva was just cruising along turning it off and it like I had changed down a gear as the rev’s rose and it started to take off. The downside to turning the ECO off is it will start to use more fuel.
On the freeway though the Captiva can be rather frugal indeed, at high speeds it just lopes along effeortously in 6th gear. As I said the torque is developed down load which means the Captiva sits right in sweet torque spot so theirs is plenty of power available for overtaking.
The 6 speed auto works great and the shifts are smooth and seamless, it does however get confused specially in ECO mode and will occasionally go down one gear too many when coming to a hill specially when on the freeway. I fixed this problem by putting it in sportshift mode while on the freeway which seemed to fix the issue.
The Captiva LTZ is packed full of safety features including ABS, EBD, rollover protection, 6 air bags, front and rear parking sensors and it receives bonus points for having as rear view camera.
So after two weeks behind the wheel of the Captiva LTZ I have mixed feelings sure it still offers a semi decent package it’s packed full of safety, well equipped and has plenty of room.
My main problems is that it’s not that different from my 2011 Captiva, and it feels cheaper for some reason the plastics, sun visors and other things don’t feel as robust as my Captiva. I’m not the only one that this either my wife who spends more time driving my Captiva then i do commented on this as well. Also one of the things I like about my Captiva is that the rear window will open but this has been deleted on this model.
While it does offer a semi decent package and its well equip plus it’s also well priced at $39,990 as a current Captiva owner I felt a little disappointed with the LTZ and the feel of it. Granted the Captiva has been on the market for quite a few years now and it really needs to be replaced with a new model as I feel that other cars in it’s class have been updated since the Captiva arrived and any advantage it did have over the opposition has been gradually eroded.
One thing I will add though is that my Captiva has proved to be wonderfully reliable car over the last 3 years and has decent economy, the extra flexibility the 7 seats offer has been a god send to us, specially before my father passed away at the beginning of last year when we had to drive him around to medical appointments with his oxygen tank on board as we had plenty of room for the whole family.
To check out Holdens range of vehicles visit their website http://www.holden.com.au