Captiva has been around for the best part of a decade now. Do the latest updates keep Holden’s troop carrier viable?
It can be easy to write off the Holden Captiva on age alone. It has been around for, well, ever. But as models age the costs are eventually amortized and makers can add the frills, some of which didn’t even exist when the Captiva was birthed. We’ve lost count of the makeovers Holden’s compact SUV has received, while the latest update adds some techy bits and tacks on some glitz. On the top LTZ model, as seen here, these amount to added safety gear and updated connectivity features, which are what the general mass market buyers and fleets seem to be after.
This sees the LTZ adopt blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, though autonomous braking and active cruise still don’t make the list. The cabin adopts a more modern looking centre stack design, complete with a seven-inch touchscreen. This seems fairly basic until you plug your smartphone in to take advantage of CarPlay or Android Auto features, and the more we use these the more we like them. There is a useful reversing camera and a smart key too but, oddly, the touch pads on the handles only seem to unlock the car; locking still requires the use of the key fob remote. Some aspects reveal the Captiva’s age, like the trip computer’s dot matrix-style display and vexing controls, for instance. The frontal styling of the Captiva has been revised with a big new split-grille and LED running lights, along with 19-inch alloys for the LTZ model.
While it’s all a little dark inside the cabin, the Captiva works well as a family wagon. The cabin linings are functional with enough soft(ish) surfaces to pass the poke test but we reckon the front seats are in need of both extra comfort and support. They are heated, however, quickly removing the chill from the leather in the morning, warming the buns thoroughly on your commute. There’s enough room in the rear quarters, with a recline for the seat back and Captiva now gains Isofix points too. There’s an additional pair of pews in the boot, and though these are for school kids only, they are easily stowed and are split 50/50 for added convenience. The boot measures up at 465L, and the diesel we had will tow up to 2000kg.
On the move, the Captiva’s ride is reasonable, you feel the edges over broken surfaces but it is generally settled, rolling as it does on fairly large rims. The steering is on the slow side, with a large turning circle too, while the Captiva doesn’t really have the balance or mid-corner grip of the sector front runners. Its preferred pace is a canter but at least the diesel delivers enough of a punch to effect the overtake in a reasonable manner.
The last Captiva we drove had a wheezy petrol-fired V6 which was low on torque with a big thirst whereas this diesel at least has some substance to its delivery, which helps offset its 10L/100km around town average. We were happy with the performance, even before realising we were in Eco mode! In ‘normal’, it’s genuinely impressive with little lag and a willingness to rev too. Yeah, it’s noisy but it delivers the grunt and the gearbox generally obliges with smooth shifts, though there’s the odd hesitation to throttle inputs when pushing on.
The Captiva isn’t the newest bus on the block and while this makeover keeps it in the hunt we say look for a deal because at $56,990 it’s not easy to recommend it over newer rivals.
|Model||Holden Captiva LTZ||Price||$56,990|
|Engine||2231cc, IL4, TDI, 135kW/400Nm||Drivetrain||6-speed auto, on-demand AWD|
|Fuel Use||8.5L/100km||C02 Output||231g/km|