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Chevrolet Captiva in Europe soon
With 5- or 7- seats and front- or AWD

Chevrolet Captiva SUV - side view

Captiva: value-for-money does not necessarily contradict elegance.

APN,
3rd March 2006.

After its launch in its home market this spring, GM's South Korean arm GM Daewoo Auto and Technology (GMDAT) will start exporting its new SUV to Europe where it will be sold from this summer under the Chevrolet Captiva name.

Introduced at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show (2-12 March), the new Chevrolet Captiva represents a value-for-money five- or seven-seat SUV with front- or all-wheel drive options, petrol or diesel engines, a key sales argument in the old continent (prices to be announced soon).

Captiva is based on General Motors Theta platform, which is used in different dimensions through several GM brands, in the American Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Torrent, Saturn Vue, as well as in Suzuki's new Grand Vitara (GM owns twenty percent of Suzuki Motors) and in the coming Opel Antara SUV which will replace the Isuzu-based Frontera. It is believed that GM will use the Theta platform too for other models to come at Cadillac, Saab and even Hummer.

Chevrolet Captiva SUV - front view, on snow.

All-wheel-drive versions are capable in occasional snow conditions.

Hence, the Captiva SUV sports a modern, global unitary body platform, with an American brand name, as Chevrolet is distributing GM's Daewoo models in Europe.

Captiva could be interesting to a wide range of customers, from established families looking for an alternative to a seven-seat MPV to those with an outdoor lifestyle looking for a practical load carrier with good road manners and soft-road capability.

In the UK, the new Captiva offers will start in September 2006 from the entry level 2.4 litre petrol-engined front wheel drive LS, stretching up to the fully equipped 2.0 litre 150PS diesel automatic LT.

On the outside, Captiva adds the rugged look of integrated ‘skid’ panels in front and rear bumpers with contrasting dark sill and wheel arch mouldings. Twin exhaust tailpipes on all models add a sporty touch.

Chevrolet Captiva SUV - dashboard.

Elegant inside out.

Chevy's new Captiva has enough space to welcome five adults in comfort, in a body which is 4.6m long, 1.8m wide and 1.7m high, with a 2.70m wheelbase. The third row of seats (available in the LT model) will accommodate two teenagers and even adults for shorter journeys.

The easy-fold feature on the third row and fold-flat capability for both second and third rows should be very practical and the large hydraulically assisted tailgate with wide aperture makes the big boot area easy to load (for light shopping, the remote control operated tailgate glass is a real boon, opening without the need to unlock the rest of the vehicle).

When seven seats are specified, the third row folds completely flat into the floor. Third row seat folding is also carried out easily, thanks to a spring assisted fold-up/down mechanism where the headrests also pop up or fold away automatically with seat operation.

Captiva LS - On the entry LS model, twin front and curtain airbags are standard (side airbags are specified on the LT models), with head restraints and full three-point belts fitted on all seats (including the third row). Front seat belts feature pre-tensioners and a smart seat belt reminder, with ISOFIX fittings for child seats in the rear. All models are equipped with deadlocking and a Thatcham Category 1 alarm system.

From the entry LS model, standard equipment includes, with the power steering system, a rake adjustable steering column (also telescopic on the LT), air conditioning, power and heated door mirrors, speed sensitive windscreen wipers, electric windows all-round, a fully retracting loadspace cover and a tailgate glass that can be opened separately from the tailgate itself by the key fob remote control, front and side window tinting. The fully integrated in-car entertainment system has an MP3 function. . The LS is only available with the 2.4 litre petrol engine and front wheel drive.

Chevrolet Captiva SUV - steering wheel and console.

Clear instruments and console.

Captiva LT - Moving up the range, LT models come with just the 150PS diesel engine and are fitted as standard with 17” alloy wheels, levelling suspension, half leather trim, heated windscreen and ESP, the electronic stability control programme. Other standard features include a load restraining net, front passenger underseat stowage and a facia deposit box for coins or maps and a cooled glove box. In addition, LT models come with side airbags as standard.

Level ride rear suspension helps to maintain good road manners even with a full load. Automatic transmission is available as an option with the diesel engine (seven seat models only), not always the norm in this sector.

The LT is available as a specific derivative with either five or seven seats. With the seven-seat model comes a cargo net (in lieu of the five-seat load restraining net) and rear park sensors.

Captiva LT ‘Special Model’ - At the top of the range comes the fully loaded Captiva LT ‘Special Model’ (name to be announced nearer to on-sale date), with 18” alloy wheels, full leather trim, 8-way power driver’s seat, 6 CD autochanger, air quality system with full climate control, cruise control and a trip computer. More on the full specification for all Captiva models (UK market specifications).

Chevrolet Captiva SUV - back view.

Crossover SUV: unitary body, not a traditional body-on-frame structure.

Front or all-wheel drive – The front-wheel drive LS entry model displays the characteristics of family cars. With the electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system which is standard on LT models, comes a much improved on-road traction in difficult road conditions and ‘soft-road’ capability.

On the road, the intelligent all-wheel drive system combines front-wheel drive progressively with rear-wheel drive when conditions demand. In heavy rain, snow or on greasy roads, all-wheel drive gives optimum traction, engaging when it senses the onset of wheelspin.

Chevrolet puts it clearly that Captiva is not an ‘off-roader’ in the vein of the more traditional (and usually more expensive) vehicles that have additional and locking centre differentials and heavy low range transfer gearboxes, but it is still very capable when the going gets tough.

Captiva’s electronically controlled all-wheel drive can cope with muddy tracks, sticky fields after a summer downpour, or even with "reasonable" winter snowfalls. This capability is combined with minimal weight gain so that fuel economy is not compromised, as the EC combined cycle  figure shows just over 37 imperial mpg (7.63 litres/100 km, or 13.1 km per litre, manufacturer's figures).

Chevrolet Captiva SUV - detail view, back.

Remote control tailgate glass opens without unlocking the vehicle.

ESP - Electronic Stability Programme is fitted as standard with the all-wheel drive package. All-wheel drive acts seamlessly with ESP and engages when the conditions become slippery and more challenging. It monitors information from the steering wheel, tyres, brakes and accelerator pedal to automatically make any necessary adjustments, controlling traction particularly when conditions are less than ideal – ice and snow or heavy rain for example. It automatically cuts the throttle and / or balances the brakes to avoid a skid. and also includes other functions such as the Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and Active Rollover Protection (ARP), detecting emergency situations and ensuring that braking is more balanced, faster or more powerful depending on conditions.

Other ESP functions include the hill descent function or HDC (Hill Descent Control) so that control and traction of the vehicle in downgrade slippery conditions is managed by the electronics. ESP also provides greater stability when towing a trailer or caravan.

Petrol engine - Captiva is powered by either petrol or diesel engines, knowing that even the diesel is available with automatic transmission.

The entry LS model is only petrol driven with a 2.4 litre 16 valve four cylinder unit delivering 142PS at 5,200rpm and a maximum torque of 220Nm at 4,000rpm. The Captiva 2.4 petrol engine combined fuel consumption (EC) is 28.5mpg (9.91 litres/100 km, or 10.09 km per litre).

Chevrolet Captiva SUV - front view, off-road.

Not a tough ‘off-roader’ but still very capable when the going gets tough.

Diesel engine - The 2.0 litre four cylinder 150PS diesel is the first of an all-new family of diesel engines that have been developed jointly by GM Powertrain and GMDAT with Italian firm VM Motori. It has aluminium cylinder heads, sophisticated injection systems and a variable geometry turbocharger for smooth turbo intervention from low rev levels.

In this application, the 16-valve diesel unit offers 150PS at 4,000rpm (a respectable 75PS per 1000cc, especially for a diesel engine) and maximum torque of 310Nm at 2000rpm. In the EC combined cycle, fuel consumption is a very creditable 37.1mpg (7.61 litres/100 km, or 13.13 km per litre). All diesel derivatives will be equipped with a particulate filter.

Gearboxes - The manual and the automatic gearboxe are five-speed units. The automatic has electronic control and a ‘tiptronic’ function so that the vehicle can be driven as a clutchless manual should it be desired. The automatic is available only with seven seat variants.

Suspension - The suspension settings on Captiva were developed for Europe at GM’s Millbrook Proving ground in Bedfordshire in England. The suspension is fully independent for excellent on-road performance but the ground clearance and wheel travel ensure that Captiva is more than capable off-road. It consists of a MacPherson strut configuration at the front and an independent four link set up at the rear.

Brakes and wheels - Ventilated disc brakes are standard on all four wheels. The entry LS model is fitted with 215/70R 16 tyres on 6.5J x 16 inch wheels, while the LT versions feature 235/60R 17 tyres on 7.0J x 17 inch wheels. The flagship LT ‘Special Model’ has 18 inch wheels with 235/55R18 tyres.

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