value-for-money does not necessarily
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
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
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
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.
versions are capable in occasional snow
Hence, the Captiva SUV
sports a modern, global unitary body platform, with an
American brand name, as Chevrolet is distributing GM's
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
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
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
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.
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
SUV: unitary body, not a traditional
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’
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).
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
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).
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
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.