Review: Chevrolet Captiva

11 Mar 13 Tim Barnes-Clay

With seven seats, the Chevrolet Captiva is perfect for large families. But is it a good buy?

white chevrolet captiva

The Chevrolet Captiva is indeed fairly captivating - in a sport utility vehicle (SUV) kind of way.

It's handsome and has authority, but step inside the Chevy and it's a slightly different story.

Don't get me wrong: the cabin isn't a disgrace, it's just a little cheap here and there.

Some of the plastics feel flimsy and the steering wheel is overly large and doesn't have illumination on the remote switches. Also, the instrumentation looks a tad dated.

That said, the seats are comfortable, and in flagship LTZ guise they come clad in leather.

'Means business on motorways'

The drive isn't bad either.

The auto box hangs on a little too long to each cog, but the Captiva pulls away nicely and means business when you thrust your foot down on motorways.

For a lofty vehicle it's also pretty stable and corners well without any undue lean.

The slight let down is the fuel efficiency – it only manages around 35mpg, but this is a sizeable SUV, so it's never going to be the most economical vehicle out there.

Of course, performance and fuel frugality won't be the main motivation for buying a Chevrolet Captiva.

Perfect for large families

You'll probably purchase the car for its reassuring All-Wheel-Drive capability and, if you have children, you'll definitely want it for the third row of seats.

These are stowed, folded flat, into the load area and can be lifted into place with just a swift tug.

The usual back seats have a nice tilt and roll action so your kids can access the rearmost seats.

This means granny and granddad can simply flip them back in place to sit behind mum and dad up front.

Reduced boot space

The only downside about having two extra seats is the reduction in boot space.

inside chevrolet captiva

With them folded away there's an excellent, large rectangular shaped load area.

With the chairs in position, space is eaten up leaving just enough room for a few shopping bags.

Also, I wouldn't recommend these spare seats for adults – they really are meant for the little people.

All things considered, the Chevrolet Captiva is a decent motor.

Premium features

It comes with premium features such as electronic stability control, Bluetooth, power-folding mirrors and speed sensitive power steering.

Under the hood, its 2.2-litre diesel engine develops 181bhp, giving enough grunt to tow, say, a horse trailer or a caravan.

And, as I referred to earlier, the LTZ model, on test here, comes with on-demand All-Wheel-Drive.

If you do lots of driving in poor weather conditions, or you take your kids to school via twisty country lanes then this is a safe, grippy, car to have.

It'll also look good in the office car park. Not many people will notice the cheaper cabin materials used in this compared with its cousin, the Vauxhall Antara.

And the seven seats are standard where many of its rivals can only offer five seats.

Not a bad package but not cheap either: you'll need the best part of £33,000 if you buy one of these new.

Chevrolet Captiva 2.2 VCDi LTZ: Pros & cons

  • Handsome ✔
  • Practical ✔
  • Safe ✔
  • Cabin plastics X
  • Thirsty X

Chevrolet Captiva 2.2 VCDi LTZ: Fast facts

  • Max speed: 118 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 11.0 secs
  • Combined mpg: 35.7
  • Engine: 2231 cc 16 valve 4 cylinder turbo diesel 
  • Max. power (bhp): 181 at 3800 rpm 
  • Max. torque (lb/ft): 295 at 2000 rpm 
  • CO2: 208 g/km
  • Price: £32,765 on the road