What is it?
Chevrolet has updated its SUV Captiva with a fresher look to the front end and a new 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine in 161- and 181bhp forms. The new looks give the Captiva a bolder appearance, while the new engines offer improved economy and emissions over the ones they replace. Otherwise, the Captiva continues to offer the choice of front- or four-wheel drive, and five or seven seat options depending on the model you choose. There are also new six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes to broaden the choice further.
Is it any good?
The new Captiva is good, but it's not great. Its 2.2-litre turbodiesel engines are excellent at cruising with very little noise and the automatic six-speed gearbox is smooth and slick. It's not quite so happy with the six-speed manual gearbox as there's a big gap between first and second gears that means the engine either has to be revved hard to bridge the gap or the driver slots the gearbox into second very early. Take the latter route and it shows up that the engines do not have quite the same low down oomph as some rivals. As for the rest of the drive, the Captiva is quiet and assured in corners, though with little feel from the steering wheel. Still, it rides bumps well and is easy to park.
The cabin in the Captiva offers lots of space for all passengers, even adults using the third row of two seats in the upper spec LT and LTZ models. These extra seats fold flat into the floor when not needed and the second row seats also stow flat to leave a large cargo bed.
Should I call the bank manager?
Hold your horses. There's a bit of consideration to do before jumping in to a Chevrolet Captiva. The entry-level LS is the most affordable and well equipped with air conditioning, Bluetooth connection, CD stereo and 17-inch alloy wheels. It only comes with front-wheel drive, which may not suit all tastes, though it does mean best of the range fuel economy of 44.1mpg and the lowest emissions of the Captiva line-up at 170g/km.
However, these figures are bettered by some excellent rivals, such as the Skoda Yeti, while the four-wheel drive versions of the Captiva deliver less economy and higher emissions. There is also a considerable jump in price to upgrade to the LT and LTZ models that have four-wheel drive and a more generous equipment count. That price hike brings the Captiva into perilously close contention with the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Volvo XC60, which it simply cannot compete with.
Stick with the more affordable end of the Captiva range and this Chevrolet makes good sense as an all-round crossover contender to the likes of the Nissan Qashqai. At the more expensive end of the range, the Captiva is simply outclassed by numerous rivals that are better to drive and more economical, even if they don't have the Captiva's seven seats.