Chevrolet Captiva (2016) First Drive

Captiva 1800x1800

The venerable Chevrolet Captiva has received some updates, both inside and out, which brings it up to date with current trends and market needs.

The Captiva is a seven-seater SUV that has been on sale in South Africa since 2007. There have been a few updates over the years, including the introduction of new engines and the addition of an all-wheel drive model. Now, for 2016, a new-look Chevrolet Captiva which has just hit market.

There are some minor changes to the product itself and the line-up has been tweaked. The market has shown that petrol-powered and front-wheel drive models lead the way in terms of sales, and Chevrolet has responded accordingly. There are two engines to choose from, a petrol and a diesel.

Read a review of the outgoing Chevrolet Captiva here.

Unchanged engine lineup

The petrol engine is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit with 123kW and 230Nm, and you have a choice between a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual gearbox. The diesel motor on offer has 135kW and 400Nm, but you’re stuck with a six-speed automatic transmission. The engines are claimed to consume 8.8L/100km and 7.8L/100km respectively.

What’s new?

The exterior receives visual upgrades in the form of a new grille and daytime running lights, 18-inch alloy wheels as well integrated running boards/side steps. The headline of the interior upgrade is the introduction of the second generation of General Motors’ infotainment system, MyLink. This intuitive setup is easy to use and for the first time, Apple CarPlay is available with Android Auto following on shortly. This is a phone projection technology and essentially replicates your mobile phone’s screen onto the car’s 7-inch screen. Other changes include a new dashboard, instrument cluster and leather steering wheel.


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Is it safe?

It’s pretty safe too, and has a 5-Star Euro NCAP rating. It has a raft of systems such as Braking Assist System (BAS), Hill Start Assist (HAS), Hill Descent Control (HDC), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control Systems (TCS)

What’s it like to drive?

Our launch took us to a rain-soaked Port Elizabeth for the day. The first vehicle we sampled was the 2.2-llitre diesel automatic and the drive towards Grahamstown highlighted the vehicle’s open-road skills. It’s a smooth drive and well suited to cruising long distances at highway speeds. The variable real time damping works well on the tarmac, but it comes a little undone when you take it onto bumpy gravel tracks. There’s simply not enough flexibility to soak up the bumps and unless you’re taking it gently, you’re in for a choppy ride. It’s not a deal breaker though.

The real Achilles heel of the Chevrolet Captiva is the 2.4-litre engine. While the six-speed manual transmission is effortless in operation, the lack of torque is a bit of an issue. At sea level and with two occupants, an overtaking manoeuvre required planning and gearing down twice in the manual (or mashing your foot to the floor in the auto) to get the best out of the engine. This vehicle however is a seven-seater and we’d be concerned that a fully-laden Chevrolet Captiva at Gauteng altitude will be lethargic to the point that overtaking will be near impossible. For this reason and from the first drive impressions at this point, we’d look to the 400Nm-armed Chevrolet Captiva diesel. It’s not just Chevrolet that battles with torque-less motors though as its rivals are also boasting similar outputs.

Quick summary

Despite some issues with the performance of the petrol-powered models, the Chevrolet Captiva is a surprisingly practical and nice to drive family vehicle. It’s one of the very few vehicles that comes with 7-seats and with the third row of seats tucked away, it boasts a huge boot. Fold all the passenger seats down and you gain a massive loadbay. Also, when you consider how much a top-spec diesel Chevrolet Captiva costs in comparison to its rivals, it starts to look like seriously good value for money.

Chevrolet Captiva Price in South Africa

The 2016 Chevrolet Captiva benefits from the Chevrolet Complete Care Programme which covers regular servicing, and road side emergencies. Warranty and Roadside Assistance is covered for 5 years or 120 000 km, with a 5 years or unlimited kilometer anti-corrosion warranty. As part of the Chevrolet Complete Care Programme, the Captiva comes standard with a 3 years or 60 000 kilometre service plan.

Chevrolet Captiva 2.4 LT FWD M/T              R 396 600.00
Chevrolet Captiva 2.4 LT FWD A/T              R 415 500.00
Chevrolet Captiva 2.2 D LT FWD A/T           R 431 300.00

Find used Chevrolet Captiva vehicles to buy here.

Find new Chevrolet Captiva vehicles to buy here.

See all the specifications and features of the new Chevrolet Captiva here