The Holden Captiva has been a sales success in Australia ever since it was first introduced in 2006, and after spending some time in the new 2016 model it is easy to see why. The secret to the Captiva’s success is that it offers excellent value for money, and Holden are looking to build on this success with their latest update.
The Summit White coloured Captiva you’re looking at here is the top of the line, 2.2L turbo-diesel powered, 6-speed automatic, all-wheel drive LTZ model. It offers up quite a lot of kit, including LED daytime running lights, side steps, roof rails, 19″ alloy wheels, a full leather interior with enough space for 7 full sized adults, an 8-speaker stereo system, plus a 7.0″ touch screen that has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto built-in as standard. I actually wasn’t familiar with the SUV’s pricetag when I first got behind the wheel, and guessed it’d easily be around $45,000. However, the Captiva LTZ can currently be had for just $39,990 drive-away.
Probably the first thing you’ll notice about the Captiva is the new, sharper looking face. It features brand new headlights, a full body-coloured front bumper and Holden’s new twin-grille design – something we’ve seen previously on the Cruze and Colorado. Arguably the Captiva is the better looking vehicle when compared to the other two, and we particularly liked the way the new LED daytime running lights have been integrated into the headlights. Initially we had some concerns about the clearance height of the front bumper, but the Captiva’s small front overhang means the chances of it scraping on steep driveways are pretty low.
Around the side, the Captiva LTZ has new 19″ alloy wheels, integrated alloy-look side steps, chrome and body-coloured door handles, and satin silver-finished roof rails. At the back, the LTZ has new LED tail-lights and a redesigned rear bumper arrangement. Because the 2016 Captiva is actually a face-lift of previous model, the overall side profile of the car hasn’t changed, although there certainly isn’t anything wrong with how it looks. In fact, we feel the updated front and rear ends meld together nicely with the existing shape of the car.
The positive feel continues inside, with soft leather seats and a robust feel to the dashboard and door plastics. The restyled multi-function steering wheel is adjustable for rake and reach, while both of the front seats are heated. The driver’s seat also gains 8-way electric adjustment. Up front the 2016 Captiva has plenty of storage, including a large glovebox, centre console bin and also a secret compartment underneath the sliding centre cup holder section. It feels nice and airy inside, thanks in part to the standard electric sunroof. There’s also an electric handbrake, hill-start assist and hill-decent control. As far as safety goes, both side mirrors have blind-spot monitoring alerts and there are parking sensors front and rear, plus 6 airbags and a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
The LTZ comes standard with an 8-speaker stereo system, with all the usual connectivity and a 7.0″ touch screen. The previous model’s satellite navigation system has been dropped, but that’s because the Captiva’s media system now comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This allows you to plug your phone in and take advantage of its call, text, GPS and music streaming functions all via the Captiva’s touch screen. The system overrides your phone handset completely, so there’s no urge to pick it up whilst driving and risk getting a fine. The centre screen also takes care of reversing camera duties.
Perhaps what surprised us the most about the Captiva is that it really is a proper 7-seat SUV. I’m 187cm (6’1″) tall with long legs, and I could comfortably fit in the third row without any problems at all. While I probably wouldn’t want to back there for more than an hour or two, the space on offer is quite impressive. You do pay a penalty for this when it comes to boot space – just 85L is on offer – however if you fold the third seat row down it increases to an impressive 465 litres. The second row can also be folded down (60:40 split) for those looking to carry even more.
Our Captiva LTZ is powered by a 2.2L 4-cylinder turbo-diesel engine, developing 135kW (181hp) of power at 3800rpm, and 400Nm (295lb-ft) of torque at 2000rpm. Fuel economy on test was good, with the car reporting an average of 9.4L/100km after a mix of city and country driving. That’s slightly higher than Holden’s 8.5L/100km claim, but it is important to consider we gave the LTZ a bit of a workout while we had it. The Captiva LTZ can also be had with a 3.0L V6 petrol engine for $1,000 less, which offers 190kW (255hp) of power and 288Nm (212lb-ft) of torque. Fuel usage for the petrol engine is slightly higher at 10.7L/100km, while both engines have the same 2,000kg braked towing capacity.
Out on the road we enjoyed the effortless power provided by the turbo-diesel engine. It suits the character of the Captiva nicely, with plenty of pulling-power sitting nice and low in the rev range. The engine doesn’t need to be worked hard in order to make progress, and out on the open road it ticks over at around 1800rpm at 100km/h. The torquey nature of the turbo-diesel engine means the 6-speed automatic gearbox often doesn’t need to kick down a gear if you encounter a hill, or even if you decide to overtake another vehicle. It simply holds 6th gear and you ride the wave of torque.
Even on the new 19″ wheels, we found the ride quality of the Captiva LTZ to be fairly comfortable and smooth. The steering is nicely weighted and while there is a bit of body roll through the turns, the Captiva is a family-orientated vehicle and we’d gladly take ride quality here over razor-sharp handling. We had plenty of time behind the wheel from city streets to undulating 100km/h country roads, and the Captiva didn’t put a foot wrong the entire time. To us it strikes a good compromise between being comfortable to drive, whilst still being confident enough through the corners.
When you look at the Captiva LTZ as an ownership proposition, it is not only cheaper than other 7-seater SUVs like the Kia Sorento Si, Hyundai Santa Fe Active, Toyota Fortuner GX and the Isuzu MU-X LS-M, but you also have to remember that they’re all entry-level SUVs, while the LTZ is the top of the line Captiva with all the added fruit. Aside from a 3-year/100,000km warranty, Holden are also offering free servicing on all Captiva models until 2020, which is a good deal considering the $39,990 drive-away price already undercuts all of its rivals. After 2020, the Captiva is covered by Holden’s lifetime capped-price servicing program.
The Captiva LTZ may not be the newest SUV on the block, but if you’re in the market for a 7-seat SUV you should definitely add it to your short-list. It has been continually refined across all the years it has been in production, plus any kinks or problems it may have once had appear to have been ironed out on the production line. It feels solid and offers spacious seating for 7 people, a flexible interior layout with generous levels of equipment, plus a sharp new look and good on-road manners.
So if that sounds like what you’re after, do yourself a favour and check it out.
Specifications: 2016 Holden Captiva LTZ Diesel
Price: $39,990 drive-away
Warranty: 3 years / 100,000km
Service Intervals: 9 months/15,000km
Safety Rating: 5-Stars
Engine: 2.2-litre 4-cylinder turbo-diesel 135kW / 400Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Body: 4673mm (L), 1849mm (W), 1727mm (H)
Thirst: 8.5/100km official combined (Diesel), 9.4L/100km as tested
Test Location: Queensland, Australia
Vehicle Supplied By: Llewellyn Motors