For Oppikoppi weekend Chevrolet came on board and lent me the huge Captiva. Originally it was meant to be an Isuzu but some idiot broke it so the Captiva came in to fill the job. Surprise surprise, it was probably a better vehicle than the Isuzu!
I am going to attempt a new format of review now. As I have no clue what I am actually looking for, I am going to ask a question, then answer it. Top Gear tried it in an episode a while ago. Here goes.
Is it good looking?
In a word, yes. It looks very American. Big, chunky, possibly a bit vulgar. But I like it. It has a presence about it without being brash like a Cadillac XRV. And, if we look below, it does look good in the bushveld.
Is it nice to drive?
As the first SUV I’ve ever driven it was fine. It didn’t roll in the corners, has enough power and the automatic gearbox is lovely. When over taking on the highway, it was indicate, foot-down and wait for the double downshift and off you go. Considering that it weighs 250 tons, it was fantastic.
Does it have lots of equipment?
Yes. There is a 6 CD changer, cruise control, climate control, traction control, steering wheel controls, a lovely automatic gearbox, electric seats and2 fold down seats in back. The only thing I didn’t like was the clock. It looks ugly and sits at an angle that means no one can really see what the time is. Oh, and the CD changer was confusing to operate while under the influence of Oppi.
Is it easy to park?
No. It may have park distance control and power steering but there is no getting away from the fact that Joburg parking bays are a squeeze for this huge car. Its not difficult to park, just not easy.
Is it economical?
Surprising yes. Considering we had 3 people driving with all their Oppikoppi kit inside and we were hoofing it on a lot of the trip this 2,4 ton car did 515km on a 65l tank. Not fantastic I admit, but considering its size and how we were driving, it is pretty good.
Can I afford one?
The one we tested, the 3.0 AWD LTZ model is top of the range and costs R434,900. So if you have R434,900 then yes. But if you only have R27 then no.
Should I buy one instead of its competitors?
Flicking to CAR magazines price section we find the Honda CR-V, Toyota Fortuner and the Nissan X-Trail. Having never driven any of them, I will decide on what I know of them from friends, parents, people at work and such. So yes, I will say you should. The Fortuner is bigger and being a Toyota will hold its value better, but Toyotas are horribly dreary. Then I have no idea what anyone thinks of the Honda as no one seems to have bought one.
The Nissan is a proper rival, until you see the spec level difference. The Chev is bigger, more luxurious and has the option of 7 seats. So I say yes, you should.
Is it green?
No. Its white. If you mean eco-friendly, then no. It has a 3.0 V6 petrol engine, so if you want a car thats good for the environment my Fiat Panda is much better.
Is it spacious and carrys lots of luggage to Oppikoppi?
Yes. There is no doubt about that. 2 tents, 3 bags of clothes, our camping chairs, begging, all our booze and food and the car just swallowed it up. Sadly my photo skills suck so I don’t have a very good pic of it, but trust me, full of stuff, there was still space in the back for my friend to lie down and sleep on the drive.
What is the verdict?
The Chevrolet Captiva is a good car. Its spacious, economical for a car of its size, insanely comfortable and very well equipped. I don’t know if its worth R430k or so, but thats up to you. If you compare it to its SUV rivals, I think its a damn good buy.
Chevrolet Captiva 3.0 LTZ AWD AT A GLANCE
|0-100 km/h||10,58 secs|
|Power/Torque||190 kW/288 N.m|
|Top speed||193 km/h|
|Driver seat adjust||electric|
|Isofix anchorages||outer rear|
|Steering adjust||rake & height|
|Folding rear seat||60:40 split|
|Mirror dim (int.)||auto|
|Steering audio ctrl||standard|