Holden Captiva SUV

Price range

$27,990 – $43,490


Good: Low prices mean good value for money. The entry-level Captiva 5 is a decent buy for many urban dwellers PLUS the updated Turbo Diesel engine is a welcome addition to the range. Overall, this Captiva is a big improvement over the previous GM Daewoo sourced product.

Not so Good: The Captiva SUV is far from the best in on road refinement levels with only an average ride and a non-premium feel to the interior

Design and Engineering

Good : The Captiva arrived in Australia during October 2006, and was followed into the market by the Captiva 5 (as in 5 seats) in December 2009. A mid life facelift made its debut in February 2011. The exterior has a conservative, yet attractive design. The monocoque style (the body of the vehicle taking some of the load rather than the chassis) is much better suited to on-road driving than previous mid-size Holden SUV’s the Jackaroo & Frontera. Holden has differentiated the styling between the Captiva ‘5’ and ‘7’ with the latter gaining slim-line light clusters with projector-style headlights. For added road presence the top of the range LX grade is now fitted with 19-inch alloys.

Not so good : The Captiva 7’s smaller footprint on the road translates to less space inside than the competing Toyota Kluger and Ford Territory, but the smaller Captiva 5 compares very well with its compact competitors (i.e. Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V).

Interior and Styling

Good : A leather-wrapped steering wheel is standard across the range, and the Captiva 7 retains its seven folding seats, arranged not only to be folded flat, (including the front passenger seat), but configured in numerous ways for load flexibility. Combined with a large boot, the Captiva 7 has a lot of cargo space, and there are plenty of storage compartments for odds and ends. Fortunately for children, there is good rear seat visibility and the audio connectivity has been stepped up with Bluetooth streaming now standard on the ‘7’. There is also an electronic handbrake. The overall quality of the materials has improved with the interior of this generation Captiva SUV.

Not so good : Although better than the previous Captiva, the interior is not the classiest of compact SUVs. Flat front seats that lack support, tacky plastics and the instruments look cheap…among other things.


Good : There are three engines to choose from. The Captiva 5 is available with a 2.4L four cylinder petrol that produces 123kW of power and 230Nm of torque or a 2.2L turbo diesel with 135kW and 400Nm. The Captiva 7 is available with the latter turbo diesel or a 3.0L V6 petrol providing 190kW and 288Nm.

All grades are available with a six speed automatic transmission but the 2.4L Captiva 5 is the only one available with a manual (also a six speed).

The official combined fuel economy figures range from 8.1L per 100kms for the diesel powered Captiva 7 in SX trim, to 11.3L per 100kms for the petrol V6. Entry level grades are front wheel drive, the others all wheel drive.

All three engines are improvements over the pre facelift grades. The most improved however are the diesel (power is up by a big 23% and torque 25%) and the four cylinder petrol (power was 103kW now a much healthier 123kW).

We’d say the pick of bunch is the turbo diesel. The 400Nm of torque easily trumps the ‘top of the range’ petrol V6 (288Nm is nothing special) and the fuel economy is far better. Especially in the real world.

Not so good : We found the 3.0-litre V6 to be a touch noisy at revs and it lacks in torque for a V6.

Ride and Handling

Good : While the Captiva retains the same basic suspension layout as before, improvements were made in early 2011. In an effort to improve cornering, the rear suspension and the front anti-roll bar were toughened up with the aim of reducing body roll. Out on the open road the stiffer suspension is a noteworthy improvement and the handling is above average for a compact/medium sized SUV.

Not so good : It’s still behind the class-leading SUVs for spirited driving. The compact SUV sized Volkswagen Tiguan or the medium sized Ford Territory are noticeably more fun to drive. The ride is only average and potholes are dealt with too loudly in the cabin.

Buying and Owning

Good : It ticks the safety box with six airbags including side and curtain airbags, now standard across all grades.

The expanded range is now undoubtedly better value. Prices were reduced across almost all grades, in spite of the addition of more equipment and stronger performance. It has also gained some refinement.

Front and rear parking sensors, hill start assist and an electronic handbrake that frees up room on the centre console are now standard across the Captiva 5 range.

The mid spec CX grade gains climate control, driver information display, rear-park assist, six-disc CD player and 18-inch wheels over the entry level SX, among other things. The top of the range LX grade features 19 inch alloys, leather trim, a rear view camera, USB port and seven-inch touch screen with sat-nav.

Holden’s aggressive pricing means that the medium-sized Captiva is priced as though it’s a small SUV… Good value!

Not so good : It is smaller inside than a Toyota Kluger or Ford Territory although this could be seen as a positive as Australian new car buyers are moving to smaller vehicles.

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