The signal to Chevrolet’s re-birth via the Captiva…
Tuesday, June 26, 2007.
By Karl Williams
Ever been part of a revolution! I take it you have, with the media being what it is, you’ve found yourself unknowingly swept away in the euphoria. So I take it you are unaware that in 1935, Chevrolet invented the SUV with seven seats!
It’s amazing what you find when you go looking. Now some years later they are back to take the crown with their brand new seven-seat SUV Captiva.
Chevrolet has always had the mighty Corvette, but the Captiva is different!
Now the beauty and timing of Chevrolet’s return have allowed them to have a real good look at whom, and how the competition has been doing things. This allowed the Chevrolet Captiva to exploit a few flaws in a very busy market and launch something with nerve.
First impressions! Easy on the eye, solid looking and purposeful.
Judging from the look as you walk around the car, it’s been very well-thought out. The integration and flow of the meshed ‘Bow-tie’ grill and lower bumper, head and fog lights sitting at the outer edge. While the centrepiece raised bonnet bulge just give the Captiva, that all-important ‘street presence’ and solidity. Especially in silver or black, I think!
Just around the back, the rear tailgate gives you the option of a fully open boot with its picnic lip or glass flip window for those lazy days in life. You’ll also get indicator repeaters on the front wings or built-in mirrors.
A high protective waistline tapers rear-wards, giving an impression of warped ‘n’ comfort on the inside. With a few creative comports, this is viable.
The themes of solidity are transferred to the interior, with a nice touch and feel to the materials. All the goodies are for the taking as the entry level LS at £16,995 is 2.4L petrol with front wheel drive and five seats, with seven-seat choice on all other models. You get kitted with 16” alloys wheels; air con, remote central locking, electric door mirrors and level ride suspension.
You get a six or eight speaker CD player and steering wheel controls and the all-important MP3 for more listening pleasure.
The next level LT can be had with the 2.0L diesel, 17” alloys and 4WD. Hill decent control, front fog lights, leather steering wheel and gear knob and passenger under seat storage. But the trick for me is the glove box - it’s air-cooled!
What with all the talk of global warming, my stashes of Green & Black chocolates are taken care of!
Top of the Captiva’s tree sits the LTX model with a very comfortable cabin for all the family and provide easy access to those bonus rear seats. You even get auto lighting, rain sensitive wipers, cruise control and multi- point trip computer. This car is very well kitted out and built to good taste in equal measure.
You drive high but with car-like ease and agility, with good all-round vision and well-placed, clear controls at your fingers. The school run car-park will have a little more room. The Captive is no imposing monster!
Good fuel economy gives a combined 32.1 for the petrol to 37.1 on the diesel, the figures tell the story. It drives well and handles better than most, although the suspension could do with a little more work on some surfaces.
However, mated with either manual or auto gearbox and the torque from its diesel engine, I was most impressed by this car-like cross over from SUV Captiva.
Chevrolet’s first foray, in what they say will be a long line of new, well built and refined cars for the 21st century beckons.
Chevrolet Captiva.. You may also try..
£16,995 - £24,920 Hyundai Santa Fe £21,877-£26,457
Economy combined 31.7–37.1 Mpg Toyota Rava-4 £19,095-£27,045
Co2 197g – 233g.
Petrol: 0-60 11.5 sec. 115mph.
Diesel: 0-60 11.5 111mph Manual.
0-60 12.2. 112 mph Auto.
Karl Williams is a London-based freelance journalist and motoring correspondent for The New Black Magazine.
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