The Chevrolet Captiva has been quite a popular mid-sized SUV, since it's launch back in 2007 over 16400 of them have been sold in SA, but the time has come for a bit of a refresher for the model. All the right things have seen attention, just enough to bring the Captiva up to 2016 standards; interior, exterior and new tech. The launch took place in Port Elizabeth where we had the opportunity to drive the new Captiva on some of the area's best picturesque driving roads before hitting a few dirt roads. This is just the right kind of drive needed to feel out an SUV properly. I mean let's face it, the majority of them will only ever see tarred roads, but it's always good to know that they can go elsewhere when needed.
So what's different? For starters, we find a new grille and front fascia that brings the Captiva up to date with the rest of the Chevrolet range, the family resemblance is strong now. The headlights now have automatic LED DRLs which is great for looks and safety. The cladding on the bodywork is now in Argent or colour-coded (model dependant) and it looks good. Note the pics of the Captivas on the launch have the matte cladding as they were launch models, but all the new Captivas from the launch onwards would have the right finishing. There's some integrated side steps that give the car a bit of a more upmarket look and lastly there's a set of 18-inch alloys that also help step up the classier look and feel.
The interior of the Chevrolet Captiva has a fair bit going on, it now also features that very good and easy to use MyLink 2.0 infotainment system which is headed up by a glare-free 7-inch touch screen. For this model they've also included phone projection technology, a first for this segment. It's a pretty cool system; it allows users with compatible smart phones to project some of their apps and functions onto the infotainment screen. Adding to the tech is an all-new dashboard and instrument cluster. From the steering wheel (which is now leather-bound) you can access the new on-board computer and see all the important info you need to make sure the car, and your journey, is going well.
There's more, the new Captiva features an eight-way electronically adjustable driver’s seat, dual zone climate control, rear park assist, cruise control, hill descent control & hill start assist, power folding mirrors, and keyless entry /start. On the safety front things are great, resulting in a full 5-star Euro NCAP rating. Safety features include seven airbags, ABS with electronic brake force distribution, EBD, electronic stability control, traction control, braking assist, hill start assist, hill descent control and continuously variable real time damping with trailer stability assistance. There's also Iso-fix points for kiddy seats and proper 3-point seat belts on all seven seats. Storage space remains impressive - 477 litres that expands to a huge 942 litres with the seats folded down.
The engine lineup remains the same for the Captiva range - there's a choice of either a 2.4-litre petrol engine or a 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine. The petrol lump makes 123kW and 230N and the diesel lump makes 135kW with a very healthy 400Nm. The 6-speed manual in the petrol version is good, but I preferred the auto version. It works well and in a car of this size I think it just makes more sense. For the diesel there's no manual option, but even if there was that wouldn't stop it from being the pick of the range for me - that torque just makes things easy.
The new Captiva will easily do as well, or even better than it's predecessor. It ticks a whole bunch of the right boxes snd will suit the needs of a good many out there. The new looks are great, it now looks like a little brother to the Trailblazer, it's a little meaner looking and that's never a bad thing. As a family car it's great - daily driving will be smooth and effortless and a trip away with be a breeze.
The 2016 Captiva Line-up:
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
Chevrolet Complete Care
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-year/120 000km, and has a 5-year/unlimited-kilometre anti-corrosion warranty. As part of the Chevrolet Complete Care Programme, the Captiva comes standard with a 3-year/60 000km service plan.
The Lunch Destination
Those untarred roads I mentioned lead us to Sibuya Game Reserve where lunch was to be served. Not before an awesome trip up the Kariega River though. I sadly only had a short lens with me and so I couldn't get great pics of the many birds seen along the river, or the animals on the banks for that matter. I love these launches, you get to see parts of our amazing country that you would normally miss out on. Awesome memories! A huge thanks goes to Lunga and the entire GM team - y'all rock!