2016 Holden Captiva road test and review.
There is one area where the 2016 Holden Captiva can’t be beaten and that is on price, but perhaps not value for money.
Australian families that need seven seats and are attracted to the extra height and off-road ability (albeit fairly limited in the Captiva) of an SUV will struggle to find anything else that ticks all these boxes at these prices. That’s really the secret to the Holden Captiva’s success.
Designed, engineered and built in South Korea, even Holden would probably admit that it is a vehicle that requires some patience and understanding to be able to warm to.
So how affordable is the Captiva? Well, I had the mid-spec Holden Captiva LT and that’s an offering that starts from $36,490 for the V6 petrol (190kW/288Nm), just an extra $1,000 gets you the 2.2 litre turbo-diesel and that is the variant I had.
Producing 135kW and 400Nm, you would say that the diesel is of the more ‘traditional’ variety – i.e. it is noisy! It provides reasonably good acceleration from a standing stop and the 400Nm provides a good drive at highway speeds and when tackling hills.
The standard six-speed auto is not the smoothest and most responsive transmission in the world, that’s probably not a great surprise.
The most disappointing thing though is the fuel economy. I managed 11.9L/100km in the city and 11.6L/100km on the highway! As a comparison, the heavier and more powerful Holden Colorado used about 20% less diesel fuel when I road tested it.
The rest of the drive experience provides nothing that is particularly brilliant or outstanding.
The Holden Captiva is not a vehicle that you are going to get excited about driving, again, probably no great surprise. I thought the brakes were especially unique…a case of all or nothing in terms of feel!
Inside the cabin, firstly, let’s be positive. The Holden MyLink system is generally very good and easy to use and is a massive improvement over the old system in the Captiva. I have never managed to sync my phone in quicker time than in the Captiva, I like that.
It also has the Apple CarPlay software and that really is quite brilliant!
I also like the hidden storage spot in the centre console and you would say that the gauges are clear and easy to read, the steering wheel controls are nicely placed and the climate control is nicely located and easy to use.
All-important legroom in the front and middle-row is surprisingly generous given the overall dimensions of the Holden Captiva. The third-row is really only large enough to accommodate children, mostly due to a lack of headroom.
If you wanted to list the things that aren’t entirely pleasing in the Captiva cabin, what comes to mind is the huge visibility-blocking A pillars, the out-dated ‘dot matrix’ trip computer, hard armrests, flat and firm seats (especially up front), wobbly switches and an auto handbrake button that gets stuck in the ‘up’ position and needs wiggling to release.
While it saddens me to mention the external attention to detail is a bit lacking. The panel gaps on the car I drove were inconsistent and there was a noticeably large variation in panel alignment from the front guard to the front door on the passenger side, as an example.
There is no compromise on safety in the Holden Captiva, all variants come with a five-star safety rating.
Summing it up; yes, it has low prices on its side and I can genuinely see why Australian families are drawn to the Captiva on that basis. If you can afford to spend a bit more then it would be worth checking out the Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe, both are more modern, nicer to drive and come with a longer warranty too.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Holden Captiva LT
Engine: 2.2 litre turbo-diesel producing 135kW/400Nm or 3.0 litre V6 petrol producing 190kW/288Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: from $36,490