Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2014 Holden Captiva 7.
Given the success of family-orientated seven-seat SUV’s in recent years, there still seems to be a few holes in the market.
Some are just too big, some too expensive, others too rough and rugged and others are just too small and underpowered.
Given this, it’s no surprise the Holden Captiva 7 is a common sight on Australian roads.
It is a long way from being a great vehicle, but it is well-stocked, nicely sized and competitively priced.
The Captiva 7 range kicks off with a version with a 2.4 litre petrol engine and front wheel drive, which is priced from $30,490. The diesel range kicks off with a base-model 2WD version from $33,490.
The AWD LT grade Captiva 7 is priced from $37,490, and then there’s the flagship LTZ which kicks off at $41,490.
Let’s first focus on the positives and the best place to start is the standard features list in the LTZ, which includes; heated front seats, leather seats, sat-nav, reversing camera, auto headlights, cruise control, parking sensors and key-in-pocket central locking.
It also comes with great looking 19″ alloy wheels and you can add a sunroof and side-steps as a no cost option!
Couple all this with a surprisingly roomy interior, generous cargo and storage areas, genuine seven seat capacity (albeit the third row is basically child only) and really good economy from the diesel engine and the formula for sales success is complete.
If you are going to buy a Holden Captiva 7 though, there are some things you will have to overlook.
It’s dated, really dated. The interior is also hard and not particularly comfortable. The infotainment screen is about a decade out-of-date and the stereo display screen is even more archaic.
Holden has updated the key-less ignition system and now you basically have a key ‘glued’ into the ignition – sure, you no longer have to take your keys out of your pocket but it’s still pretty unimpressive.
The steering wheel is big and hard, the buttons and controls feel cheap and at times a bit flimsy, the leather on the seats fits poorly in places and the arm rests are rock hard.
It’s also disappointing to note that there are no rear air vents for occupants sitting in the second or third row.
The stereo system though sounded really good, but the volume difference between zero and just two bars on the display was enormous, meaning it was hard to get the volume just right when you just want some background noise.
On the road the Captiva 7 diesel provides adequate service in all areas. The 2.2 litre turbo-diesel engine produces 135kW and 400Nm, this means acceleration from a standing stop is very pedestrian, there is a bit of grunt there though for tackling the hills.
I averaged a really impressive 9.4L/100kms in a week of predominantly city driving in the Captiva 7 LTZ.
There’s also no missing the fact that this is a diesel engine, it has that familiar diesel rattle, thankfully though the Captiva cabin is pretty well soundproofed.
The standard six-speed automatic provides smooth gear changes, steering is vague however and the ride is passable – firm but not uncomfortable. Handling is pretty good for a seven-seat SUV.
The Holden Captiva range doesn’t yet have an ANCAP safety rating.
Summing it up; compromise is the key here. The Captiva 7 is anything but perfect, but the pricing and the features more than keep it in the game and it is worth a look if you’re willing to look past its flaws.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.2 litre diesel producing 135kW and 400Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto (only)
Safety: Not tested
Origin: South Korea
Price: LTZ from $41,490
For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Holden CG2 Captiva.