The SUV market in Australia is growing in this country but when you look into it deeper the SUV market can be broken down to different segments from full size large SUV’s to compact SUV’s the Captiva 5 is Holden’s entry into the compact SUV market.
The Captiva 5 is available in both two wheel drive and all wheel with either a 2.2L turbo diesel or a 2.4L natural aspirated petrol 4 cylinder engine, I am testing the 2.4L petrol version backed but a 6 speed manual transmission which also happens to be the cheapest at $25990 the Captiva 5 shapes up to be a nice bargain on paper my idea was to find out how much of a bargain it was in the real world.
On the outside I like the look of the Captiva 5 the front end is what i can best describe as being more of a softer european look which is completely different to it’s more aggressive looking bigger brother the Captiva 7.
The softer look blends in well and matches the lines of the body, the front guards contain large fender vents which to me gives it a more up market look. The wheels are set more out towards the corners of the front and rear which gives it a nice stance, the 17inch Alloys add to the look.
On the inside the cloth seats are some what comfortable and supportive, I don’t mind the look of the instrument cluster the speedo and tacho are surrounded by chrome rings. At night they light up in an amber coloured lighting.
The centre however really reminds me of the centre stack of a Vectra or AH Astra which shows this model has been around since 2006. It also can be put down to the fact the Captiva 5 is sold as an Opel in Europe.
On top of the dash is an info screen that contains the radio information and the trip board computer read out the stereo has decent sound but is lacking both USB input and Bluetooth.
The back seat offers good leg room and is fairly comfortable, my kids didn’t complain at all and even after spending virtually half a day in it.
In the back there is a decent amount space and the back seats fold flat to open up more load area if needed.
The spare tyre is housed under under a false floor and have some extra little storage spots.
The back also contains a 12volt jack so you have the option of plugging in your fridge on a trip.
Under the bonnet the 2.4L is not blessed with a massive amount of power but it does have enough to keep up with traffic and does cruise nicely and effortlessly on the freeway in 6th gear.
I did find it lacking a little bit of power on some real steep inclines with a car full of people and did get caught out a couple of times not being quick enough to down change but overall the 2.4L 4cyl was better then a thought it would be.
Fuel economy is mixed bag on the freeway its rather good, on my test loop and driving around the city in light traffic its not bad either.
But like every other car I’ve reviewed it struggle with the bumper to bumper traffic and the low average speed I face everyday on the trip to and from work overall though it wasn’t bad at all.
The 2.4L does have the capacity to run on E85 so that does make it whole lot cheaper to run since E85 is so much cheaper then regular unleaded.
The clutch is quite light although I found the gear shift wasn’t as smooth as it could be the biggest pain was 1st gear was quite hard to select at times.
As you would expect the Captiva 5 has a 5 star NCAP safety rating as all the usual safety features you would expect. While it does score points for having front and rear parking sensors which work really good it does lose points for not having a rear view camera when so many of its competitors are being equip with one its one glaring thing missing from the Captiva 5.
Its compact size means that it is easy to park even in the tightest spots the light steering helps as well.
The suspension seems to be a little tightly sprung and you do feel some bumps in it buts not overly bad.
On my test loop i found it handled rather good indeed and the grip level good I certainly didn’t have any issues with grip even with some spirited driving. However it is an SUV and I wasn’t going to push it around my test loop like I would a regular car.
So what’s my verdict after spending a week in it, Well the Captiva 5 did start to grow on me by the end of the week.
Its nimble has a decent amount of space on the inside certainly more than you would expect looking from the outside.
Some people would find the lack of Bluetooth a downside but the audio system does have good sound but despite that it does posses a reasonable amount of features.
The 2.4L 4 cyl can produce some decent fuel economy and is very easy live with.
If are looking for a compact SUV with a reasonable amount of space, good on fuel, easy to park and packed full of safety features then you should have the Captiva 5 on your list.
Would i buy one yes and no while the 2.4L is not a bad engine i just feel the diesel is a better go but in saying that you will have pay extra for the privilege of it.
So did the Captiva 5 answer my earlier question of whether it does shape up as good bargain in the real world i would have to say yes it does.
For more details on the Captiva 5 & Holden’s full range of great vehicles check out their website http://www.holden.com.au
Pros: Decent economy, plenty of room, easy to drive, very easy to park, front and rear parking sensors
Cons: No Bluetooth, USB or Rearview Camera