• Euro styling from Opel, clever space architecture, decent array of features, reasonable performance for this segment.
  • No Bluetooth or USB port, firm ride, stubborn gearshift, steering lacks feedback, centre-stack looks dated, fuel-consumption can be heavy.

5 / 10

2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review

At the budget end of Holden’s SUV line-up is the Holden Captiva 5, with a four-cylinder petrol engine, six-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive.

At $27,990, it’s Holden’s super-cheap entry into the medium-size SUV market, the five-seater sibling to the seven-seater Captiva 7 positioned to compete with the compact SUV breed. An optional six-speed automatic gearbox will add another $2000, which still puts it at just under $30K before on-road costs.

The competition includes the Mazda CX-5 (from $27,880), Nissan X- Trail ($28,490), Mitsubishi Outlander ($29,340), Jeep Cherokee ($28,000 – with auto transmission), Kia Sportage ($26,990), Subaru Forester ($30,990) and Toyota RAV4 ($28,990), all of which offer affordable competitive pricing and specification levels.

The Holden Captiva 5 petrol variant gets a 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine, generating 123kW of power and 230Nm of torque.

Neither number is worth crowing about, especially when peak torque isn’t reached until 4600rpm, but it’s still more than what both the 400cc-smaller CX-5 (114kW/200NM) and same-capacity Sportage (122kW/197Nm) offer. The downside is that the Captiva (1681kg) is around 240kg heavier than the Mazda.

Luckily the six-speed manual is well matched to the engine, so performance is surprisingly enthusiastic. The shifts, though, can be stubborn, especially when engaging first gear, so be prepared to manhandle the shifter at times. Thankfully, though, the pressure is off when it comes to hill starts and those potential rollbacks, as hill start assist is a standard feature across the entire Captiva 5 range.

2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review

Despite a decent torque spread, and throttle response that’s better than expected, even in the higher gears, you still need to use plenty of engine revs to get the most out of this Captiva 5 petrol variant.

The 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine is a smooth-revving unit with a decent torque spread and there’s something of a snarl at around 4000rpm rather than the demonic scream that plagues so many other four-cylinder SUVs in this class, particularly the automatics.

Combined fuel-consumption for Captiva 5 is rated at a claimed 8.8L/100km, but after a week of driving, sometimes with two 10-year-olds on board, we recorded a dismal average of 11.8L/100km.

The Captiva 5 employs a multi-link rear suspension and MacPherson strut front, and like its seven-seat Captiva sibling, offers decent dynamics that wholly avoids the sogginess of rivals like the Nissan X-Trail.

There’s very little pitch and yaw through when tackling S-bends, and the Captiva can be driven with a fair degree of intent despite its hefty weight. Sadly, however, it’s a case of stiffening up the spring rates to (thinly) disguise the lack of chassis resolve.

Ride quality is decidedly on the firm side, way too firm considering its family-car focus. The ride also turns choppy and bouncy at speed, but more comfortable than the Captiva 7 in this regard.

2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review

The variable-ratio speed sensitive steering is vague on-centre, though it does provide a comfortable level of weight; not too heavy, nor featherweight-light.

It’s a high-seat driving position in the Captiva and while there’s little in the way of lateral bolstering in the front seats, the cloth fabric at least prevents unwanted sliding-about during cornering.

Inside, the Captiva 5 looks and feels its price point. The cliff-faced-style centre stack looks dated and in need of a makeover.

On the plus side the plastics are of reasonable quality and there’s a decent spread of soft touch and metal-look accents throughout the cabin. Although built in Korea, the Captiva 5 is styled for Europe, where it’s badged as an Opel. The switchgear is Opel-derived, shared with the old, previous-generation AH Astra.

There’s plenty of space, too. The Holden Captiva 5 gets the same clever flat-fold rear seat system as it’s larger sibling, which makes loading longer cargo a breeze.

Boot room though, is compromised by the fact that the floor sits almost flush against the tailgate, with a high loading lip and little in the way of depth. However, there’s still 430-litres behind the rear seats and 865-litres when the rear backrest is folded.

While it’s hard to believe that there’s no Bluetooth or music streaming (no USB port either) in the Captiva 5, it otherwise isn’t gadget-starved.

2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review

There are power windows with auto up/down on front and rear and an electrically operated park brake that allows for one of the longest console bins in this class of SUV.

Other highlights in the Captiva 5 include 17-inch alloy wheels, semi-automatic climate control, front and rear parking sensors, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and a better-than-average audio system. The small mono screen displaying basic driver information such as fuel-consumption and range is ordinary, however; it’s well past its use-by date.

Safety equipment is competitive, with the Holden Captiva 5 scoring a full five stars, with six airbags and a complete range of active safety systems including electronic stability control with traction control, active rollover protection, anti-locking braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist and decent control system.

For folks requiring low-level off-road capability or greater towing capacity (from 1500-1700kg braked) there’s the 2.2-litre diesel Captiva 5 with all-wheel drive and 400Nm of torque. But that choice will bump up the price to $33,990.

Particularly considering its high-quality competition, the Holden Captiva 5 is left looking exposed. It is six years old and feels its age in many ways. But it does offer more space for less and decent array of features although, the lack of Bluetooth, or even a USB port is inexcusable for an SUV in this day and age.

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2012 Holden Captiva 5 Review
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  • Zaccy16

    I think theirs a typo, its the mazda 3’s mzr engine figures not cx5’s skyactiv

    • Anthony


  • Zaccy16

    This is very behind the competition in every way, looks dated and korean, awful old interior, doesn’t drive well and uses lots of fuel, base CX5 for me please!

    • Phil

      Looks Korean? That’s ironic, considering this is a rebadged Opel – “Euro styling from Opel” is even listed as a ‘pro’.

      • Captain Nemo®™

         Judging by Zuppy’s numerous spelling mistakes & poor grammar reading English isn’t his strong point. “Paw-erest speller” second only to Bungle on CA.  

        • Clive

          Who cares Nemo, this is website is for car fans not grammar students.
          Besides, you forgot the comma after ‘reading’.

          • Zaccy16

            Exactly clive, im not writing a essay when commenting on a thread!

          • Captain Nemo®™

            No but it shows your lack of education Zuppy.

          • Toorak chap

            We all know you’re vying for number 1 spot on CA, Zaccy. At least try and learn to spell properly & contribute something useful instead of starting every sentence with “Exactly” and parroting every other comment.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kiran.sb.3 Kiran SB

            ‘but it shows your lack of education’ – What a moron

          • Leesyd

            Maybe not, but you are still Bshtg

          • Leesyd

            Actually if we are going to be anal about it the comma comes after “grammar”

    • Henry Toussaint

      The base CX-5 is Ugly.

      • Martin

        It is, isn’t? All that dark exterior plastic, goldfish gaping mouth and small steel wheels.

        • Leesyd

          Best description to date

      • Able

        Plus Henry, it’s the only manual CX-5 you can get. Makes me ill…

      • Bigjim

        Craptiva is a car for wankers! Does one still have to remove the bumper to change a headlight?

    • Leesyd

      Have you driven it Zaccy – I have and I have driven the CX5, Xtrail and CRV. Looks are subjective – You like what you like but I have a hard time knocking the driving or performance. Handling is stable and predictable and its pretty damned well dampened. Not saying its better than  the others but suggesting a bit of homework and objectivity.The CX5 we get here – is it  assembled in Japan of Russia? Also, why would Koreans not be as capable as the Japanese when assembling – I think they would!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiran.sb.3 Kiran SB

    I didn’t know an Auto Jeep Cherokee could be had for $28,000. Or is that the Compass? 

    That interior dates all the way back to 2002 with those buttons and the same digital readouts from the XC Barina/ Vectra 

    • Amlohac

      Fairly sure it can, its a 2wd only model though.

      • MisterZed

        This is true, however Jeep Cherokee production ended back in August, so once current Cherokee stock runs out, that’s it… the model is gone.

  • Guest

    It may be 6 yaers old but that also means it has overcome all the little problems of a new car and should be a solid and reliable beast ready for some years of performance. Check Youtube and you will see that these cars can even cope with water as deep as the hood is high.

    • The Salesman

      By that logic we should all be driving cars from the 1920’s

  • MisterZed

    The grey plastic unpainted rear bumper is hideous – one of the worst things about this car. Seriously how much would it cost to paint it? I don’t think any other SUV on the market still has unpainted bumpers these days.

    • Westie

      Unless the plastic quality has improved since the C1, it’ll look even worse in a year or two when it fades and mottles.
      As far as quality improving with build time, they had a loooong way to go. Had an 09 diesel so I speak from painful experience.
      And 11.8 l/100ks? I only just bettered that with the diesel, so I’m not surprised.

    • http://www.bryanbyrtrenault.com.au/ Modern Man

      you will be suprised as to how many have unpainted sections on their bumpers.

      Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai ix-35 and forester to name a couple.

      • Amlohac

        Its an SUV the idea is you might take it off road, and if you do you might chip paint from stones and the various holes youre likely to drop it into. Hence the plastic bits on the bottom bits of the car.

        Yet, seriously though, Who is gonna take this thing off road much anyway?

      • Dave S

        No excuss in 2012 for unpainted bumpers. Regardless of brand.

        • James

          No excuse in 2012 you say, I would say that safety would be a more important thing to worry about.

      • MisterZed

        This is true, but on the Captiva 5, the *entire* rear bumper is unpainted – not just part of it.  On the models you mention, only the lower part of the bumper is unpainted. At least on the Captiva 5 the front bumper is fully painted, though.

  • 42 = The Answer

    It’ll be interesting to see much how longer they keep this model going!

  • Martin

    With the incoming Colorado 7 and Trax, how long before the Captiva is replaced with the current (fractured) design language?

    It’s a hard bet to look at Holden’s line up and see a common theme like Mazda, Hyundai or Audi

  • Karl Sass

    1681kgs! How is this, FWD, 4 cylinder, manual only 9 kgs lighter than the much larger auto, V6, RWD Commodore?

  • Dennis

    You would be hard pressed to find a 2.4 Petrol that drinks less than 10 Litres per 100Km around the City…

    • Amlohac

      New skyactive 2.5L engine in the mazda 6 and about to be put into the cx5 will.

      • Leesyd

        We should probably wait till the cars have been driven around the city – seriously how often do quoted figures match reality

  • http://www.bryanbyrtrenault.com.au/ Modern Man

    BTW, where is the Renault Koleos??

    $28,490 with real dual zone climate and inbuilt sat nav with bluetooth and bluetooth streaming.

    why doesnt this get a mention in the competitors. would love to see a review of this ‘base’ model at some stage.

    • Amlohac

      Oh you mean the french nissan x-trail?

      • S_hunt144

        Actually the Korean x-trail.

        Koleos is actually made by Samsung

        • tiddy

          Does it really matter where it’s made?, so far no one has answered Modern Man, just smart ars## replies.

          It probably would be a good comparison, I drove Koleos for a couple of days recently & whilst it was no rocket, it was very comfortable, handled well & was very quiet…for what its worth 

  • http://www.ooyyo.com.au/ Brian L. Gilman

    This car has taken a bit of a beating with regards to reviews, but generally all in all I say, different strokes for different folks… Not everyone is gonna like it,  but i know for sure this car still has a market for itself. Tough and reliable, although its interior is a bit out dated for today’s standards, it will find its place amongst the older less tech savy drivers and tradesmen. Holden has to get it’s act into gear or fear losing out to its competition in the long run.

    • Jim

      It’s interesting, all the people that I’ve spoken to who own them like them a lot.

      • Ashurocks

        I bought a brand new captiva 5 auto nearly 4 months ago, I am loving it, the only major issue is fuel consumption. When I bought the car, I was told by the dealership that it consumes 8.8l/100 kms but actually its taking 12.4 l/100 kms combined…and its taking 10.4l/100 kms on long drives…and I dont have a heavy foot at all…Also there no aux /usb options let alone bluethooth…Its really hard to believe….
        Even though its an old model, its still the best looking crossover and the biggest/spacious under 35k…

  • kris

    I’d go a Tiguan!

  • jenny

    is the captiva 5 truly 5 star ANCAP rating, as we want to buy one as a family car and another car head said it only had four stars ?  can anyone answer here please ? it is not on holdens website.  the captiva 7 gets 5 stars here, but nowhere does it say the 5 does ?
    Does it have isofix safety points for child restraints ? we head to dealer on the weekend to see ?
    Holden are overing great driveaway deals on the base model auto which is we want and it comes down to price. I think it looks good outside but dated inside, so i aagre with the review, but for driveaway $26,000 for an auto we are going to make the plunge I think. Bad fuel figues though are a concern.

  • Ruby1942

    I have t he captiva 5 ,think its a great vehicle , took time to master the electric hand brake, I use 95octain and have nitrogen in my tyres and am getting 9/100kms around town , goes down to 8.5 on long trip it is cheaper to use 95 or 98 octane fuel in the long run. Great comfortable car which I enjoy driving.

    • Ash

      Thanks Ruby, I will try 98 octane and see if there us any difference in the mileage…thanks again. Ash.

  • Ruby

    Try using 95or 98 octane fuel you will get a much better fuel consumption

  • Christoph_84

    Matey you can’t comment much either. I am fairly sure that his name is Zaccy not Zuppy, maybe it is you who can’t read. 

  • VAMH26

     Wow. Telling someone there’s a typo, with a typo.

  • Dcfmonk

    I just bought a Captiva 5 and negotiated a good price on the 5 in one Sat Nav system. It includes USB, Iphone connection, DVD, reversing camera etc. I agree it should be included, but I managed to negotiate the price of the car and the price of the unit down. It’s worth the extra. 

  • Bundy

    I have the 2006 6 cyl 7 seater. Towed 1300kg camper with my wife and 2 kids from, Bundaberg to Melbourne first year then from Bundy to Port Douglas the year after. Excellent tow vehicle no problems ever, use turtle plastic repair/shine on the bumpers and they look like new. just clocked105000. Has developed an oil leak so was thinking of upgrading to a diesel. And was looking for reviews about cars not spelling.

  • ReluctantHoldenOwner

    Do NOT buy a captiva – they are lemons! We have 3 of them in our fleet and among countless other smaller problems (seriously it’s just one thing after another), 2 of them have had to have complete engine rebuilds at under 100,000km.

  • ashutosh singh

    I have started using 98 octane fuel and it’s making a huge difference. Thanks for the advice.

  • ashutosh singh


  • Glitterz001

    I bought a captiva 5 LT late Aug 2014 from a dealership in Darwin.
    Vehicle was delivered with badly scratched steering wheel, scratched interior after the vehicle being detailed, rattle in roof, faulty park assist light on dash.
    Upon contacting dealership, I was advised to bring vehicle in so they could have a look at the steering wheel, took it in and they didn’t look at the vehicle at all. Booked in replacement part which took almost 3 months to order in, tinting was bubbled as well.
    Took vehicle in to delarahip once the steering wheel had arrived to be fitted and service reps tell me I would be charged a $170 per hour fee to have diagnostics done and to have rattles and dash light fixed. Wasn’t happy!!
    This vehicle is just short of 3 months old!!
    Mechanically, the vehicle is pretty good, will admit outdated but pretty standard fuel economy. Lack of boots pace if you have a pram and other bits and pieces to pack too.

Holden Captiva Specs

Car Details
5 (4x4)
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$18,150 - $20,630
Dealer Retail
$19,330 - $22,990
Dealer Trade
$14,300 - $16,500
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
400Nm @  2000rpm
Max. Power
135kW @  3800rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.2L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1700  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
235/65 R17
Rear Tyres
235/65 R17
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Control & Handling
Automatic/Self levelling Suspension, Traction Control System
Trip Computer
Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Service Interval
9 months /  15,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Eng Scuttle
Country of Origin