General Motors shows off new SUV based on Chinese-market model, tailored for Thailand. Aren't you glad we get the Equinox now?
Chevrolet has revealed the new Captiva at the 2019 Bangkok motor show in Thailand, scheduled to go on sale in the region later this year.
UPDATE, 29/3/19: We've updated the article with details regarding the new Captiva's Chinese twin, the Baojun 530. See article for details.
Unlike the Captiva we know, which was a mid- to large crossover, the model destined for the Thai market is pitched as a more compact model, overlapping the SUV-B and SUV-C segments – or small and medium SUV classes.
However, the new model will continue to offer five- and seven-seat configurations, though we'd argue it may not be as spacious as its forebear.
In terms of design, the new Captiva is a radical departure from the model that used to be sold in Australia, featuring a new split headlight design that sees an LED daytime-running light strip positioned near the bonnet line, while the headlight is incorporated into the lower section of the front bumper.
While Chevrolet touts the Captiva as an 'all-new' model, it's actually a rebadged version of the Baojun 530 offered in China. Baojun is a joint-venture brand owned by General Motors and SAIC Motor, the latter being the Chinese parent of MG and LDV.
Additionally, MG is preparing a version of the Captiva and 530 for the Indian market called the Hector, while an additional version badged the Wuling Almaz will be sold in Indonesia.
There's two petrol engines offered in the Baojun 530, which likely indicate what Chevrolet will offer in Thailand. First is a 1.5-litre turbo four making 110kW, while a 101kW 1.8-litre naturally-aspirated four is also available.
A five-speed manual is standard on the 1.5, with a six-speed dual-clutch auto available as an option. The 1.8-litre engine is solely available with a five-speed robotised manual.
Chevrolet Thailand claims the Captiva will be "one of the roomiest and most flexible SUVs on the market", and keeps with the company's '3S' philosophy – Space, Style and Smart Technology.
Details regarding the available driver technology and equipment are pretty slim at this stage, though some features on offer include LED headlights and a panoramic sunroof.
"With the launch of Captiva, we will build on the momentum Chevrolet Thailand has gathered in recent years and make 2019 the fourth consecutive year of growth for our business," said Piyanuch Chaturaphat, general director for sales and marketing for Chevrolet Thailand.
"It’s no secret SUVs are booming in Thailand, just as they are around the world. Detailed research clearly tells us that SUV customers in Thailand highly value exterior design and interior roominess in making a purchase decision."
"You only need to take one look at the beautiful Captiva to know exterior design is a strong suit, with athletic design language and head-turning road presence."
While we're not sure if we agree with Ms. Chaturaphat about labelling the new Captiva 'beautiful', Chevrolet is experiencing significant growth in Thailand, posting a 36 per cent increase in sales over the past three years.
The Chevrolet Captiva is due to go on sale in Thailand in the second half of 2019, with a starting price of less than 1 million baht ($44,375).
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