Owner Review

2014 Holden Captiva 7 Lt (AWD) Review

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I am the lucky recipient of a 2014 Holden Captiva LT 2.2 diesel. Spoiler alert it's a company car. It's got 30,000km-ish on it. As a company car it's great, it does everything it needs to do (plus I get a new one next year, nice huh?) however would I part with my own money for it? Let's find out.

The good bits. Size, the car is a good compromise between a medium and large SUV, so around town it's not a bad size. But when I compare to say our old 2011 Toyota Kluger... It's turning circle is worse and I would prefer the extra leg room and boot space as the Toyota. As for the boot... My wife's 2013 Subaru Outback is wider and longer... So yes it's a good sized car, but as a large SUV is too small and as a medium one it's probably too big.
Economy, fuel economy is great. In fact really good.
Keyless entry, always a tick.

Now the bad. I've already touched on space, it's compromised, in fact our pram doesn't even fit flat in the back, lies flat no problem in the Subaru and was swallowed up by the old Toyota. The middle seat split folds on the wrong side for RHD markets for entry into the third row and middle row doesn't slide forward like our Toyota did. There are no rear air vents and the third row has one cup holder... Weird.

Performance and drive train, it's slow, what do you expect it's a 2.2 diesel SUV.
Our Subaru is a 2.0D (we now live back in NZ - Petrol is expensive, so we got a diesel), on paper it should be slower than the Captiva, but it's not, it feels far and has more get up and go. The Captiva's gearbox is dim-witted and slow to react you mash the pedal and it thinks about it for a bit then suddenly "whumph" it kicks down, normally I would prefer a proper auto over a CVT - but I think Subaru got it right in this instance and it just works in a nicer way.
As for the AWD it's an 'on-demand' you feel it kick in with a thud when you mash the right pedal in the wet and it's not pleasant. It doesn't give you the safe feeling that a permanent AWD system does. Oh and as for the engine itself, it feels like it belongs in a ute. It's so agricultural it chugs like a tractor.

Tech... No reverse camera? I know it became standard later in 2014 (I have one of the older cars in our fleet) but it's not good enough, especially on the mid-spec variant. I had as a loaner while I waited for my car to free up a 2016 LS 2.4, that had the new infotainment system, Apple car play is awesome, but realistically they hadn't made any large improvements to the car.

Reliability, mines fine, but my boss has a 2013 (he gets a new one this month) and it just had to have the whole engine out to fix a leak.... Really on a three year old car? Trim is worn after 30,000kms not OK GM. I know it's been a reps car, but it's not that old, or been that abused, I understand the previous rep was pretty good to it.

Ride and Handling, I will compare to the 2011 Kluger, it sucks - while the Kluger was no drivers car, the Captiva is lagging well behind. Admittedly the loaner 2016 LS 2.4 did handle a little better but not much, but at least they are trying. As for comfort the seats are a bit hard as is the suspension, seeing as the handling sucks they could have at least made the suspension a bit softer and the handling a bit worse... Just a thought - although our old Commodore SV6 had the worst ride of any car I have ever had so maybe it's a GM thing - I digress.

In summary, if you want a bargain priced 7 seat SUV, and this thing is an absolute steal in NZ and Australia, you can't go wrong. It's not a drivers car and it's not the best SUV I have driven. Would I part with my own money for it? No way. I prefer a drivers car, if it were my money I'd have a used BMW 328i. But it's not my money, so, while someone else paying the bills I am quite happy with it.