• Enhanced exterior styling
  • Upgrade to interior
  • More refined chassis
  • New electronics package
  • Improved NVH characteristics
  • Latest generation engines

Earlier this year Chevrolet enhanced the popular Captiva SUV for 2011 with a fresh new look, a number of interior upgrades, improved power trains for better performance and efficiency, refinements to the chassis, a new advanced electronics package and lower interior noise and vibration levels. The model on display at the Johannesburg International Motor Show reflects those changes.

Enhanced exterior styling
Chevrolet’s Captiva ushered in a new era in design for the Chevrolet brand when it was first launched onto the international market five years ago. This was a design from a fresh and youthful team that drew on global inputs and design cues to define this mid-sized SUV for world markets. The result was a vehicle with well-proportioned bold features that imparted a bold but sophisticated look.

Building on this proven formula Chevrolet has revised the exterior styling of the Captiva for a fresh new look. This latest Captiva is immediately identified by its new face defined by a dual-port grille with black honeycomb inserts, chrome surrounds and prominent Chevrolet “bow-tie” insignia set in a body colour grille surround.

The styling headlamp treatment sees the lamp clusters sweep forward into the front corners of the vehicle with polycarbonate lenses providing a smooth surface over the functional elements of the lamp cluster.

The overall sleek appearance of the Captiva is defined by a swept windscreen and roof line that provide a sleek aero profile. The side view is complimented by a tight tyre-to-body relationship imparting a well-grounded appearance.

Upgraded interior
For this latest iteration of the Captiva Chevrolet introduced all new seat fabrics and interior décor appointments that impart an upscale ambience. Ergonomics and comfort are improved with the adoption of revised controls for some front seat movements and the repositioning of switches and levers to place them within easier and more intuitive reach of the driver.

The outlets for the ventilation system have been re-styled to more effectively direct the airflow within the cabin. Side window demist performance is significantly improved. This improved functionality is topped off with tasteful bright work surrounds to define the ventilation outlets.

The centre console is now positioned slightly lower, for optimal armrest positioning, and is longer. Dual cup-holders incorporated in the console have been improved to provide more stable retention of drinks containers. This improvement also applies to the cup-holders fitted to the second row seat centre armrest.

Speakers for the audio system have been repositioned. Eight speakers provide for impressive sound reproduction.

All models in the range are fitted with a 6-CD front loader system radio/CD combination with RDS functionality. Features include: MP3 compatibility; Bluetooth connectivity; auxiliary input, and a USB port.

The analogue instrument cluster has been revised for up-to-date styling and visual appeal. Instrument illumination is by Chevrolet’s signature Ice Blue lighting.

More refined chassis
Improvements to the Captiva include numerous hardware and software enhancements to the chassis to build on an already high level of ride, handling and safety attributes.

Stopping performance is improved through revisions to the ABS software package and fine-tuning of the chassis. On the LTZ specification models 19 inch diameter wheels provide increased tyre contact area.

All models in the range are fitted with an electronic park-brake. The neat packaging of the system activation button in the centre console does away with the normally clumsy and intrusive handbrake lever.

Aside from the packaging benefits, the electronic handbrake brings with it added functionality as well. Linked to the system is Hill Start Assist (HSA), a feature that holds the vehicle for 1,5 seconds after the brake pedal is released on grades of 3% and greater. This effectively eliminates rollback when moving away from rest on gradients for added confidence in an often challenging driving condition.

Also featured in the electronic park brake package is Electronic Parking Brake Dynamic Assist (EPBDA). This feature allows the electronic brake control module to apply selective four-corner braking in conditions where it is required to slow the vehicle down in unstable conditions.

The front spring rate is increased by 10% for enhanced ride and improved stability. Also at the front, a larger diameter anti-roll bar (or stability bar) is fitted together with stiffer mounting bushes for improved roll-stiffness.

Rear spring and damper rates have been revised as has the rear stabiliser bar. Improved insulation is provided on suspension mounting points to reduce the transmission of noise and vibration.
The front sub-frame has been reworked to provide for added chassis rigidity. At the rear a hydraulic link has been added to reduce the incidence of vertical floor shake.

New electronics package
Significant amongst the improvements to the vehicle electronics system is the adoption of Regulated Voltage Control (RVC). This enables the intelligent control of the Captiva’s electrical system voltage for improved efficiencies.

Benefits of RVC include improved fuel economy and longer life for lamps, switches and relays and improved battery performance. The system continually monitors the state-of-charge of the battery and battery temperature to ensure optimised battery charging in all conditions.

A USB port is provided in the centre console for personal devices as well as Bluetooth connectivity incorporated in the radio and steering wheel controls.

Improved NVH characteristics
The NVH characteristics of the Captiva for 2011 have been improved through the adoption of a number of enhancements throughout the vehicle. This ensures added comfort levels and reduced strain on passengers when conducting a normal conversation in the vehicle.

Hydraulic engine mounts are employed to provide optimised isolation of engine vibration and noise. A revised air inlet system and exhaust system are tuned to provide the most efficient flow of inlet and exhaust gasses with the minimum of noise. In addition an isolator matt is fitted to the front dash panel area. Together these improvements contribute to a 3-decibel reduction in power train noise within the cabin.

Further noise reduction measures include the adoption of an acoustic type, multiple laminate windscreen, improved door seals, and the addition of acoustic mattes in strategic areas to reduce noise transmission between the passenger and cargo area.

An upgrade to the roof-liner dampens noise transmission while enhanced liners in the wheel wells dampen road noise.

Latest generation engines
The new Captiva is powered by either a 2.4 litre Ecotec engine with variable valve timing that produces 123 kW and 230 Nm of torque, or a direct injection 3.0 litre V6 that delivers 190 kW with 288 Nm of torque. Both are latest generation engines from Chevrolet that offer exceptional economy in operation.

Tests conducted by Chevrolet engineers indicate combined cycle fuel economy of 8,9 l/100km for the front wheel drive 2.4 litre model and 9,3 l/100km for the all-wheel drive model. The 3.0 litre direct injection engine delivers combined cycle economy of 10,7 l/100km.