The convenience of seven seats and a high level of specification for both the LT and LTZ levels of trim translate into a great value proposition for the new Captiva from Chevrolet. As the best value 7-seater SUV on the market the Captiva combines the appeal of an MPV with the exciting drive of an SUV with the option of front wheel drive or all wheel drive available.

The clever “fold-flat-to-floor” seating layout provides for a multitude of flexible seating configurations. Drop the kids and their friends at school, remember there is space for seven in the Captiva, and then instantly reconfigure the rear compartment of the vehicle for utility space. The rearmost seats fold away flat at the pull of a lever for an unencumbered load bay.

Need more space? The second row of seats can also be folded away, completely flat – in stages, to add more versatility to the load area. If the need arises to carry a occasional extra long item, such as a step ladder, then the front passenger seat can also be folded down to provide a load length of 2,7 metres on that side of the vehicle.

With the rearmost seats folded flat luggage capacity is 465 litres. Fold the middle row of seats down and this increase to 930 litres. With all but the driver’s seat folded down there is a massive 1 565 litres of load capacity available. Even in 7-seat configuration, there is a usable 85 litres of cargo space. The tailgate features a smart opening, flip up, rear window for convenience when small items need to be placed in the rear of the vehicle.

The Captiva’s appeal goes beyond practicality. The design of the cabin space is modern and stylish and ushers in new levels of quality to Chevrolet’s fit and finish with high-grade materials used throughout. Soft-touch plastics, an integrated flush-fitting radio, and climate controlled air-conditioning add to the appeal.

Standard equipment on AWD models includes an advanced ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) system that assists in controlling a skid that might be induced in an emergency situation. It does this by acting to slow down individual wheels by intervening electronically to bring the vehicle under control if a situation such as understeer, oversteer, a heavy braking action, or an aggressive steering action is detected.

Standard on all models is Hydraulic Brake Assist, which increases the braking pressure to bring the vehicle to a stop in a shorter distance if an emergency braking action is sensed by the system. The Hill Descent Control System, activated by the push of a button, acts to slow the vehicle to a maximum of 7km/h on steep downward slopes, while Active Rollover Protection automatically detects heavy steering inputs and applies the brake to the outside front wheel to decrease lateral acceleration and reduce the effect of such a manoeuvre on the Captiva’s centre of gravity.

Also incorporated in the specification of the All Wheel Drive models is Level Ride Suspension. This system automatically adjusts the level of the suspension depending on the load. This means that the driving characteristics of the vehicle remain largely unaffected by a heavy load in the back of the vehicle or if it is used for towing. The system adjusts the rear ride height to level the vehicle within about two minutes of pulling off.

Standard equipment for the Captiva 2.4 LT FWD specification level includes:

  • Power steering.
  • 6.5J x 16 alloy wheels fitted with 215/70 R16 tyres.
  • Electric remote mirrors with heating and turn signal.
  • Front and rear fog lamps.
  • Satin silver roof rails.
  • 4-spoke soft-grip steering wheel.
  • Woven cloth seat covers.
  • Passenger seat undertray.
  • Manual air conditioning.
  • Power windows.
  • Cup holders.
  • Sunglass holder.
  • Radio/CD combination with MP3 compatibility and six speakers.
  • ABS with EBD.
  • Driver and passenger front dual-stage airbags and side airbags.
  • Car alarm and immobiliser system
  • Remote keyless entry system.

The Captiva 2.4 LT AWD level adds the following items:

  • Level Ride Suspension.
  • 7.0J x 17 alloy wheels fitted with 235/60 R17 tyres.
  • Trip computer.
  • Rear ultrasonic park assist.
  • Rain sensing windscreen wipers with sensitivity switch.
  • Steering wheel mounted satellite controls for audio system.
  • 8 speakers.
  • Electronic Stability Programme (ESP).
  • Opening rear glass on tailgate.

The LTZ specification adds the following items:

  • Speed sensitive power steering.
  • Tilt and telescopic adjustment for the steering column.
  • 7.0J x 18 alloy wheels fitted with 235/55 R18 tyres.
  • Chrome door handles.
  • Remote heated side mirrors with automatic fold-away feature.
  • Climate control air conditioning.
  • Leather steering wheel.
  • Leather seat covers and door trims.
  • Darkened privacy glass for rear windows.
  • 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat.
  • Sun visors with illuminated mirror.
  • Cruise control.
  • Radio cassette player with in-dash 6CD changer and MP3 compatibility.
  • Driver and passenger front and side airbags and roof curtain airbags.
  • Remote keyless entry with power locks for all doors, fuel filler, and flip up tailgate glass.

Key dimensions:

  • Length 4635mm
  • Width (ex mirrors) 1850mm
  • Height (with roof rails) 1755mm
  • Wheelbase 2705mm
  • Track (front/rear) 1562mm/1572mm
  • Turning circle 11,5 m (wall to wall)
  • Fuel tank 65 litres
  • Maximum towing mass 2000 kg

Prices as at launch in July 2007:

  • Captiva FWD 7-Seater 2.4 LT R244 300
  • Captiva AWD 7-Seater 2.4 LT R272 300
  • Captiva AWD 7-Seater 2.0 D LTZ R319 900
  • Captiva AWD 7-Seater 3.2 V6 LTZ A/T R329 900

Prices include VAT and a 3 year/100 000 km Service Plan. Both 3 yr and 5yr Maintenance plans are available as an option. Service intervals are 15 000 km or 1 year. Warranty cover is 3 years/100 000 km and includes Roadside Assistance for the warranty period.

The Captiva joins a growing list of popular products in the Chevrolet range that caters for a wide spectrum of buyers from the entry level Spark through to the Lumina V8 performance saloon. The Captiva enters the market in a high growth segment that accounts for close on 10% of all passenger vehicle sales in South Africa.

As the Chevrolet range grows in South Africa, so does the dealer network. Currently there are 110 Chevrolet dealers in the South African network, up from 96 at the beginning of 2007. It is expected that the Chevrolet dealer strength will reach 120 dealers by the end of 2007.