Thursday 1 December 2011

Road - Captiva-ted

Chevrolet was in Scotland yesterday and today with some new vehicles (one of which will have to remain secret for a few weeks yet!) but motoring journalists got the chance to try out the latest Captiva with its new 2.2 litre turbo-diesel engine.

There will be a base model 2WD version, but Chevrolet UK reckons the 4WD ‘on demand’ version will be the most popular. No doubt the imminent arrival of snow will help to concentrate the buying public’s mind.

It’s not an off-roader that can be used on the road, this is more of an on-roader that has the traction to get itself out of trouble on wet grass, muddy fields and icebound roads. Having said that, it has a ‘Hill Descent Control’ button, so if the going gets tougher than expected, it has the ability cope.

I tried it out on a wet, muddy, steep track and the ECU could be heard chirping away merrily as it operated the brakes to ensure that the first gear descent was all under perfect control.

The new Korean built 2.2 litre diesel is noisier outside the car than inside while the suspension system has been equally well addressed offering a comfortable, well-absorbed ride without shoogling the stomach contents of all those aboard even after a nice lunch in a welcoming hostelry.

But be careful what you specify, the towing limit varies between 1.5 to 2 tonnes, so if you want to max out on towing capacity go for the manual 6 speed transmission with either of the two 161 or 182 bhp diesel engines as neither the 2.4 or 3 litre petrol units can pull the full 2 tonnes according to the Spec Sheets.

Having said that, Chevrolet will be conducting their own Euro-style towing tests, as it always seems to be that Korean spec towing (regardless of manufacturer) operates to different rules than over here. As a rule of thumb, general towing advice is that a trailer and its contents (or a caravan) should not weigh more than 80% of the vehicle which is doing the towing.

Prices start from 22 grand for the 2WD car, but from £28,000 for the 4WD version but it comes with a lot of ‘standard’ equipment which other manufacturers regard as ‘extras’.

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