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Holden Captiva LX Road Test

Review by Anthony Ziella - 23 May 2012 (updated 16 November)

Before I got behind the wheel of the all new Holden Captiva, I read a few other reviews out there and I couldn't believe the lack of love going around for, what is in my opinion, a highly efficient, well refined, extremely price competitive, seven seater medium SUV with serious swagger: the mother humpin’ Holden Captiva.

Initially, I was slightly underwhelmed by this five star big boy’s toy for Holden, but by the end of the week I was totally converted to the house of Captiva.

A number of Captivas are available within the range including the SX, CX and the top of the range LX models. Today, we have a gander at the all new Holden Captiva LX.

* Both the 2.2L Diesel and 3.0L SIDI Direct Injection V6 petrol engine were test driven.


  • Make: Holden
  • Model: Captiva LX
  • Price: $43,490*
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Auto
  • Engine: 2.2l DOHC Turbocharged Diesel
  • Max Power: 135kW
  • Max Torque: 400Nm
  • Fuel consumption: 8.5L / 100km
  • CO2 Emissions: 268 g/km
  • Safety: 5 Star ANCAP
  • Car Supplier: Holden Australia
  • Make: Holden
  • Model: Captiva LX
  • Price: $43,490*
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Auto
  • Engine: 3.0L SIDI Direct Injection V6 petrol
  • Max Power: 190rpm @ 6900rpm
  • Max Torque: 288rpm @ 5800rpm
  • Fuel consumption: 10.1L / 100km
  • CO2 Emissions: 241 g/km
  • Safety: 5 Star ANCAP
  • Car Supplier: Holden Australia


Drive Engine Exterior Interior Safety


Drive: 5/5

On the road the Captiva handles like George Clooney, it’s a smooth mover. When I got in and those big doors snapped shut like they were air locked, the first thing I noticed was how light the steering was. I mean it was seriously light, very sharp and really responsive, everything you would ever want form your steering wheel.

While we’re on the steering wheel, Holden didn’t mess around by overloading it with too many controls like some other manufacturers, who shall remain nameless do, cough! Peugeot. Who said that? They stick to the basics. Volume control, cruise control, Bluetooth and display toggle, and all between 3 and 5 and 7 and 9. O’clock that is.

On the road it’s like I said, seriously smooth. The steering wheel doesn’t vibrate at all and the inside of the cabin is totally quiet. The suspension is great too, this big, bad SUV can take pretty well anything our roads can throw at it, pot holes aren’t a problem (Hell, I could have ran over three "smaller sized" horses during my week with the Captiva and not even noticed until I got it back to the dealership).

The Captiva also comes equipped with a reverse camera and rear parking sensors. These are really handy as maneuvering this big boy into a shopping centre car park can be a challenge. All the gadgets make parallel parking surprisingly easy but it’s any sort of 90 degree turn that proves a little difficult.

Engine: 2.2L Diesel 5/5 & 3.0 SIDI Petrol 4/5

The engine under the hood of the 2.2L Diesel Captiva is like Gary Ablett Jr or a vegetarian pizza with ham, chicken and prawns, it has it all, it’s powerful, strong and quick with plenty of grunt and big tank.

The 2.2 litre turbocharged diesel engine is absolutely awesome, it can pump out 135Kw of power with 400Nw of torque while delivering fuel efficiency of 8.3km/100km, which isn’t too shabby for an SUV.

The 3.0 litre SIDI Direct Injection V6 petrol engine is a pretty useful and productive engine if we must say so ourselves. Putting up decent numbers; maximum power of 190rpm @ 6900rpm and maximum torque of 190rpm @ 6900rpm.

The only thing holding this engine back is that it lacks a little bit of speed and grunt from a standing start due to the torque. It is also more expensive to run then the 2.2L diesel. The 3.0L SIDI petrol chews through 10.1L per 100kms which is on the high end of fuel usage.

Exterior: 5/5

The 2011 model has had some noteworthy exterior tweaks. Holden have kept the overall design but have just made some minor, but significant adjustments.

The facelift the Captiva has had really works. The awesome new design looks sharp, it looks angry, it looks like it wants to fight you (Having said that, it does look eerily similar to the Ford Territory and at night I have trouble telling the two apart.)

But still this is defiantly a big boy’s toy. Cruise around town in one of these for a couple of days and you’ll be doing just about everything in slow motion, such is the confidence this car brings. Put some spinners on those 19 inch alloys and smoke out the windows and you’re an absolute boss.

Safety: 5/5

The 2012 Series II Captiva 7 received a 5 star ANCAP safety rating with a total score of 34.32 out of 37. With perfect scores in the side impact crash test and a score of 14.32 out of 16 in the offset crash test, the Captiva is a safe family vehicle.

Safety features include; Driver and Front Passenger Airbags, Side Curtain Airbags and Side Impact Airbags for Driver and Front Passenger.

Other notable safety features include; Electronic Stability Control, ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Traction Control System, Brake Assist and Active Rollover Protection (if the system detects excessive body roll during cornering it will automatically apply braking to each wheel as required).

Interior: 4.5/5

When I first climbed into the cabin of the Captiva in the Holden car park, honestly, I was initially underwhelmed. It didn’t seem like a new car at all. Outside of the electronic display it looked outdated.

But a couple of days later I started to fully appreciate the stylish, simplistic symmetry that seems to be the theme throughout the entire car, nothing too fancy, nothing elaborate. Every button, gauge and switch is where you would expect it to be and every one of them serves a purpose. The only real surprise is the electronic hand brake, which is pretty snazzy.

The leather seats are, well, leather seats, big, soft and comfy. There is plenty of room in the front for the driver and whoever is riding shotgun and heaps in the second row no matter how tall or wide the passengers may be. It’s in the optional third row of seating where room gets a little tight so if you are going to use all seven seats, put the smallest in the cheap seats.

As far as luggage space, that depends on how many seats you’re using, but there is plenty. With all three rows of seating in use most of the storage space is used for the transporting of the human passengers and 85litres of luggage space is all you’re dealing with. With a row dropped and the car in its standard formation you get 465liters and with all but the front dropped the Holden Captiva can carry 930litres of whatever it is you need moving.

The Captiva has quite an impressive features list too, spearheaded by the multifunctional, touch screen sat nav (which is in need of some refinement). The rest of the list comprises of Bluetooth connectivity, USB input, a more than capable eight-speaker sound system with a six CD stacker and a reverse camera.


2.2L Diesel



I loved this car and provided it comes back with the expected five star ANCAP safety rating, the 2.2L Diesel powered Captiva is definitely a five star car.

This Holden really does have it all. The engine is powerful and fuel efficient, the interior is comfortable, roomy and versatile, from the outside it looks great and the drive is as good as any.  The 3.0L SIDI Petrol Engine performs smoothly as well, yet it is slightly let down with high fuel consumption figures. It is also sluggish from a standing start.

What’s more is that it is just about the cheapest seven seater in the business. It’s cheaper than the Subaru Forrester, the Hyundai Santa-Fe, the Kia Sorrento and the Ford Territory, so it’s price competitive too.

What more can I say?

* Prices are manufacturer list prices only, for the drive away price please contact your local authorised Holden dealer.


Pros: Cons:
  • Space & Comfort
  • Price Competitive
  • Interior Display Somewhat Outdated (Yet Simple)


Comments on the review? The Car? Your Car? Email us.


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