2016 Chevrolet Captiva 2.4L – Comfort in a Class-Beating Size
Driver comfort is the over-riding theme that captivates you behind the wheel of Chevy’s 2.4L economy SUV: the Chevrolet Captiva. From the moment you enter the high-riding cabin and shut the door with a soft ‘thunk’ to eliminate most external noise, you luxuriate in the feel of the muted design, fine materials and the overall ergonomics that make a driver’s life easy.
The Captiva is an SUV, but you’d never know it. It handles like a small car, with responsive steering that gives you the perfect level of feedback, suspension that responds to the weight that you load into the car, and a seamless six-shift tranny.
Chevrolet has used GM’s 2.4-liter engine to power the vehicle, and although this sounds like it’s too small for such a large beast, there’s virtually no lag in acceleration from the start. It’s a competent power plant that provides a good burst of speed when needed. With 169 horses at 5,600 rpm, and 229 Newton meters of torque, the inline four won’t break land-speed records, but it won’t embarrass you at a stop light either. Fuel efficiency ain’t bad either, for such a large machine.
Fold-up third row
The Captiva is probably the largest and the heaviest vehicle in its class. While the power-to-weight ratio
also makes it the most under-powered compared to its peers, it’s a small trade-off. This is because it’s the only model in its class whose size allows you to fold up a third row of seats at the back. This makes it the perfect soccer-mom-mobile, because it seats a maximum of four fully grown adults and up to four kids or scrawny teenagers with relative ease.
The LT version not only comes with a really roomy cabin, but also has large tires that add to the riding comfort.
Clearly designed and built with soccer moms in mind, the Captiva gives serious consideration to safety. Two front and six curtain airbags with anti-lock discs all round make this one of the safest vehicles on the road. Park assist warning beeps prevent you from dinging the two-tone exterior. Visibility all around is excellent, with wing mirrors large enough to give you a good view of what’s happening in a large swathe behind you.
If you had to find a fault with this competent, comfortable car, it would have to be the absence of a dedicated rear air-conditioning system. As we tested this car during a week that broke temperature records in the Middle East, the strong front AC’s struggled to cool the rear with the quickness that most spoiled UAE residents are used to. The sheer volume of the Captiva’s interior suddenly became a weakness.
While effective at the highest AC fan setting, the AC also gets quite noisey, in a vehicle that prides itself on an otherwise silent cabin. But turn the fan speed one notch below full and the silence returns. Built like a sound-insulated room, the Captiva virtually eliminates road and traffic noise, leaving you to concentrate on the superb six-speaker sound system, or even the philosophical gems of your six-year-old wannabe soccer star.
It is unlikely that you will read anything in this article that derides Chevrolet’s MyLink system. Mating the smartphone to it via Bluetooth in a matter of seconds, you have the option to turn your phone into a music machine and stream your tunes through MyLink. The interface for making calls through MyLink is also smooth and frictionless, and the steering-mounted controls for everything let you concentrate on the road without fiddling about with multiple knobs and switches. The LT version in Carlease’ fleet also comes with built-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (one of the first models to do so in the UAE),making the software even more intuitive and also giving tech geeks out there something exciting to demo to their friends.
The Captiva from the Carlease stable was a notch below the top-end model, but felt like it lacked nothing. Missing from the vehicle were a sunroof, rear camera, blind-spot warning and few other bells and whistles. But everything you really need, including cruise control and electronic vehicle information displays, is right at your fingertips. That’s one of the advantages of leasing an American car – they give the driver more bang for the buck than most other cars, leaving you wanting for nothing.
|Roomy, with a 3rd row of seats||No dedicated rear air-conditioner|
|Safety||AC fan is loud – but effective – at full blast|
|Good cabin materials|
The 2.4-2.5L I4 FWD/4WD shootout
|Chevy Captiva||Ford Escape||Honda CR-V||Toyota RAV-4||Nissan X-Trail|
|Engine||2.4L I4 FWD/4WD||2.5L I4 FWD||2.4L I4 FWD/4WD||2.5L I4 FWD/4WD||2.5L I4 FWD/4WD|
|Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)||8.9||8.1||9.0||8.1||9.0|
|0-100 kph (sec.)||10.5||10.0||8.5||9.7||11.0|
|Top Speed (kph)||190||180||199||200||170|
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