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The new Captiva, on sale in May, is the beginning of a Chevrolet product offensive this year that also includes the new seven-seat Orlando and upper medium Cruze.
The Captiva is launched into a competitive segment with rivals including the Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Rav 4, Kia Sorento, Honda CR-V and Mitsubishi Outlander. The Captiva will stand out according to Chevrolet, thanks to improvements including CO2 emissions that range from 170g/km to 203g/km, up to 44.1mpg, a better quality interior and "enhanced 4x4 capabilities - making it a great tow car," says the brand.
Two diesels are available in the UK: 2.2-litre engines with 163hp or 184hp. The latter, a 2.2 VCDi AWD seven-seater, is expected to be the biggest fleet seller in the top trim LTZ, which will cost £30,295 and have benefit-in-kind tax of 26%. Automatic and manual transmissions are expected to be equally popular; the auto version is priced at £31,845.
By comparison, rival, the manual Kia Sorento KX-3 CRDi 2.2-litre, costs £30,135, with CO2 of 177g/km and BIK of 27%.
All models come with ESC, Bluetooth and folding mirrors, while LTZ also has a rear-view reversing camera, leather trim and heated seats.
The latest Captiva has had a fairly extensive facelift with a new-look grille and a resculptured front end. It also has improved suspension and sound-proofing, while a new electronic parking brake means more storage space for an interior that's more premium than before. On the downside, the manual gearbox is clunky and we'd certainly opt for the automatic version.
There is little body roll on winding roads, meanwhile, and for the most part the Captiva provides a comfortable ride.
The new Captiva is certainly an improvement on its predecessor, and as a leftfield alternative would be an refreshing choice for 4x4 owners.