2016 Holden Captiva LTZ has sharp new looks and new tech, but still falls behind a number of competitors
Holden has rejigged its Captiva range for 2016, dumping the Captiva 5 body style and offering the former Captiva 7 with five or seven seats, depending on specification level.
A number of changes have been made to give the range a new lease on life, with range topping Captiva LTZ fitted with blind spot monitoring and very effective rear cross traffic alert along with the increasingly popular Apple CarPlay entertainment software.
Our test car was also fitted with the optional turbo diesel engine.
The styling has been significantly revised too, most noticeably at the front, where there’s an all new nose and aggressive headlamps with built in day time running lights. The new look gained largely favourable feedback from the general public.
When we tested the Holden Captiva7 LTZ petrol last year, we felt that it was a cheap, value for money package, but was outclassed by rivals such as the Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota Kluger. This time, the excellent Kia Sorento is also a rival.
Will the nose job and new found brains help bring the Holden to the fore? We were on a mission to find out.
What we like:
- New tech – especially the cross traffic alert – are welcome additions
- Diesel engine is smooth and quiet
- It looks great
- It’s cheap seven seat family motoring
Not so much:
- Still feels dated and under-engineered
- Removal of satellite navigation from flagship LTZ models is a bizarre omission
- Diesel engine is quieter but not as fuel efficient as some rivals
- Uncomfortable seats
Changes to the interior have been far less extensive than those on the exterior. The general design and layout remains unchanged, there’s a new steering wheel which isn’t smattered with as many controls as before, the plastic wood has been replaced with more modern silver trim and there is of course the touchscreen with CarPlay which is as easy and as familiar to use as any other application of CarPlay.
Strangely, satellite navigation has been deleted from the Captiva LTZ model. Perhaps Holden thought using Apple Maps when connected to CarPlay would suffice, but not everyone owns a smartphone, and not everyone doesn’t want to use data on their device unnecessarily.
The silly and antiquated keyless start system remains – rather that applying the brake and pushing a button as you may expect, one must turn a large knob fitted to the ignition barrel.
There’s still decent room for seven, and the final row of seats folds completely flat into the floor, and the two final seats and be easily raised by pulling a latch on the backrest. Easy.
We found that the front seats weren’t overly comfortable though, and despite the new technology, there’s little to disguise the Captiva’s 2006 roots.
Under the Bonnet
The Holden Captiva diesel is powered by a 2.2 litre turbo diesel that produces 135kW @ 3800rpm and 400Nm @ 1750-2750rpm, noticeably down on the 147kW @ 3800rpm and 440Nm @ 1750-2750rpm produced by the 2.2 diesel found in the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento.
The Captiva’s engine is mated to a six-speed auto and an all-wheel drive system.
Whilst not as powerful or torquey as the engine found in its fellow Koreans, the 2016 Holden Captiva engine is notably quieter and smoother, and is especially hushed at freeway speeds and the engine is definitely a worthwhile $1,000 option over the lethargic petrol V6.
The diesel offers plenty of power on tap when overtaking, and during the test week, we averaged 10.6 litres per 100 kilometres on a combined cycle. A far cry from the 8.0 litres per 100 kilometres that can be achieved in the Hyundai and Kia.
On the Road
The 2016 Holden Captiva delivers fairly acceptable road manners for an SUV. It never feels bulky or cumbersome, and will be more than capable of doing school/weekend sports runs without any bother.
The ride is actually quite comfortable too, it never crashes or jars and remains relatively composed at all times.
The Holden Captiva is backed by a three-year 100,000 kilometre warranty.
Name: Holden Captiva LTZ
Engine: 2.2 turbo diesel, 135kW @ 3800rpm and 400Nm @ 1750-2750rpm, six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive
Price: $41,490 plus on road costs
Country of Origin: Korea