Diesel engine could be more flexible at low speeds, and there's too much lean in the bends.
Comfortable, spacious, and room for seven on board some models
Safety and security well covered, plus ISOFIX child seat mountings
Chevrolet's reliability record is poor
Five-seat models are very spacious; seven-seat versions offer added practicality at a price
Almost everything you need to enjoy your journey
It's no ball of fire, but the Captiva is perfectly good to drive, thanks to its effective suspension and reassuring grip of the road. The body does lean more through corners than some SUVs but it's not likely to unsettle the kids. We'd go for the stronger diesel engine - it isn't the most responsive at low speeds but will get going with a bit of encouragement. The lower-powered version is only available in front-wheel drive form. Both are impressively quiet, making the Captiva a peaceful way to travel.
There's plenty of room at the front of the car, and lots of seat and wheel adjustment to help you find that 'king of the road' driving position. The dash layout isn't as simple as it should be, and the chunky rear windscreen pillars hamper rear visibility. Basic versions have five seats and an enormous boot, but seven-seat models offer extra versatility. Children or petite adults will be comfortable enough in the rearmost row but luggage space is naturally reduced. For serious shopping trips you can fold all six passenger seats down to leave a vast, flat loadbay. The glass section of the tailgate opens separately - handy for popping in smaller items. All are well equipped, however, with air-con, Bluetooth and electric windows. LT models add the two extra seats, part-leather trim, cruise control and parking sensors.
The Captiva didn't feature in the most current JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but Chevrolet itself finished bottom of the pile for manufacturer satisfaction. Any reliability anxieties, however, should be easily overcome by the impressive five years of free servicing, warranty and breakdown cover that comes with the car. Stability control and six airbags are standard, along with child locks and Isofix mounting points on the two outer middle seats. The Captiva scored five stars in the Euro NCAP crash tests, with 88% for adult protection and 82% for child protection.
Chevrolet hasn't priced the Captiva low enough to make it a tempting proposition - a Hyundai Santa Fe is much cheaper, for example, and will cost about the same to run.