Wow! That's a common reaction when people first see the Chevrolet Captiva. Partly for it's great looks - partly for the price. The Captiva is such an impressive machine that it's sure to upset the SUV hierarchy in India. It's a pity we had to wait that long considering the fact that it was selling in its native Korean market under the Daewoo badge for quite a while. The Captiva has been captivating people in Europe and Australia since 2006.

But will the SUV have the abilities to woo Indian buyers? Taking notes from the class leaders, Honda and Ford, Chevy's designers have got the Captiva's styling spot-on. It's a little longer than the petrol CRV but much shorter than the diesel Endeavour. It looks as sleek as any cross over and modern from every angle, while body claddings add to the chunky, off-road appeal.

It's definitely going to give the CRV a run for its money, as many wanted the CRV in a diesel avatar. While the diesel Endeavour's truck like looks didn't appeal to many. But the Captiva does not come with a 4x4 option and will therefore, be able to tackle moderate off-road only. It is more at home on tarmac with a ground clearance of 197mm.

Hoping to capture the hearts and souls of Indian buyers with its new 7-seater SUV, the Captiva will be offered with a small yet powerful 2.0-litre next generation, transversally mounted, variable geometry turbo CRDI diesel engine. With the 16-valve, inline DOHC 4-cylinder unit, delivering 150bhp@4000 rpm creating a torque of 320Nm @2000 rpm, its performance is impressive. The oil-burner provides plenty of thrust from low down in the rev range and never feels strained when hauling the 1,820kg SUV around and gives around 8 kmpl in city driving.

The layout of the interior is attractive and the controls are ergonomically placed. The audio controls are on the steering wheels. It's got a solid feel about everything inside and has a climate control. The beige leather seats are comfortable and you literally sink into them.

The innovative 5+2 flexi-seating configuration permits you to take everything while you are going for a picnic, or on a holiday. There's a useful storage space beneath the floor, into which the rear seats fold in. An opening rear window gives easy access to the load space easily. Detailed storage options like glove boxes, cup holders, cubbyholes and armrests are simply delightful.

Inside the Captiva is as safe as a cocoon. The rigid monocoque body shell, ABS with EBD with dual front airbags ensures enough safety to its passengers. It's a rock-steady car and remains stable when negotiating corners, while the springs and dampers absorb surface imperfections with ease. Suspension layout consists of a McPherson strut configuration in front and an independent four-link design in the rear, giving the vehicle with car-like ride and handling abilities.

The new Captiva's good-looking and has a great diesel engine! Priced at 17.73 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi) it looks as though established class leaders from the likes of Honda and Ford have yet another worthy contender on their tail!

Source: Full throttle
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