')">When Chevrolet introduced the Chevrolet Captiva in India in 2008, it was hailed as the one car which would challenge the might of the all mighty CR-V. It did but for a short time with buyers flocking once again to Honda’s show rooms. Now to add more pizzazz to the value for money proposition that the Captiva brings to the equation, General Motors very soon brought in a Chevrolet Captiva automatic variant to the Indian shores. While at the recently concluded Geneva Motor Show, GM had showcased a new look Orlando, many didn’t realize that this would be the Captiva that would be coming into the Indian market in 2011. No, this time around, we haven’t managed a scoop or something and it is the old 2010 model that we have here for the test drive. It actually surprised us that we hadn’t covered the Captiva on our blog except for one comparison test.
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The 2010 Chevrolet Captiva in India is a winner as far as its looks are concerned. The Chevrolet bowtie sits proudly atop the two tiered grille. The head lamps are huge rectangular slabs while the fog lamps sit very close to the head lamps signaling its soft roader roots however belying its looks, the Captiva performs better off road than on the road. We will get onto that just a little bit later. The 16 inch alloy wheels have the usual design norm attached to them. The outside rear view mirrors however boast of having the turn indicators embedded in them. The door handles however aren’t body colored and are instead chrome ones. The rear end in the meanwhile is a plain unit unlike the front end. What livens up things is the twin tail pipes, which though, could have been done a bit more tastefully. The tail lamps are more or less shared with the rest of the Chevy brigade in India.
Coming to the interiors. They wouldn’t make one go wow the moment you step inside however one thing is for sure. These interiors are hard wearing but at the same time soft to touch. The steering wheel is a 4 piece unit which houses the necessary infotainment controls. For the Xtreme variant, there is the red on black leather seats with sporty red stitchings. There are chrome door handles all around and though the Captiva is a genuine 7 seater, the front and middle row seats make lot of sense rather than the last row. As is to be expected from 7 seater SUVs in India. There are many bottle holders around the cabin as also stowage spaces. The meter dials are also more of functionality rather than outright flash. The gear lever is almost mounted on the dashboard. There is climate control plus an excellent 6 CD changer system. The middle row floor is extremely flat and this liberates lots of space for the middle row passengers. Lots of equipment is on offer including electrically folding heated outside rear view mirrors, electrically adjustable 8 way powered driver seat, chilled glove box, tailgate glass which is remote operated and can be flipped up, flex- seating and also the auto level riding suspension. One of the GM salesman told us that they have removed the chilled glove box option now. When enquired as to why, he said that features are subject to be changed based on GM’s decision. Darn it!. The convenience factor however isn’t lost in this SUV as even with all the seats in place, it can still accommodate about 413 liters of luggage and moreover with the flexi seating arrangement, it is possible to liberate more than 1,100 liters of luggage space.
The Chevrolet Captiva in India gets a benign and sort of mushy handling. It can go fast around a corner but that turn would be accompanied by lots of body roll and also a steering wheel which is in its own world. The steering wheel though light wouldn’t actually let you know what the front wheels are upto however an enthusiastic driver would still be able to wring out some fun out of this SUV. This SUV has been setup to provide for a good ride quality. So overall, the Captiva has a pliant ride quality while its handling has been already discussed before. However this cannot be called exactly a soft roader due to the lack of ratio. Instead Chevy have done well enough in providing the automatic variant of this SUV with a fuzzy logic gearbox and Hill Descent Control system with all wheel drive. This all wheel drive works on the basis that when the vehicle senses that the rear wheels are losing out on traction, then it sends more power to them. It is an intelligent unit and hence the Captiva can do some good off-roading as well. NVH is on the lower side and the Captiva engineers have done well in masking the diesel clatter from coming inside the cabin.
The Chevrolet Captiva in India comes with a 2.0 liter VCDI motor pumping out 150 Bhp of power and 320 Nm of torque. It is mated with either a 5 speed manual gearbox or a 5 speed automatic. The automatic one which we tested had the much applauded fuzzy logic gradient added to its gearbox. While the upshifts were noticeably smooth, the downshifts require some mental calculations to be in place. Moreover this particular gearbox doesn’t shift to a higher gear once its near its redline. Instead it holds on to the particular gear thus allowing for more flexibility. It is said that the automatic dilutes the potency of this motor somewhat however the time that we spent with this SUV, we never felt it that way. Brakes are fantastic and also the tuning for the ABS, EBD and ESP to come into picture. 6 air bags, side intrusion beams, 3 point seat belts and a collapsible steering column take care of the safety aspect. Fuel efficiency however has taken a dent with the Captiva automatic said to return an overall figure of 11.2 kmpl.
There are very diesel SUVs available in India within the Rs 20-25 lakhs mark and those include the likes of the Chevrolet Captiva and the Ford Endeavor. While the latter has limited off-road capability in auto mode, the Captiva has some more to keep it going. It is one of the best options as far as automatic diesels go in India. The Chevrolet Captiva price in India starts from Rs 17,994, 95 and goes all the way to Rs 22,81191. There are three variants of this SUV and those are the Chevrolet Captiva LT VCDi, Chevrolet Captiva LTZ VCDi and the Chevrolet Captiva XTREME. Extremely captivating.