Holden's tweaks to Captiva 5 add nice touches to SUV

By John Maslin

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Holden says the change brings drive quality improvements and it appears to make a nice mix with the 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine of our road test.

Holden has given the Captiva 5 a bit of a tweaking for 2013.

It's not a major makeover, rather the welcome addition of some things that give this SUV some pleasant touches here and there.

We've been driving the range-topping $42,990 LTZ and its major upgrade has been the fitting of the Gen II six-speed auto transmission to the vehicle.

Holden says the change brings drive quality improvements and it appears to make a nice mix with the 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine of our road test. Changes are predictable at lower speed but given the hurry up and the changes transmission will manage things very well.

The LTZ nameplate represents the high end of the specification scale giving this five-seater SUV 19-inch alloys rims, rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery and an eight-way electrically adjustable driver's seat.

Both front seats also come with a three-level heat setting, the perfect foil for late winter motoring.

The Captiva 5 has electric park brake, auto headlights, along with audible front and rear park assists.

It also has cruise control, a trip computer with driver information on display, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and audio system with MP3 and Bluetooth.

As well as the usual line-up of remote locking and power windows and mirrors, the LTZ carries dual zone climate air conditioning.

Active and passive safety features make a decent list too. Dual front, side and curtain airbags are there and the active gear includes traction control (TCS), electronic stability control (ESC), ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and electronic brake assist (EBA).

The LTZ also has Descent Control System (DSC). It creates a mix of engine and braking controls to limit the Captiva's downhill speed on particularly serious inclines.

In terms of its handling and stability, the LTZ covers the bases. The chassis dimensions are unchanged and even allowing for the fact it sits reasonably high off the ground, feels as if its nicely balanced.

The 5 range does offer an on-demand all-wheel drive system but that's restricted to the diesel-engined model. An electronically-controlled differential manages the shift of torque from the normally driving front wheels to the back two when driving conditions dictate.

If you want it then you'll have to go for the diesel and add $5000 to that price.

The rear door opens high and wide onto an easily accessed cargo space although because the Captiva is reasonably compact it isn't a very broad load area. With the back seat being used, there's 430 litres of space. Drop the seat down and it doubles that.

What is also worth noting are the nooks and crannies inside the cabin. One of those is a nifty sliding lid on the centre console storage bin that can be retracted to provide a very deep well for stowing stuff.

It's unmistakably Captiva 5 on the outside even allowing for the minor upgrades.

That includes the satin-finished roof rails, a deep rich exterior paint finish called Moulon Rouge, front fog lamps and the bold alloy rims which give the SUV a presence in most company.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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