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Chevrolet Captiva 2.0 AT VCDi Turbo Diesel Review: The other side of the coin

We decided to feature a diesel SUV this month for a change. So how will it fair in the hands of our lads The Ed, Jeremy and our new contributor Colin? Read on and see how they respectively react to Chevrolet's Captiva Diesel...
OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
28 Apr 2009
Soaking up common irregularities on our road-works infested roads is not an issue for the independent MacPherson Struts front and multi-link beam rear set up.
What we like:
Torquey engine that responds according to your right foot
practical interior and the ability to surprise unknowing motorists.
What we dislike:
Diesel clatter that attracts attention
third row of seat needs more legroom
obvious body-roll.

Put aside the noise issue, accelerate away from the traffic lights and the Captiva Diesel will bring you into the next chapter of the culture shock. Acceleration is so eager and effortless that suddenly you begin to understand what torque is all about! Official reading states a figure of 12.2s to 100km/h, but the Captiva Diesel's 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine is so torquey, it seems to be much faster in the real world. It soon becomes an addiction to floor the accelerator again and again just to feel the shove of power released from it.

Acceleration from expressway speed is a particularly confident affair - at any speed, simply tap your accelerator harder and the Captiva leaps forward to consume its next prey ahead. With full torque of 320Nm released from 2,000rpm onwards, one will probably not need much of the 148 horses, which comes only at 4,000rpm.

To round it off as a worthy contender in the SUV sector, the Captiva Diesel does come with a well balanced ride. Soaking up common irregularities on our road-works infested roads is not an issue for the independent MacPherson Struts front and multi-link beam rear set up. The big Chevy SUV is not meant to be driven fast around corners, but that is not unexpected. Having power delivered to all four wheels help provide certain level of confidence during cornering, although there is no running away that this is a big car to be thrown around. The vague steering feel only served to further erode any more fun the chassis could provide.

In addition, the right hand side A-pillar positioning is not ideal - it blocks a big chunk off your cone of vision towards on-coming traffic. Not a big problem in Singapore, but should you make frequent trips on trunk roads up North, it will be best to stick within your own lane around corners.

- even after returning the Captiva Diesel, that sensational tidal wave of torque still lingers. We're addicted to that explosive overtaking ability of the Captiva Diesel - the addiction so blinding, that we can forgive it for being a SUV (we're not big fans of SUVs actually ) as well as its major shortcomings. Would've been better if it's more refined, but we can live with that. Hopefully the addiction can blind the (huge) premium needed to pay for the road tax as well, as that will be the burning question one needs to answer for themselves before they set about finalizing their purchase.

I'll just sum it up for everyone here

Book a test drive with the Captiva Diesel to experience it first hand, but just remember what I said earlier - addiction may be a dangerous thing...

Credits: Story by Azfar Hashim, Jeremy Chua and Colin Choo. Pictures by Azfar Hashim

Chevrolet Captiva 2.0 AT VCDi Turbo Diesel
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Chevrolet Captiva 2.0 AT VCDi Turbo Diesel (A) 2008

Chevrolet Captiva 2.0 AT VCDi Turbo Diesel (A) 2008

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