Chevrolet Captiva 2.4 LT FWD Review
Chevy's nose job

Story and photos by Raymond Lai
6 Jun 2011

Chevy updates the Captiva with its new corporate nose. Raymond Lai finds out if the Captiva offers more underneath the skin as well.

Introduction, styling

SUVs tend to be more urban oriented these days instead of being off-road biased thanks to the needs and wants of customers and buyers. The new updated Chevrolet Captiva is a case in point. First introduced in 2006, the recently updated Captiva now features a new, more wallet friendly front-wheel drive variant for those who use their SUVs only in the urban jungle environment.

Ditching the all-wheel drive drivetrain from a SUV model that hardly ventures off tarmac has obvious benefits - the lack of an additional propshaft and/or driveshafts not only reduces weight but cut transmission losses as well so a two-wheel drive model will typically be more efficient and perform better as well. Popular large SUV models that have ditched all-wheel drive in recent times include the Toyota Fortuner, Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento among others. The Captiva, based on a shared GM SUV platform that is also used by the Opel/Vauxhall Antara, Saturn Vue models and so on is the latest large SUV model to be offered in two-wheel drive form. In the case of the Captiva, Chevy will continue to offer an all-wheel drive variant next to the new two-wheel drive model to offer its customers more variety.

Outwardly, the updated Captiva can be distinguished by the new front end treatment, which basically means, it adopts Chevrolet's contemporary corporate nose with its dual oversized radiator grille look with Chevy's Bow Tie emblem sitting proudly between the two grilles as well as slimmer and somewhat sleeker looking headlamps.

The Captiva's new face certainly gives it a bolder and more distinctive look but some might find the radiator grille treatment rather loud or vulgar. The changes on the new car are rather less obvious elsewhere, with only the wing mirror mounted side repeaters the only new visible feature while the Captiva retains its proportions and overall look as previously, which means the there's still the sloping roofline that further enhances its dynamic stance while the black wheel arch extensions give it a rugged and active feel. From the rear, one can hardly the newer model from its predecessor as the design of the tail lamps are pretty identical as before.


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