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In the garage Holden Captiva SX Diesel

image Holden Captiva SX diesel may be environmentally friendly but how good is it for the hip pocket? Photo Gallery

Ford had made huge gains in the softer end of the family SUV market with the Territory before Holden retaliated with the Captiva.

The problem for the Red Lion is in stealing sales from the `Tezza’ without cannibalising their own Commodore family sedan.


The Captiva SX runs on a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine with common rail injection. It produces 110kW at 4000 rpm and 320Nm at 2000 rpm.

To get power to the wheels, the engine can be mated to either a five speed automatic transmission with Active Select or a five speed manual.

From its 65-litre tank, the Captive SX diesel swigs around 11.5 litres of fuel every 100km.


At over four and half metres long, two and a bit metres wide and with a 200mm ground clearance, the smart and sporty Captiva muscles in easily on rivals from a design perspective.

With smooth curves, a rounded rear, flared wheel arches and big 17 inch alloys, the latest Captiva has a contemporary, aerodynamic look with muscle.


Complimenting the exterior, the inside of the SX is equally as neat with reasonable quality surfaces given its price bracket.

Standard features include keyless entry, power windows and mirrors, a leather wrap steering wheel, cruise control and a MP3-compatible audio system.

Cargo volume with all seats upright is 465 litres, with all rear seats down is 930 litres and with the front passenger and all rear seats down, is 1565 litres.


As well as a comprehensive airbag package, the Holden Captiva SX comes with anti-skid brakes with brakeforce distribution and brake assists, rollover protection and traction, stability and descent controls.


The Captiva range starts at $34,490 for the SX and tops out at $44,490 for the Maxx AWD.

Halligan says

I would like to think the Captiva is a reflection on how seriously Holden take this market segment. They know they have to put an alternate forward to the Ford Territory but really they hope, like I do, that the whole urban SUV thing is just a fad. They certainly don't want sales of SUV's eating into the Commodore market.

Driving the SX is as you would expect a front-wheel drive 2.0-litre common rail turbodiesel SUV to be - it's competent – but not great. Power and handling are both fine and it is capable of getting along a freeway at a rapid pace while feeling nice and solid. Rear compartment space and the underfloor trays are good. So the yearly family holiday gets a big tick.

The interior is okay, but the centre console is poorly designed and the odd storage compartment in the centre console — where a screen should be — reinforces the fact that you are driving the cheap model.

For around town there is the third row seat option, which is very neatly done. Being the two-wheel drive version it is obviously targeted at the around town driver — mum doing the taxi runs during the week, dad doing the sport duties on the weekend. And for this it is also okay, if you can ignore the grabby brakes and the strange transmission change timing.

At 7.2 L/100k it is very economical for a medium-size SUV, but while it is good environmentally, is it currently the best choice for your hip pocket?

The week I drove it, my local servo had unleaded at 100.9 while diesel was at 139.9. The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel with 100Kw returns 7.2L /100km. The AWD 3.2L V6 with a 169Kw output does 11.5L. So the diesel uses 63 per cent of the fuel that the 3.2L petrol engine uses. The unleaded costs 72% of the diesel. So, presently the cost saving advantages of a diesel are not certain, as driving style needs to be factored in.

When the comparison is being done with both vehicles being 4WD models the petrol version is less costly on the wallet - and you don't have to put up with that intolerable sound of a Holden diesel.

Rating - 6.9/10


Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 19 comments

  • Have been very disappointed in this vehicle. Have bought a dud. Two weeks after we purchased this lovely looking car, we find that t has an inherit over heating problem & roller rocker issues. What can we do? If the motor iscooked there goes $1,500-00 to replace the motor. Ripped off or what?

    Russell Davies of Lancefield Posted on 27 January 2013 3:53am
  • I can not find any roof racks that dont sit under the door! Does anyone know why? Is there something to do with the roof?

    Sofie Forsstrom of frankston Posted on 02 July 2012 11:49pm
  • Safety recall on diesel hose for captiva’s. This has been addressed at the nearest Holden dealer however due to the long distance travelled entirely for this purpose and almost the day spent, it would be appreciated if there is some kind of compensation/allowance for the fuel at least.

    Ashok Kumar of Cobar NSW Posted on 18 January 2012 12:40pm
  • I was looking at the auctions today at a 2010, 2 litre turbo, auto 7 seater. Reading the writeups I am seariously thinking about just sticking with the commodore wagon. Concerns are: tyre wear, comfort on a long trip, service costs (I have seen the 60K service is around $700), stories about the cruise, ride comfort, towing and brakes. My thoughts are that being such a big car and only a 2 litre (turbo OK) this thing is going to be a bit sluggish and a bit overworked.
    Thanks for yor comments, I feel that some of the positive ones are just face saving and putting up with mediocrity to justify the big$$$ laid out.

    Squidlips of SA Posted on 06 August 2011 3:36pm
  • I’ve recently bought a CX7 diesel. Absolutely great. Terrific fuel economy, extremely comfy including the back seats, great to drive. Auto light facility works perfectly. Can’t fault it at all.

    John Minihan of Port Macquarie Posted on 28 June 2011 12:14am
  • i have a captiva 7 diesel and although these comments are true i absolutely love my car its big enough for all the kids and yet doesn’t feel like your driving a bus as for petrol i have had friends bought it and nothing but trouble the diesel so far no worries. it sounds to me the top story the guy must like fords….

    sheena Posted on 08 June 2011 12:45pm
  • I have just bought a Captiva SX diesel 2010 and think I made a blunder…...would not recommend to my mates. The auto headlight function is brainlessly unpredictable and has to be manually switched off every time you start the car, going to drain the battery soon. At the very first fueling, to my surprise the fuel cap wouldn’t open, had to force open after consulting the dealer, now has to be replaced….what a joke as people watched this brand new car fail??? The cupholders in the centre console are an afterthought, it interferes with the handbrake. What more to face… getting worried as my previous Toyota Corolla Ascent did so well, yep Toyota never lets you down. My fault did not do the home work properly.

    Kumar Ashok of Cobar Posted on 26 May 2011 2:07pm
  • Buying a Holden Captiva SX 7 petrol. If anyone has one, please could you comment ... is it a good buy?

    VIPUL MAGO of QLD Posted on 13 March 2011 10:14pm
  • Mmmmm I have been looking at the 2010 Captiva, models.  I liked the look and what it had.  But, after reading these comments, I think I will start reserching some other cars.  I wonder what the Holden Cruze is like ?  Thanks for your input people.

    chook of Brisbane Posted on 11 February 2011 2:45pm
  • I brought the Captiva as I work with wildlife. After driving down a 20 klm gravel road the dust pours into the cab and we have to open the window so we can breathe. After inspecting the boot area we discovered 10 or so holes venting directly into the area around the rear bumper so dust is effectively forced thru.  Who designed this thing? Being the LX the rate at which dust is entering the cab I doubt the electrics will work for long if we do a water crossing and any moisture mixes with the dust that has settled over everything. Holden clearly did not test this vehicle in Australian conditions as the suspension has sagged so much in only 6 months that it?s nearly on the bump stops at rest. The tyres wore down to the canvas within 20,000 klms and it suffers from severe tow in on the front wheels so rotating all four wheels is not recommended as this will destroy all the tyres. A fix would be to somehow raise the front ride height which should bring the toe in to about level helping tyre wear. Such a shame. Holden what have you done!

    John Mac of Aus Posted on 04 February 2011 9:48pm
  • Having just bought a Captiva SX CG Turbo Diesel and if anyone does have one please could you comment…
    Is the normal engine running temperature about half way between hot and cold on the gauge.. The engine seems to get very hot ....

    Vanessa Robinson of Melbourne Posted on 07 January 2011 10:32am
  • Turbo diesels have a little vacuum pump on the back of the alternator.  If you sit with your foot on the brake and the engine is idling, you will run out of vacuum and the brakes won’t work all that well.  Twenty two years ago, I developed a simple vacuum reservoir for the Jackaroo Diesel, and the problem was solved.  In 1992, it was on the production line.  I recently acquired my original 1992 Jackaroo Diesel from the third owner.  357,000 ks and in excellent working order.  What a pity, Daewoo could not produce such a reliable and well built vehicle.

    Colin Spencer of Kangaroo Ground Victoria Posted on 25 November 2010 7:02pm
  • Holden’s quality is usually much better than Ford’s, but when Holden start using a cheap Korean vehicle and rebadge it, all it is going to do is damage the Holden name. That’s one way to get people to not buy another “Holden”.

    Shane of Adelaide Posted on 28 September 2010 1:29am
  • I currently have a Captiva SX diesel as a work car and I would not recommend one to anyone I wanted to stay friends with.

    * it is reasonably economical.
    * It handles reasonably well
    * It rides like a dray, even my 1 tonner Navara ute is more pleasant on a patchy road.
    *It is relatively noisy inside.
    * It is horrendously laggy from idle and the electronics make it worse by chopping it back to idle if you touch the brake pedal while underway.
    * The switchgear is not well thought out.
    *The auto headlight function is brainlessly unpredictable and has to be manually switched off every time you start the car.
    * The cupholders in the centre console are an afterthought, it looks like they forgot to raise the console up when the raised the seating position from the donor car, presumably the Epica, they also interfere with the handbrake.
    *When using the cruise control, the torque converter lockup stops functioning, the servicing dealer investigated and calls it a “Feature” Dealer speak for “Yeah, they should not do that, but they do”

    All in all it is a relatively competent car but one I would not buy unless it was even cheaper than it is, most things seem to be about 80% right.

    Paul of Melbourne Posted on 13 August 2010 1:43pm
  • I bought my LX Turbo Diesel Captiva in Oct 09 as a mums taxi and a vehicle to tow our small ski boat.  After being assured by the sales man that it would handle the task with ease I find it overheats at the first sign of an incline. Holdens advise was to pull over and let it cool down - what a joke and certainly unsafe with my family in the car.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend a Captiva and to top it all off I am now discovering that after only 15,000klms the tyres are already showing signs heavy wear.  Not happy Holden

    Toni of ACT Posted on 10 August 2010 2:09pm
  • “but really they hope, like I do, that the whole urban SUV thing is just a fad” Don’t assume your own views are someone elses, the only thing Holden “hope for” is more sales.

    Ed Posted on 23 February 2010 2:17pm
  • I have a Captiva Diesel and can categorically tell you that a brake pedal going to the floor is definitely a problem and not normal in any car. The last time I had to pump the pedal was in a HQ Kingswood, tell the Mechanics they need to go back to school.

    captiva Posted on 23 February 2010 1:59pm
  • I bought my petrol Captiva in August 2007, I find that while it is a competent SUV for normal vehicle use it is quite thirsty, it is also poorly sealed with dust easily getting in, the front seats are bloody uncomfortable after 45 minutes or so. Other than to sell mine I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone other than as a Mums taxi around town.

    Rob of Geelong Posted on 25 October 2009 10:20am
  • i brought a captiva diesel after treading your write up, what a mistake i made. I have had my car for 6 weeks and had a new brake master cylinder,and reseal the sum. I am not happy with the brakes as the pedal goes to the floor, and if you pump the they go hard . but if you keep your foot on the pedal it will still go to the floor. I have been told by Holden that this is ok, as it was designed that way. I have as writen report from my local holden dealer that tested 4 other diesel captivas and they all went to the floor like mine. this does not happen in the petrol captivas they say.

    v beckley of Gold coast Qld. Posted on 18 June 2009 8:06pm
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