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Holden Captiva 4WD 2007 review

The first, and most disappointing, example for Australia was the Barina. Cheap and not that cheerful, the Korean-sourced Barina was not so much a step as a leap down in just about every facet from the quite wonderful previous generation which came out of Europe, and felt every bit of it.

Yet the retrograde quality did little to stem the Barina's popularity — as Holden had happily predicted, it was all about the price.

With the Captiva, Holden's latest 4WD venture, it is still about the money.

At a starting price of $35,990 for the five-seat SX model through to $38,990 and $41,990 for the seven-seat CX and LX models, and on to the range-topping five-seater Euro-luxury styled MaXX at $42,990, the Captiva raises a strong value argument. But it also stands on its design, styling, dynamics and build quality.

Holden engineers and stylists had significant input into the Captiva from quite early in the project and it shows in the finished product. Built in South Korea, the Captiva is powered by the Australian-built 3.2-litre Alloytec V6, with 169kW of power and 297Nm of torque.

Drive is through a five-speed automatic to an electronically controlled active AWD system delivering 100 per cent of torque to the front wheels as a default setting, but capable of up to a 50:50 split. The Captiva is no lightweight and, with some 1800kg to shift, the 3.2-litre engine can find it hard work under some conditions. Getting the best out of the engine requires keeping it spinning at around 3000-4500rpm and while the five-speed auto is quite capable of doing that without fuss on highways and flat open country, the manual mode is a must in hilly or twisty areas.

One of the key pluses for the Captiva is its suspension. While the ride could not be described as plush, it is certainly balanced and with an impressive compliance.

For what is a high-riding, high-bodied SUV, the Captiva has some endearing qualities. The steering is not razor sharp but neither does it drift into vagueness.

Safety is well catered for — as it should be in what will essentially be a family car — with standard electronic stability control, a descent control system to automatically brake during steep downhill driving and an active rollover system to guard against one of the banes of 4WD safety.

Unfortunately GM didn't stretch to reverse sensors or cameras. Sensors are available as an option at $429.

Comfortable seating with reasonable adjustment, coupled to a reach- and rake-adjustable steering wheel, also makes for relaxed driving. Interior styling, not a renowned highlight for Korean product, is a standout feature on the Captiva.

The surface materials are soft-touch plastics or cloth (leather in the LX and MaXX) with subtle tonings and stylish lines. There are plenty of useable open pockets spread around the interior and the seating in the seven-seat models is particularly flexible. Six of the seven seats will fold flat to allow for a wide mix of passengers and cargo.

The standard third row of seats in the CX and LX models is roomy enough for small adults and features sensible packaging, which allows the seats to fold flat into the floor without removing the headrests.

A flip of the easily accessible release and the 60:40 split second row of seats drops the back forward then rolls the entire seat to the front. This leaves a practical opening for access to the third-row seats.

On the down side, the Captiva has a larger turning circle than the bigger Territory and the spare tyre is of the limited-range, limited-speed type, which seems so out of step with an SUV's stated purpose of getting away from the beaten track.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

CX (4X4) 3.2L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $2,400 – 4,070 2006 Holden Captiva 2006 CX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
LX (4X4) 3.2L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $2,600 – 4,400 2006 Holden Captiva 2006 LX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
Maxx (4x4) 3.2L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $2,600 – 4,400 2006 Holden Captiva 2006 Maxx (4x4) Pricing and Specs
SX (4X4) 3.2L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $2,200 – 3,740 2006 Holden Captiva 2006 SX (4X4) Pricing and Specs
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.