2011 Holden Captiva Series II First Drive

by under Review on 17 Feb 2011 03:35:32 PM17 Feb 2011
Price Range
$NaN - $NaN
Fuel Consumption
NaNL - NaNL/100km

Good looks and packaging; useful seven seats; performance; value


Missing the 2.0-tonne towing capacity will disappoint some

More performance, a new 2.4-litre petrol engine, extra features, improved looks and prices cut on most models by $2,000 – the new Holden Captiva Series II range, on-sale next month, has thrown down an early challenge to the new Ford Territory.

And while the Territory gains a new V6 turbo-diesel engine, Holden will crucially launch the new Captiva range some months ahead of its Ford rival.

2011 Holden Captiva Overview

Holden is sticking with the two-model (five-seat and seven-seat) lineup with the latter available in three grades – SX, CX and LX.

The Holden Captiva5 range is boosted by an all-wheel-drive, automatic, turbo-diesel model and the Captiva5petrol models (two-wheel-drive manual and all-wheel-drive automatic) score the new American-sourced 2.4-litre petrol engine.


Holden Captiva7 gains an entry-level petrol model (SX 2WD automatic) which brings Captiva seven-seat motoring down to $32,490 – great news for families.

Across the range there are enhanced looks inside and out. But the hallmark functionality of the Holden Capitva’s interior (a key to its popularity) has not changed.

Safety has also been boosted with six airbags now standard on all models as well as ‘Hill-Start Assist’.

The full Holden Captiva Series II range is:

Captiva 5
2WD 2.4l petrol (six-speed manual) $27,990
AWD 2.4l petrol (six-speed auto) $29,990
AWD 2.2l turbo-diesel (six-speed auto) $33,990

Captiva 7
SX 2WD 2.4l petrol (six-speed auto) $32,490
SX 2WD 2.2l turbo-diesel (six-speed auto) $35,490
CX AWD 3.0l petrol (six-speed auto) $38,490
CX AWD 2.2l turbo-diesel (six-speed auto) $39,490
LX AWD 3.0l petrol (six-speed auto) $42,490
LX AWD 2.2l turbo-diesel (six-speed auto) $43,490

2011 Holden Captiva Engine

Wholesale changes under the bonnet for the new Holden Captiva Series II headlined by a new, more powerful, 2.4-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine.

The new powerplant comes from General Motors’ Buffalo, New York plant (recently upgraded to the tune of $425 million) with Holden’s Australian powertrain team leading the calibration work. Compared its predecessor, power is up by 19 per cent to 123kW at 5,600rpm and peak torque has grown to 230Nm at 4,600rpm, while combined cycle fuel consumption is six per cent better at 9.1l/100kms. 


For the new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, power and torque are up by 23 per cent and 25 per cent respectively (over the previous 2.0-litre diesel) to 135kW at 3,800rpm and 400Nm at 2,000rpm. Fuel consumption is also improved by 5 per cent to rate as low as 8.1l/100kms.

And Holden’s venerable 3.0-litre SIDI V6 petrol engine provides its handy 190kW at 6,900rpm and 288Nm at 5,800rpm. Fuel economy has improved by three per cent to 11.3 l/100kms.

2011 Holden Captiva The Interior

Good news for families with Holden Captiva’s standout practicality unchanged by the extra interior features (the easy-fold seven seats still work exactly the same).

And the switch to a push-button electric handbrake has actually provided even more storage space (in the centre console where the old handbrake lever was).

There’s new textiles, more luxurious finishes, new seat fabrics and modern blue back-lighting for the instruments. 


All Holden Captiva7 Series II models gain MP3-compatible CD audio systems with Bluetooth while LX versions score a reversing camera, satellite navigation and a 7-inch multi-function touch screen amongst their extras.

Other models (including Captiva5) come with front and rear park assist.

Cargo capacity with all seats folded is an impressive 1565-litres.

2011 Holden Captiva Exterior & Styling

Major changes for the front end give the new Holden Captiva Series II a fresh look.

The twin front grilles are larger, in the modern way, and are flanked by new fog lights (chrome trimmed on Captiva5) and new, elongated headlights. This has lead to a re-profiled bonnet with enhanced sculpturing and a bold crease stretching between the A-pillars.

Turn signals are now integrated into the exterior mirrors which freed-up the designers to create new air extractor vents for the front fenders. 


Tail-lights are now a clear lens design.

Holden Captiva5 models and Captiva7 SX variants run 17-inch alloy wheels, Captiva7 SX is fitted with 18-inch alloys while range-topping Captiva7 LX is fitted with 19-inch alloys.

2011 Holden Captiva On The Road

Our test drives of the new Holden Captiva Series II covered all three engines.

First-up, the extra 20kW/10Nm of the new 2.4-litre petrol engine has addressed criticism of the previous version. It’s responsive, nicely matched to the six-speed automatic transmission and reasonably refined under all loads.

Similarly, the extra 25kW/80Nm delivered in the new 2.2-litre turbo-diesel is impressive. Addition of the handily-priced, diesel-powered, all-wheel-drive Captiva 5 ($33,990) is a smart move. 


And of course the venerable SIDI V6 petrol model (now190kW/288Nm), with its smooth and fuel-efficient performance, is the sort of SUV many Australian just love.

Sure those significantly improved powertrains will get the star billing in the new Holden Captiva Series II, but upgrades in the chassis should not be overlooked.

Holden Captiva 5 Diesel and all Captiva 7 models gain Holden’s ‘Level Ride Suspension’ (a hydraulic system) plus re-tuned suspension (stiffer spring rates) and power steering. The result is a much more ‘together’ chassis with nice compliance in the front end (sharper response) and significantly more refinement.

Our test route in Melbourne’s Yarra Valley covered a variety of road surfaces (including dirt) and the new Holden Captiva Series II was hard to fault – noticeably superior in all conditions compared to its predecessor.

2011 Holden Captiva Challenges

By most measures the Holden Captiva Series II is a winner – except one. Holden says the Captiva is a ‘Tweener’ (its straddles both compact and mid-size SUV segments) but some buyers may have been hoping for more than a 1700kgs towing capacity.

2011 Holden Captiva Verdict

Well done Holden – to deliver a significantly better Holden Captiva (highlighted by the much stronger 2.4-litre petrol engine), at reduced prices is a great result. The battle for mid-size SUV sales against the new Ford Territory will be fascinating to watch during 2011.

2011 Holden Captiva The Competition

At this stage we already know the new Ford Territory lineup looks good inside and out and at last there’s a diesel – a V6 diesel at that. But we haven’t as yet driven the Territory and we don’t know its prices. 


Toyota’s Kluger and Prado dominate sales in the mid-size segment but are more expensive than the Holden Captiva.

There’s multiple others to consider including Mazda’s CX-7, Kia’s Sportage and Sorento, Hyundai’s ix35, Nissan’s X-Trail and Pathfinder to name just a few.

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