In the market for a new family car, I was excited when offered the chance to test drive the all new Series II Captiva.
When the gleaming eggplant-purple Captiva 7 LX was driven out of the showroom my initial impressions were certainly favourable.
Roomy and kitted out with a leather trim, it’s a comfortable mid-size SUV with luxury touches, and has undergone a stylish image overhaul since it was first launched in 2006.
Heading to work I felt like queen of the road, the elevated seat position allowing for great visibility over the Sydney traffic. I drove the diesel version and expected to hear some engine noise, but highway travel was smooth and quiet.
Resisting the urge to play with the in-console satellite navigation and set up my Bluetooth (best to wait until the car is stationary!) I turned up the eight-speaker stereo system instead.
I’m not the most confident rear-parker in the world, especially when driving a large car. In fact, it’s safe to say I’ve had a few fender benders. So for peace of mind, the reversing camera and park assist sensors are an absolute necessity in my opinion. Little tracks line up so you can see how straight you are in relation to the kerb. Genius!
Come the weekend, the kids were dying to try out the new car in the driveway. The Captiva 7 has – you guessed it – seven seats, enough for a larger family or a few extra kids from soccer. Third-row passengers need not feel that are riding cattle-class though, with adult-size seats and cupholders.
My five year-old loved the spaciousness of the cabin and the nets behind the front seats to stash his activity books and games.
We chose to have the 3rd seat row folded down during our test drive, so there was plenty of room for a pram, groceries and kids’ scooter. It’s also possible to fold down both rear rows, plus the front passenger seat if you fancy a surfing weekend or a trip to IKEA!
I liked that if you only have a bag or two you can just pop open the small top section split rear door rather than lifting the whole thing -perfect for when you have a baby on your hip.
Fully loaded with a four of us, two child car seats and a million bags, the engine remained powerful and responsive due to the increased power in the series II turbo-charged diesel engine.
A recent convert to diesel vehicles, I’m amazed at the fuel efficiency. A week driving around and we only used half a tank! Let’s face it – who wants to go to the petrol station more than they need too, especially with kids in the car?
More and more cars seem to be launching with diesel options and with petrol prices sky high it’s no surprise. If you’re after a fuel-efficient, spacious SUV then the Series II Captiva 7 Diesel should definitely be on your test-drive list.
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