Captiva crosses over to diesel

14 February 2012 - 23:21 By BOBBY CHEETHAM

General Motors SA may have suffered from a lack of diesel engined passenger vehicles in the past. But the company is moving quickly to catch up with the opposition.

CHOICE: The appeal of the Captiva has been boosted by the addition of a diesel engine
CHOICE: The appeal of the Captiva has been boosted by the addition of a diesel engine
REAR: A captivating behind
REAR: A captivating behind
CHOICE: The appeal of the Captiva has been boosted by the addition of a diesel engine
CHOICE: The appeal of the Captiva has been boosted by the addition of a diesel engine
REAR: A captivating behind
REAR: A captivating behind

American car- buyers have been loathe to drive diesel cars, preferring petrol to what they perceive to be those powered by noisy, smelly, smoky "truck" engines.

But "the General" has seen the folly of his ways and, with the advent of modern clean burning, quiet diesel engines, has thrown his cap into the ring with the competitors.

The Chevrolet Captiva now joins the Cruze with a diesel model. We wait with bated breath for the next model - maybe it will be the Chev Utility bakkie?

The AWD LTZ Captiva is powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-boosted engine which produces a respectable 135kW at 3800rpm and an impressive 400Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

Drive is through a six-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels.

The engine has a high-pressure, common rail fuel injection system with variable geometry turbocharger (VGT).

On the road the Captiva has enough power to behave with aplomb - and we liked the fact that engine vibration and knock have been minimised for improved durability and quietness.

What impressed us immensely was the all-wheel-drive system which tamed some of the worst road conditions we have experienced for some time, caused by continuous heavy rain. Slippery and treacherous roads covered with debris and obstacles could have been a nightmare on the drive back to Port Elizabeth from the launch venue in Oudtshoorn.

However, the all-wheel-drive system was good enough to steer the SUV safely home without mishap.

The diesel Captiva is covered by a five-year/120000km warranty with anti-corrosion cover for five years and unlimited kilometres. Roadside assistance is available for the full term of the warranty.

Service intervals are 12 months or 15000 kilometres and a three-year/60000 kilometre service plan is included in the price.

The diesel engine significantly improves the Captiva range - and it should be at the top of the list for someone thinking about buying a new vehicle.

GM has been climbing the sales charts with its impressive range of vehicles and, with the addition of diesel engines, is now poised to improve on its performance.

The Specs:

Engine: 2.2 litre turbo-charged diesel

Power: 135kW at 3800rpm

Torque: 400Nm at 2000rpm.

0 to 100km/h: 10.1 seconds (claimed)

Top speed: 191km/h (claimed)

Fuel consumption: 8l/100km (claimed)

CO2: 212g/km (claimed)

Price: R427500

We like:

Good build quality

We don't like:

Not having one in the garage!

X