So we got a 2011 Chevrolet Captiva
The Chevrolet Captiva is the forgotten crossover. Competing in the hot compact segment dominated by the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV-4, we never gave the original one a second look. But the General offered us a drive of the facelifted 2011 model, and it could possibly be the best compact crossover SUV that no one has heard of.
With the facelift, the Chevy Captiva finally looks a bit more aggressive. This Korean-built model seems to be better-built than GM’s American-buiilt offerings as well.
There are no changes anywhere else on the outside that we can figure out. Maybe the tail lights are new.
The Captiva has the best interior materials in its class, with extensive soft-touch materials on the dash and doors, something that neither the Japanese nor even the Captiva’s own U.S. brethren get. Almost all others in this category are hard-plastic tubs.
There is good space up front, and the driver’s seat offers a tall commanding position over the road, something lacking in some other car-like 4x4s.
There are some rather special features in the Captiva. One is the front cup-holders panel that slides away to reveal a huge storage cubby underneath. Another is an electronic button-operated parking brake, something we’ve only seen in premium cars so far.
Rear legroom and headroom is also excellent. But the hugely-surprising bit is the third-row seat. If the second-row seatbacks are tilted a bit forward, we could actually fit back there without scraping our knees. It is pretty good for average-sized adults, even if a little cramped.
Cargo room with all three rows in use is limited to a few shopping bags. But put down the third row, and the space is immense. The second row folds almost flat too. And there is even a sizeable storage compartment under the load floor.
The 2011 Chevrolet Captiva is likely the first crossover we’re thinking of recommending, because the feat of stuffing three rows into a compact size, and mating the package to a premium cabin and a small V6 engine, all for a competitive price. There are some omissions, like a lap-belt instead of a three-point seatbelt for the rear centre seat, and the lack of rear a/c vents. But on the whole, among the best in the segment, if not the best. More in the full review