Having been launched with Chevrolet's first-ever diesel engine, a 2.0-litre common-rail unit that produced 147bhp at 4000rpm and a promising 236lb ft at just 2000rpm, a new 2.2-litre came on stream in 2011, when the Captiva was given a cosmetic and mechanical facelift.

The new powerplant is available with either 161bhp and 258lb ft or 181bhp and 295lb ft outputs, while a 2.4-litre, 169bhp petrol engine that also forms part of the line-up in other countries isn't currently available in the UK.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
A 200mm ground clearance gives the Captiva some off-road ability

The smaller diesel engine is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, while the larger oilburner has a choice of manual or auto, both six-speed. All LT and LTZ models come with on-demand all-wheel-drive and seven seats as standard.

In revamped form, the Captiva is a big step forward over the pre-facelift model. The most significant improvements come in terms of refinement and power delivery. Upgrades to the cabin insulation have made the Captiva a more relaxing place to cover miles, with much less engine noise and vibration creeping into the cockpit, and the punchy motor also makes progress very easy.

Mated to the six-speed torque converter the engine offers good response across the range, with the auto box making slightly lazy but well-judged shifts. For all that it is not the most rewarding drivetrain in the class, it’s effective at what it needs to do, and is really quite likeable because it encourages such an easy-going, laid-back driving style.

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In normal running the Captiva is front-wheel drive, but when the car’s AWD system detects any slip whatsoever, the rear axle is deployed and it automatically becomes four-wheel drive. 

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