The Captiva mid-sized five- or seven-seater lobbed in the mid Noughties as Holden’s solution for a must-have large-ish SUV. It was GM/H response to Ford’s home-spun Territory and a replacement for the mixed-bag Commodore wagon-based Adventra and the imported Captiva couldn’t have more different in every way.
Its story is, erm, complicated. And can be a bit of a minefield for the casual used-tyre-kicker.
The Captiva was sourced from GM Korea, aka the former Daewoo. Well, both of them. See, the regular Captiva was a rebadged Chevrolet of the same model name, whereas the high-end Captiva MaXX version was instead based on an Opel Antara. Different vehicles, then, albeit with technical similarities in platform and with powertrains.
At its 2006 launch, there were three grades – SX, CX and LX – of regular Captiva, price between $36k and $42k. The Opel based (slightly shorter) MaXX range-topper was $43k. Despite the South Korean source, all version used an Aussie-made 169kW/297Nm 3.2 petrol V6 backed by a five-speed auto and on-demand all-wheel drive. To confuse matters (more), the SX and MaXX were five-seaters, the middle-rung variants offering seven…
For MY08, a 2.0-litre turbodiesel four outputting 110kW/320Nm lobbed and could had with a five- speed manual in base SX trim ($35k) as well as the staple automatic elsewhere in the range.
From mid-2008, you could also get the oiler SX in front-wheel drive. Right around here the Captiva story gets muddier. Holden axes the MaXX flagship, though it returns in spirit in late 2009 as the Captiva 5 (for five seats). And with the new name is fresh power by way of a new 103kW/220Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, with manual/auto and FWD/AWD options, kicking off as low as $28k.
From here, the ‘5’ sits along the renamed Captiva 7 (for…you get the idea) carrying over the petrol-V6 and diesel-four motivation as the higher-spec versions that nudge up to a $45k plateau. At least Holden kept the SX, CX and LX variant structure for familiar continuity.
Then the Series II facelift arrived in 2011 and the whole shebang copped another shake-up. The Captiva 5’s petrol 2.4 was upped to 123kW/230Nm as a front driver only (from $28k), but soon enough a more powerful 135kW/400Nm 2.2L diesel ‘5’ joined the fray ($34k) with a six-speed auto.
Meanwhile, the now (77mm) longer Series II Captiva 7 could be had with a new, Aussie-made, Commodore-shared 3.0-litre petrol V6 good for 190kW/288Nm. You could also get the new 2.2 oiler in the ‘7’, with both engines backed by a six-speed auto and AWD.
Just to ensure everyone was paying attention, Holden went and adopted (mid-spec) LT and (flagship) LTZ naming in 2015 – both seven seaters – while the familiar LS could be had with five or (optional) seven pews.
Digging down into features and options throughout Captiva’s dozen-year lifecycle is too exhaustive for here. But in a nutshell, Holden’s large-ish family hauler never really hit critical heights in its segment and was renown, fairly or not, for patchy quality and questionable reliability.
Holden would axed the Captiva 5 in 2016, the nameplate living on for a couple of years – as just Captiva, no ‘7’ – until the then seven-seat-only model was replaced by Equinox in 2018.