As expected, Chevrolet unveiled its new compact SUV, Captiva, in Geneva. The flexible crossover will be available in both five and seven seat configurations, and is set to be in European showrooms this June.

Critically, General Motors has seen fit to imbue the Captiva with an available 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel, making it the brands first oil-burning compact SUV. It will also carry the distinction of being the first European Chevrolet to offer electronic stability control. Other motors in the lineup will consist of 2.4-liter and 3.2-liter petrol engines.

Driveline-wise, Chevy's newest crossover comes standard as a front-driver, but 'active-on-demand' all-wheel-drive is optional. Interestingly, the Captiva's Electronic Stability Program incorporates such advanced features as Hill Descent Control (shades of Land Rover!), FBS, 'Fading Brake Support' and TSA-- Trailer Stabilization Assist.

Our man on the scene, Alberto from Autoblog Spanish was quick and to the point: The wood is fake, some of the plastics from the interior are kind of light and the doors don't close with a loud, convincing sound... but the seats are comfortable, the fit is good, the leather looks pretty nice... it feels like a case of bang for your buck.

(Click through to the jump for a dozen more shots, full press release and specifications!)

Captiva: The new Chevrolet SUV designed for Europe

First diesel powered compact Chevrolet SUV
Available with five and seven seats
Available with active-on-demand all-wheel-drive system

Geneva.  The new Captiva is the first all-new product to be designed and developed by Chevrolet for the European market.  Its bold, striking design provides a glimpse of the future for Chevrolet in Europe with strong design cues that will become familiar on future new products.  Captiva is not just good looking, it’s practical too with five or seven seat capability and a flexible seat arrangement that can be folded flat throughout.  A high level of interior fit and finish and the use of high quality materials will surprise when seen against Captiva’s great value for money positioning.  Additional detail like the opening glass panel in the rear tailgate and spring assisted seventh seat operation with pop-up head restraints, exhibit the attention to detail that is apparent throughout the new car.  As you would expect from Chevrolet, value for money to the customer is key yet levels of specification are comprehensive on all derivatives, for example front and curtain airbags are standard across the range. 

It was Chevrolet who launched the original SUV with the Suburban back in 1935 - Captiva is the latest model in a long line of authentic Chevrolet SUVs.  It debuts at the Geneva Motor Show (March 2 - 12, 2006) and will be available in showrooms across Europe starting in June.

Captiva is the first Chevrolet in Europe to be equipped with a diesel engine.  The initial version of a new family developed as a joint programme between GMDAT and GM Powertrain, the engine is also built in an all new factory.  Alongside 2.4 litre and 3.2 litre V6 gasoline engines, Captiva comes with the new 2.0 litre, four cylinder 150hp variant of the new diesel with common rail injection offering high levels of efficiency and refinement. The Captiva will also be the first model in Chevrolet’s European range available with an electronic stability program (ESP).

“Chevrolet continues to grow at a remarkable pace in Europe”, said Wayne Brannon, Executive Director, Chevrolet Europe. “Selling just over 240,000 cars in Europe in 2005, 26 percent more than in 2004, we closed last year with another sales record. Here in Geneva, we have two world premieres, the Epica and the Captiva. With their six cylinder and diesel engines, they break new ground for our brand in Europe. And the Captiva gives us access to an additional and growing vehicle segment. So we have the potential to continue to grow in a similar way as last year.”

Captiva’s expressive design can be described as “strong, sophisticated and sporty”. It is a spacious, practical and tough vehicle designed with optimum on-road ride and handling characteristics but highly capable in difficult weather and road conditions. Customers will have the choice between front-wheel and all-wheel-drive variants, the latter featuring an active on demand all-wheel-drive system. As driving conditions dictate, the rear axle is instantly employed via an electronically controlled electro-magnetic coupling to give maximum traction. The system also seamlessly interacts with the ESP and ABS systems, enhancing driver control of the vehicle and safety margins. The ESP itself has additional functions like HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), HDC (Hill Descent Control), ARP (Active-Rollover Protection), FBS (Fading Brake Support) and TSA (Trailer Stabilization Assist).  Importantly, development of the European ride and handling dynamics has been carried out with Millbrook, GM’s proving ground in the UK. Along with durability testing, this has ensured that the characteristics of Captiva’s on road behaviour match customer demands across Europe.

Its sleek yet bold design is accentuated by strong wheel arches and a sweeping feature line that runs from the front fender vent through to the tail lamps. A grey sill finish runs around the vehicle, reducing its apparent height and is interrupted by contrasting ‘undertray’ features on front and rear bumpers. Design sophistication also features inthe cylindrical prism type headlamps, LED type turn signal lamps, turn signal repeaters in the door mirrors and flush fitting, pull-out type door handles.

The wide tailgate with its integrated opening window underlines the practical side of the Captiva. Inside it is spacious, with seating for five and optional seating for seven passengers. It measures 4,639/1,849/1,726 mm (length/width/height) and stands on a wheelbase of 2,707 mm. In five passenger configuration, it offers a trunk volume of 405 litres (VDA method). All seats, including the front passenger seat, can be folded forward and down, achieving a flat surface. Restating a Chevrolet hallmark, it offers plenty of storage space, including a wide net below the instrument panel.

The instrument panel itself is separated from the middle console, making it easy to walk through to the other side. Style and function characterize the interior design, with high class materials and an impressive level of fit and finish. The instrument cluster features easy to read semi-circular dials accentuated by aluminium style rims.

The elegant, fully integrated and flush fit infotainment unit in the middle console aims to provide best in class entertainment. Its features include an eight way speaker system, an amplifier with an output of 4 x 45 watts, an in-dash six CD changer with MP3 capability. Full integration of the audio system also aids security.  The console houses the driver information system providing data including Electronic Climate control, outside temperature, compass, average fuel consumption and vehicle speed, and range for remaining fuel. The comprehensive safety equipment includes dual front airbags roof side and curtain airbags, knee bolsters and safety belt pretensioners and load limiters for the front passenger.

Initially, three transversally mounted engines will be available for the Captiva. They include the brand new, state-of-the-art GM common rail diesel engine jointly developed between GMDAT and GM Powertrain. In its first application, the 16 valve unit offers 110 kW (150 hp) at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 316 Nm at 2,000 rpm. The combined fuel consumption is 7.6 l per 100 km. It is the first application of a family of diesel powertrains that will become available in other Chevrolet products in Europe, later this year.

The gasoline engine is a 2.4 litre in-line DOHC four cylinder, delivering 104 kW (142 hp) at 5,200 rpm and a torque maximum of 224 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Its average fuel consumption is 9.9 l per 100 km. The top-of-the line 3.2 litre V6 engine (not available in all countries) produces 165 kW (225 hp) at 6,000 rpm, maximum torque is 308 Nm at 3,500 rpm. Its combined fuel consumption is 11.7 l per 100 km.

Suspension layout consists of a McPherson strut configuration in front and an independent four link design in the rear. Ventilated disc brakes are standard on all four wheels. Four cylinder versions come standard with 215/70 R 16 tyres on 6.5J x 16 inch wheels, while the V6 rolls on 235/60 R 17 tyres on 7.0J x 17 inch wheels. 235/55 R 18 are available.

Chevrolet is the leading global brand of General Motors with almost 4.4 million vehicles sold in over 120 countries. Chevrolet has been the market leader in Latin America for five consecutive years and in North America, Chevrolet became the number one selling brand in 2005 – for the first time since 1986 with a total of 2.67 million vehicles sold.


Technical data overview*: Chevrolet Captiva

 
Body    
Length/width/height 4,639/1,849/1,726 mm   
Wheelbase 2,707 mm   
Kerb weight 1,585 – 1,710 kg   
Luggage capacity 405 L   
Engine/powertrain    
Type 4 cyl./inline,
gasoline V6, gasoline 4 cyl./inline, common rail diesel   
Displacement 2,400 cc 3,200 cc 2,000 cc   
Max. output* 104 kW/142 PS at 5,200 rpm 165 kW/225 PS at 6,000 rpm 110 kW/150 PS at 4,000 rpm   
Max. torque* 220 Nm at 4.000 rpm 302 Nm at 3.500 rpm 310 Nm at 2.000 rpm   
Drive axle FWD, AWD (optional)   
Transmissions 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic (optional)   
Fuel consumption MVEG (combined)
AT in brackets 9.9 (10.2) L/100 km 11,7 (11.9) L/100 km 7,6 (8.6) L/100 km   
Chassis and brakes    
Wheel suspension front McPherson strut   
Wheel suspension rear Multilink   
Steering Rack-and-pinion type, power assisted   
Brakes Disc, ABS   
Wheels  16 – 18 inches   
Tyres 215/70R16; 235/60R17; 235/55R18 
*preliminary