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First drive: Good oil on Holden's diesel Captiva

Italian by design: Captiva's diesel engine was co-developed by VM Motori.

Holden goes for Hyundai's jugular with a cut-price diesel for its Captiva SUV

9 Mar 2007

AT ONLY $1000 more than its V6 petrol counterpart, the Captiva diesel is set to shake the medium SUV segment hard.

Priced from $34,990 – and that includes ESP stability and traction controls, active rollover protection, a hill-descent device and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution – the South Korean-sourced Captiva undercuts its equivalently equipped Hyundai Santa Fe CRDi rival models by about 10 per cent.

The engine in question is a 1991cc single overhead cam 16-valve four-cylinder unit featuring a Bosch common rail system with direct-injection of fuel at up to 1600 bar pressure, a variable geometry turbo-charger and a diesel particulate filter.

Made by General Motors Daewoo Auto and Technology (GM DAT) in South Korea but devised in collaboration with Italy’s VM Motori engineering group, this Euro IV emissions-compliant 2.0-litre engine produces 110kW of power at 4000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

Its fuel consumption figures read 7.6L/100km for the manual and 8.7L/100km for the auto. This contrasts with 11.5L/100km returned by the auto-only, 169kW/297Nm 3.2-litre Alloytec V6 petrol models.

The manual spews out 197 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre, and the auto 233g/km, as opposed to around 246g/km-plus for the V6.

13 center imageIn contrast, the Santa Fe’s 2.2-litre CRDi develops 114kW at 4000rpm and 343Nm at 1800rpm, uses slightly less fuel and boasts a cleaner carbon-dioxide tally – but then Hyundai charges about $3000 extra for the diesel privileges compared to the Santa Fe petrol models.

Interestingly, the Captiva 2.0-litre diesel’s power and torque outputs are identical those of the Astra 1.9-litre twin-cam CDTi diesel unit.

A Holden spokesman says that an agreement with Fiat – co-owner of the CDTi diesel engine technology – precluded its use in GM DAT product. It would also be too expensive in such a price-sensitive vehicle.

Three Captiva diesel models are offered for now – the base five-seater SX, mid-range seven-seater CX and top-line seven-seater LX, with only the former offering a manual (five-speed) gearbox.

The automatic SX kicks off at $36,990.

Holden may import the diesel Maxx (the rebodied Captiva it launched in January), but is holding off to assess how the other models sell.

In the standard features department, the Captiva diesel concedes nothing to its petrol-powered equivalents, so items like air-conditioning, dual front airbags, and cruise control are included.

Holden expects to sell 150 to 200 Captiva diesels per month, with the new engine adding incremental sales of about 20 per cent to the range, while only swaying around 10 per cent of buyers away from the petrol model.

With the Maxx now up and running, the Captiva found approximately 700 buyers in February, placing it third behind the Ford Territory and Toyota Prado in the mid-sized SUV sector.

Holden’s research of Captiva V6 owners suggests that 37 per cent would have purchased a diesel version if it was available at the time and the price was right that 44 per cent considered the Territory and just six per cent bought one over a VE Commodore. Captiva diesel production commenced in South Korea in January, with dealer stock arriving in early April (May for the SX manual and popular LX models).

2007 Holden Captiva range pricing:
SX (a) $35,990
SX diesel $34,990
SX diesel (a) $36,990
CX (a) $38,990
CX diesel (a) $39,990
LX (a) $41,900
LX diesel (a) $42,990
MaXX (a) $42,990

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