Holden has been hanging out for an SUV for too long. Ford not only has the excellent Territory, it’s also got the Escape compact 4x4, and every other major manufacturer has something it can offer the SUV market.
Holden? The Adventra – a thirsty, jacked-up, Commodore-based wagon in the Subaru Outback mould, but not an SUV and anyway, too pricey for most.GM Daewoo has come to the rescue. Slowly.
So is this long-awaited SUV just another Daewoo, never-mind-the-quality look at the metal for your dollar vehicle?
Or can it stand its ground, particularly considering the quality of the alternatives, Mitsubishi’s Outlander and Hyundai’s Santa Fe?
First you must get over the confusion of two bodies: the Korean-developed Captiva, and the European Captiva Maxx that shares the same underpinnings. But the look is completely different – both skin and interior were redesigned. Why? You might argue that with Chevrolet and Opel selling the same car in Europe, differentiation was required.
Holden’s executive director of engineering, Tony Hyde, is more blunt: “Germans are Germans and they wanted a unique car [Opel is General Motors’ German arm].”
Keeping them happy must have been expensive, and it means the top-spec sportily-tuned Maxx looks quite different to the mainstream cars.
All get the 3.2-litre Alloytec V6 built in Melbourne, and all get suspension largely developed with Aussie influence – according to Holden – and subsequently further tuned for our market.
The two entry versions were designed entirely under the Korean team initially headed by former Holden design guru Mike Simcoe (who penned the Commodore VT and Monaro), now marshalled by Simcoe