Indian automotive industry has seen many foreign players entering and leaving a mark. Automakers such as Hyundai and Skoda have set a strong foot in the market. Some were not this lucky. One of them is the American carmaker, General Motors. The company that wrapped up its operation on our shores back in 2017 had introduced some really good cars in the lineup before. One of them is GM’s first SUV in India, the Chevrolet Captiva. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at what the car offered and how well it went for Captiva in India.
2008 Auto Expo | Chevrolet Captiva Launched
People remember the 9th Auto Expo as the launch event of the much anticipated Tata Nano, India’s cheapest car. But in the same event, Chevrolet launched their first SUV and that too a premium one, the Captiva. It had a lot to offer, be it the best-in-class safety or the performance. SUV was welcomed well. LEt’s take a look at what all was under the hood of the premium SUV.
Chevrolet Captiva | Engine Specifications
|Engine||2.0-litre VCDi Diesel|
- Within a year, i.e. 2009, Chevrolet introduced an automatic variant and that too with an All-Wheel-Drive (AWD).
- Later on, in 2010, the Xtreme version was launched with 4WD mode and manual transmission.
- The 2-litre CRDi engine with Variable Geometry Turbo (VGT) produced a good 150ps and 320nm of torque, enough to take on any SUV present in the market at that time.
Chevrolet Captiva was the safest car in the segment at that time. It scored a 4-star rating at the EuroNCAP. The Captiva came equipped with safety features such as dual-front airbags, curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, active front headrests, hill descent control, traction control system, electronic stability program, front and rear fog lamps, rain-sensing wipers, rear parking sensors and much more. It can be said that Captiva was one of the few safe cars in India at that time.
What made the Captiva stand apart?
India was not having much to offer in the SUV segment. We had some budget ones like the Mahindra Scorpio or the Tata Safari. The premium ones like Hyundai Terracan were not able to make a mark because of their design. Well, Chevrolet introduced an SUV which offered aggressiveness and bold composure.
Chevrolet Captiva had a contoured hood, aggressive headlamps and a bold grille at the front with the Chevy badging at the centre. At the rear, you would have seen a large tailgate with indicators and reversing lamps. The most noticeable feature at the rear was the twin chrome exhaust pipes which added to the sporty looks of the Captiva.
At the inside also, Captiva was flooded with features. It had automatic climate control, dual-zone AC, side AC vents, 3rd row AC vents, integrated 2 DIN Radio CD MP3 audio system with 8 speakers, power-operated windows, and the list just goes on.
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The suspension in the Captiva was not a normal one. It was not dependent on the load inside the vehicle. The suspension of the Captiva could adjust itself in order to maximize the comfort of the occupants, whatever be the road ahead.
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So, Did Chevrolet Captiva do well in India?
Well, how many of Captiva do you see on the roads? Isn’t that the answer to the question. The Chevrolet Captiva failed to captivate the Indian market (see what I did there?)
It was launched at a starting price of ₹17.7lakhs, which for such a car was not a very huge amount. But the Indians were not ready to spend a lot at that time. And the year was the time when the global recession hit everyone’s pockets. So, although it was praised by the media and welcomed warmly, Captiva was not able to make a huge mark in the country. And then with Chevy’s deteriorating hold over the Indian market, the Captiva also lost the battle to the rivals.
If it were to launch today, Captiva might capture a huge chunk of the market as the SUV segment has seen an increase in the popularity in the past few years. But since GM has left the country, there is no hope for this to happen.
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What are your views on the Chevrolet Captiva? Was it a good SUV? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.