Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Originally, the Chevrolet Captiva performance portfolio included a 136bhp 2.4-litre petrol engine as an option, but this was dropped due to little demand at the beginning of 2011. This left the pair of 2.2-litre turbodiesel engines, which replaced the original 150bhp diesel in late 2010, and they offer 161- and 181bhp. The less powerful diesel is restricted to the front-wheel drive-only Captiva model and delivers 0-62mph in 9.9 seconds and a 117mph top speed. It feels reasonably brisk on the road, though it gets noisy when stretched further up its rev band. It’s the same story for refinement with the 181bhp engine, which is only sold with four-wheel drive as standard but does have the option of a six-speed automatic gearbox in place of the notchy six-speed manual. With the manual ’box, the Captiva 4x4 manages 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds, while the auto need 10.1 seconds.

Parkers recommends

While we’re no great fans of the Captiva’s manual gearbox, we’d choose the 161bhp diesel for its added economy, lower emissions and price, and its minimal drop in performance compared to the more powerful version.

The Captiva corners quite well for a tall vehicle designed as a 4x4, and while the steering lacks feel, it's easy to track bends precisely. It rides firmly, which is all very well on smooth roads, but composure suffers when the surface is less than perfect. The LTX model in particular, on 18-inch wheels as standard, becomes a chore on uneven surfaces, with the unforgiving ride quality amplified the further back you sit.

Passengers in the third row would be unlikely to endure such behaviour for long. All four-wheel drive versions of the Captiva come with electronic stability control, helping the driver regain control safely should the car skid on the road, plus a hill descent control system to help safe progress off road. However few owners are likely to take their cars off road.