Chevrolet Captiva vs Hyundai Sante Fe

Chevrolet Captiva vs Hyundai Sante Fe
Credits: Pete Gibson
3 Jun, 2011 7:38pm

A new nose helps the Chevrolet Captiva stand out in the seven-seat 4x4 class – but does it have the beating of the Hyundai Santa Fe?

It’s brash and big – and it’s over here! Say hello to the fresh face that’s attempting to stand out in the family-friendly 4x4 crowd.

The new Chevrolet Captiva has been given an added injection of attitude with styling that borrows unashamedly from the kind of tough-looking SUVs that the US is famous for.

New engines, an improved cabin and a host of chassis modifications ensure that the changes run more than skin deep. As before, the Captiva is available in five or seven-seat guises, and with front or four-wheel drive, while the new 2.2 VCDi diesel is available in two states of tune.

Here we put the more powerful 181bhp version through its paces in mid-range LT trim. And in all-wheel-drive form with an automatic gearbox, the seven-seater has to beat a talented rival...

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a former Auto Express New Car Award winner, and its combination of competitive pricing, generous kit levels and space has made it a popular choice since its launch in 2006.

The firm is famed for its customer service and aftersales back-up, but can the SUV compete with its revitalised competitor, or has the Hyundai had its day? We grabbed the keys to the range-topping seven-seat Premium model to find out.


Whether or not you like its bold new styling, Chevrolet has definitely improved the Captiva. Value for money is crucial at this end of the 4x4 market, though, and that’s where the newcomer struggles. Not only is it more expensive than its rival, but it doesn’t have as much kit and won’t hold on to its value as well as the Hyundai.
Our experts predict it will retain only 29.9 per cent of its purchase price over three years, which means it will lose £6,791 more to depreciation than the Hyundai. Higher emissions and heavy fuel consumption only add to its woes. So, while the new Captiva is more refined and better to drive than its Santa Fe rival, it’s not good enough to overcome the financial considerations.

The Hyundai is nearly as versatile, has stronger performance and more load space where it really matters. And all at a more appealing price.

Disqus - noscript

I prefer the Mazda CX-7 to both of these...better made and looking, and made in Japan...not contest.

I agree rx88888888, the styling is better, but you can't get an auto CX7! Also, the Hyundai is very robust and very nice to drive.
It's a close call.

Hyundai is cheap brand and can't winn Chevy, even Korean...

I would never ever consider any corean brand if I can buy a Chevrolet.

They are both Korean...... Chevy was Daewoo don't forget til GM took up ownership. and as for Hyundai being cheap then you haven't been in one recently.

I know I may be a bit precious and defensive of my choice, but I certainly don't recognise some of the review criticism of the Hyundai.

The ride is supple, well footed and I feel I'm control at motorway speeds. The car rides well over potholes and rough roads, can use the old road out of our village faster than my S Type Jag and is very responsive.

I am 6' 3" with a bad back, and the seats offer excellent support, are easy to get in and out of and have good adjustment. Mind you, I would agree that they need to be able to go a bit lower.

No, my criticisms are few, but would include not liking the foot controlled parking brake, sitting slightly too high and too far forward, and the dash lights, especially the digital displays don't dim enough at night, to the point of me considering adding a resistor to the dimmer control.

A Hyundai hold it's value better than a Chevy! How much has this reviewer had to drink?
Oh, and by the way - according to your 3-way review in this week's mag the Chevy loses out on looks to the Volvo and new Hyundai. Do your reviewers wear elbow patches and go to bed with cocoa at 8pm?
If not they should get some glasses or some design sense.