4x4 (weighing over 1,800kg): Chevrolet Captiva

Big loads prove no obstacle for this large seven-seater SUV

As with our sub-1,800kg 4x4s, there wasn’t an especially large field in this category, with only four models vying for honours in the 1,800kg-plus class. Yet our judges had a very mixed bag of cars to choose from here.

The Mercedes ML350 was the most expensive car on test this year, at nearly £50,000, but had already won one class award and looked in good shape to pick up another. However, it was edged out in this category by the Chevrolet Captiva.

The seven-seater Chevy SUV comfortably hauled Bailey’s largest caravan – the mammoth Pegasus Bologna – around all of our test routes. The six-speed manual transmission proved a perfect match for the 181bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, and although cabin quality was no match for that of the big Mercedes, the part-leather seats were comfortable and supportive.

Plus, the Captiva made up for any disappointment over the fit and finish with an impressive list of equipment: climate and cruise control, Bluetooth and MP3 connectivity and all-round electric windows made its £28,780 price look like decent value for money.

So family buyers in the market for a seven-seater tow car should put this big Chevrolet on their shortlist.

Our finalists

Chevrolet Captiva 2.2 LT 7-seat £28,780Ford Ranger Wildtrak £31,723Isuzu D-Max Eiger 2.5 £21,275*Mercedes ML350 BlueTEC Sport £49,440

* On-the-road price without towing extras.

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