The ISOFIX revolution has arrived in Australia, and Holden has been quick off the mark to ensure all its new generation passenger vehicles are fitted with the child restraint system – including the newly-upgraded Captiva 7. We asked a family of four to road test this SUV, so here’s your chance to see how the international-standard car seat attachment points make life so much easier and safer, and we’ll also let you know how the Captiva 7 stacks up as a family all-rounder.
Meet our test family: Babyology Social Media Manager Marcelle and her gorgeous girls and musician husband live in Sydney’s inner western suburbs, where they flit from shopping, birthday parties, beach trips and scheduled activities in their station wagon.
Their car is usually packed to the hilt with a double pram, shopping, scooters, bikes and all sorts of family-related paraphernalia. So the idea that an SUV could be just as spacious was a stretch for Marcelle. Here are her initial thoughts on road testing the Holden Captiva 7 LTZ 2.0l Diesel auto:
“At times we might have the dog with us, or my husband’s musical equipment, and our car needs to be able to fit everything we need at the time. It turns out that my fears were completely unfounded as the Holden Captiva 7 was incredibly spacious, so we never had any trouble carrying everything we needed at any one time,” Marcelle said.
Here’s a snapshot of Marcelle’s thoughts on the Captiva 7 and ISOFIX:
A spacious boot is one of the main features families are searching for and another is seating capacity. The Captiva 7, as the name so eloquently suggests, can seat seven. The beauty is that when the children are small you can utilise the boot space for prams and the like, then when the children are older, you can configure the car to a seven seater to accommodate friends and extra family members.
When you’re lugging your most precious cargo, safety is the main priority, so we were keen to see what the Captiva 7 has to offer. The buzz word for families with babies and small children is ISOFIX – and the Captiva 7 is ISOFIX compatible. Marcelle tested out what has become one of the most important advances in child car safety.
“All new Holden passenger cars are ISOFIX compatible – they come with the ISOFIX connections already installed. This meant that we were able to quickly and easily fit the ISOFIX car seats safely and securely. We loved this, as it was much less fiddly to fit the seats than we were expecting, but once fitted, we had the peace of mind that our children were safe in their seats. The kids were happy in their new seats too, both fit comfortably, and slept well in them on our long beach trip.”
As well as pioneering the ISOFIX rollout in Australia, Holden has added a host of other safety features to the Captiva 7, aimed specifically at protecting families on the road.
These include a raft of features which are specifically designed to help prevent an accident – like Electronic Stability Control, Anti-Lock Braking System, Active Rollover Protection, six air bags and a Traction Control System. What also gets a big tick of approval from Marcelle is the rear view camera, which is extra insurance when driving an SUV.
There are also a couple of clever features to make driving so much simpler – like Hill Start Assist, which automatically kicks in when you’re pulling away on an upward or downward gradient so there’s no rolling back or forward.
We have to say, Holden has spared a thought for how many bits and bobs families need to tote – even down to the Electric Park Brake being situated on the centre console – thus freeing up the room usually taken up by a pull handle brake, for more centre console storage space.
With safety sorted, we can move on to the comfort factor. Is this SUV as comfortable on a road trip, as it is running down to the shops?
“We loved the comfortable seats, the driver and front passenger legroom, and the rear park assist. From a practical perspective, as my hubby and I often alternately drive our car, the fact that the driver seat is very easy to adjust to suit was a great little bonus as it meant that either of us could jump into the car and be away in moments.”
A quick escape with kids? Bonus! Marcelle also gives the fuel efficiency of the diesel a tick – a good balance of power and economy.
But we’ll leave the last word to the youngest critic, Marcelle’s eldest daughter:
“Throughout the loan period she would constantly ask if we could keep the car, or if we could buy one of our own. Her constant refrain was “I love this car Mummy” – so it’s a big thumbs up from us, big passengers and little ones alike.”
The Holden Captiva 7 starts at RRP $30,490, up to $41,490 (including GST, excluding on road costs). However, if you’re quick, there are some specials available on particular models:
- 2014 plated MY15 Captiva 7 LS $29,990 drive away
- MY14 Captiva 7 LTZ Petrol Auto $38,990 drive away
- MY14 Captiva 7 LTZ Diesel Auto $39,990 drive away
(This post is sponsored by Holden)