2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport
In the 2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport’s senior yearbook, the standard headshot would have been replaced by a blank “No Photo Available.” This commercial vehicle sits in the fleet-only section of Chevy’s U.S. lineup. These models major on sale price and fuel mileage – but typically include few tech or luxury features and zero trendy styling.
The opposite of trendy, the Captiva Sport is eerily familiar on all American roads. By george! It is the stillborn, second-gen Saturn Vue in a bowtie grille! Additional fender flares and chrome accents appear where there were once maroon Saturn badges.
Reviving this car is a special treatment within General Motors, and only replicated with the (also fleet-only) Chevy Caprice PPV that started life as the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT. What this distinction means for the Captiva Sport is that the vehicles have to be delivered directly to a commercial operator, thereby skipping the local retailer in favor of bulk orders.
The Captiva Sport’s big news for 2014 is an updated infotainment unit that now offers Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen audio and mobile connectivity.
The Captiva Sport is therefore a work car for people who might otherwise be in a Malibu Classic (yes, it existed..) or a Cruze – neither of which have AWD winter traction.
The larger Chevrolet Equinox is also on the fleet books for virtually identical list prices. How do they compare?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport, the only autobahn-tested AWD crossover in the Chevrolet’s American commercial fleet lineup.
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport
Horsepower @ RPM:182 @ 6700
Torque @ RPM:172 @ 4900
0-60 time:9.2 sec.
Top Speed:130 mph (Est.)
Layout:Front-engine, Front-drive (AWD Opt.)
The Captiva Sport is a handsome crossover with upscale and confident styling. Sold in more than 50 markets, the Captiva Sport has worn dozens of different nameplates and got a subtle refresh for 2011 that brought body-color bumpers, fascias and moldings to the uplevel LT and LTZ trims.
The base LS model continues with charcoal grey moldings for the bumpers that are scratch-resistant but hurt design’s premium aspirations.
One of the most striking elements about the Captiva Sport’s design are some premium-inspired touches that are rare within the fleet segment and totally absent on its mainstream Equinox stable mate. The headlamp shape and sharp top corner recall the Lexus RX350, while the vertical fender vent and rising swage line are subtle nods toward Land Rover.
There are no changes to the appearance of the Captiva Sport for 2014, but the car looks respectable even in bottom trims, thanks to the standard tinted windows, 17-inch alloy wheels and door-mounted, folding mirrors that offer a great rearward view and also minimize wind noise on the highway. These come as standard in body color and include auto-dimming on the driver’s side in the higher trims.
The Captiva Sport is very capable and nimble in urban situations due to its much shorter length and wheelbase versus the Equinox. Overall height and width are virtually identical but the Captiva Sport has quicker steering and a (very slightly) tighter turning circle.
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||61.4|
|Track - Rear (in.)||61.8|
|Drag Coefficient||0.36, est|
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport – Standard Exterior Features:
- Tinted privacy glass
- Intermittent front and rear wipers
- Folding, power rearview mirrors
- Luggage rack side rails
- 17-in. painted aluminum (LS)
- 17-in. polished forged aluminum (LT)
- 18-in. chrome-clad aluminum (LTZ)
- Wipers, front variable-speed, intermittent with washer; Wiper, rear variable-speed, intermittent with washer
- RainSense automatic wipers (LTZ)
The interior of the Captiva Sport has gotten the most attention for 2014, with Chevrolet’s MyLink touchscreen infotainment and optional navigation appearing on the options list for the first time. Few Captiva Sports will benefit from the optional systems at the LT and LTZ levels, but there is a good amount of audio equipment as standard without the touchscreen system.
Captiva Sport’s come standard with a digital radio display, Bluetooth voice calls, an auxiliary audio jack input and full USB integration for mobile devices with wheel-mounted controls. A trial membership to satellite radio and OnStar are also included.
The two levels of optional MyLink are offered on all trim levels and a great value. The full nav-integrated system is only a $795 upgrade that will dramatically increase overall vehicle satisfaction when on the road. To get the best sounds from MyLink’s app integrations and Bluetooth streaming audio, only the LTZ comes with a deluxe 10-speaker system that is not available on LS or LT models, even as an option.
The base six-speaker unit is better than expected, owning to the car’s global heritage and high-quality base units for the European versions of the car.
The interior design leaves much to be desired with many Chevy parts bin items that are more common outside the U.S. market. The overall levels of build quality and comfort are very good and better than the Equinox, but dimensions are somewhat tight with a high cowl and shoulderline hurting perceived space as well.
The flush-fitting dash materials are durable with added flair coming from silver accents on the center stack, door pulls and chrome-trimmed round air vents. A standard roof-mounted console lessens the econo car feel even in base trims, but even so, buyers might notice the Captiva Sport’s interior lacks much of the latest flair and tech features available on the Equinox. Even with MyLink, the screen still uses a double head unit with basic control knobs that feel tacked on.
The cargo area of the Captiva Sport is pretty impressive with a flat (but high) load floor and built-in metal rails for the available cargo management systems. A third 12-volt power outlet is mounted in the trunk and the whole area is well trimmed and finished for these prices.
Lastly, like with the Equinox, many of the optional features are bundled within the LTZ package that adds about $4,000 to the total price but is worth it for the added features, like Homelink, a backup camera in the rearview mirror and remote start.
The Captiva Sport nearly matches the Equinox for cargo space, down just 2 cubic-feet with the seats up. It lags well behind it for rear legroom - an area where the Equinox is top of the class.
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||40.2|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||39.3|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||40.7|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||36.9|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||56|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||36.9|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||52.6|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||52.9|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seat Up (cubic-feet)||29.2|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seat Folded (cubic-feet)||56.4|
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport – Interior Features:
- Deluxe front bucket seats with fold-down passenger seat
- Rear seat with fold-down 60/40 split seatback
- Air conditioning
- Cruise control
- Driver Information Center
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tilt/telescoping steering column
- Three auxiliary 12V power outlets
- AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3, auxiliary input jack, SiriusXM Radio with 3-month trial, steering-wheel controls, USB port
- Bluetooth wireless technology for select phones
- Rear cargo convenience net
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport – Optional Interior Features:
- Nav: Chevrolet MyLink radio with Navigation, diagonal color touch-screen display AM/FM/HD Radio/SiriusXM Radio with 3-month trial, CD player and GPS navigation system, includes Bluetooth streaming audio for music and select phones, hands-free smartphone integration ($795)
- Dual Rear seat entertainment system ($1,295)
- Seat options: 8-way power driver seat, leather-appointed seating, heated front seats
- Remote Vehicle Starter System
- Universal Home Remote
- Rear-Vision Camera System
- Power sunroof
- Automatic climate control
- Cargo cover
- Rear flex net cargo organizer
- Premium 10-speaker system
- Trailering package
- Front fog lamps
- Rainsense windshield wipers
- Chevrolet MyLink radio: diagonal color touch-screen display, AM/FM/HD Radio/SiriusXM Radio6 with 3-month trial, CD player, includes Bluetooth streaming audio for music, hands-free smartphone integration
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The Captiva Sport comes with one engine: a 2.4-liter 182-horsepower in-line-four that scoots the little truck to 60 mph in a leisurely 9.1 seconds for the FWD model, up to 9.7 seconds for the AWD Captiva Sport LTZ. Both configurations run a standard six-speed automatic and the AWD system is a front-bias, on-demand design without off-road settings. AWD comes standard on the LTZ.
The previous V-6 option has been dropped. Even so, the Captiva Sport rides on a rigid platform with capable handling but a firmer-than-average ride quality. One key difference between the Equinox and Captiva is the acceleration performance, where the Equinox with optional V-6 and FWD simply demolishes the Captiva Sport with a 7.2-second time.
One area the Captiva Sport comes back is high-speed poise and confidence on twisty roads, like two-lane routes or mountain passes. The car is highly planted at these speeds with good brakes and accurate hydraulic steering that stays aimed straight ahead without corrections.
Evidence of the car’s structural strength is in the tow prowess. The Captiva Sport has a max 3,500-pound rating versus the Equinox four-cylinder’s 1,500-pound max.
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport – Mechanical Details:
|Engine Size and Type||2.4-liter 16-valve I-4 With DOHC, Direct Injection and CVVT|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||182 @ 6700|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||172 @ 4900|
|0-to-60 mph - FWD||9.1seconds, est|
|0-to-60 mph - AWD||9.7 seconds, est|
|Top Speed||130 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Rating (City/Combined/Highway)||22/NA/28 FWD, 20/NA/28 AWD|
This commercial crossover has not yet been tested by the NTHSA and IIHS but was a four-star car in its past life as a Saturn.
The Captiva Sport has six airbags, plus the normal complement of stability and traction controls.
2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport – Standard Safety Features:
- Dual-stage frontal and side-impact air bags for driver and front passenger, front-seat side thorax air bags and head curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard seating positions
- Pedal Release System
- StabiliTrak stability control system with traction control
- PASS-Key III theft-deterrent system
- Daytime running lamps with automatic lamp control
- OnStar 6-month Directions & Connections Plan with Turn-by-Turn Navigation (fleet delete available)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Pricing for the 2014 Chevy Captiva Sport starts at $24,360 for the 1LS trim level and about $800 more for the 2LS trim. LT and AWD LTZ trims are available with pricing topping out at $32,000.
The Captiva Sport theoretically competes with the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape for mini crossover shoppers. Its fleet-only status means its biggest competition is from the Chevrolet Equinox, also offered for fleet customers with nearly identical base pricing.
These two cars run the exact same four-cylinder engine and have similar base pricing. The latest Equinox shows up the Captiva Sport in cargo and passenger space, safety and acceleration performance - even without the optional V-6 that is not offered in the Captiva Sport.
The Equinox for fleet customers is generally more expensive than the Captiva Sport due to its higher equipment levels and extra tech options like forward collision alerts.
The Captiva Sport has lived a troubled life. With more name changes and re-branding than a failing restaurant location, the Captiva Sport lacks purpose and its positioning within Chevy’s U.S. lineup is not well defined. There is too much price and size overlap between this and the Equinox for the Captiva Sport to earn much volume.
The Captiva Sport brings plenty of sharp Euro-tuned driving to the table, but feels out of its depth versus the better-equipped, larger and more modern Equinox.
Luckily, where the Captiva Sport makes the most sense is at sub-$20,000 prices, where its sophisticated dynamics and crossover style outweigh some of the car’s other shortcomings. These heavily discounted prices for volume fleet deals mean the list price of the Captiva Sport is sort of an inside joke.
The Captiva Sport is as nippy and nimble as the Sonic, has good 20/28 mpg stats and keeps the high view of an SUV that many drivers prefer.
Among driver’s trading up from a Sonic or down from a Tahoe, the Captiva Sport’s agility and build quality will be a welcome change.
|Driving||B+||Eager Handling And Rock-Solid Highway Poise|
|Performance||C-||Somehow Much Slower And Thirstier Than Larger Equinox|
|Look||B-||Elegant Lines But Still Reheated Leftovers|
|Value||C||Makes Most Sense With A Big, Big Discount|
|Overall||C+||A Sophisticated But Pricey Fleet Crossover|