It’s a virtual smorgasbord when it comes to choosing the right medium sized SUV to fit your lifestyle.  EFTM decided to pit two very similarly priced and equipped models head to head. It’s the Holden Captiva 5 LTZ v the Hyundai ix35 SE both with diesel engines.

Side by side - Hyundai ix35 & Holden Captiva 5

Side by side – Hyundai ix35 & Holden Captiva 5

The 10 Minute Test Drive

Talk about strengths and weaknesses. These two models highlight the difficulties seeking out the right SUV.

Jump inside any modern Hyundai and it’s immediately clear that fit, finish and the all important wow factor tick all the boxes. The ix35 SE is no different. Plastics around the cabin sit in the above average category, although the blue lit instrumentation is seriously dazzling at night.

Ergonomics are well thought out, with commonly used instruments placed in all the right places. For example the power window buttons are cleverly angled towards you.

On the other hand we have the Holden Captiva 5. Although sporting the new LTZ ‘look at me’ badge it’s still a dated, daggy affair. The cabin acoustically even sounds cheap, sit in one and you’ll understand. It shares the acoustic traits of a portaloo.

Inside the Hyundai ix35

Inside the Hyundai ix35

There’s a prehistoric centre display that may well be the Commodore 64’s Great Great Grandpa.

Try and find how to change from FM radio to AM without reading the manual.

So clearly Hyundai wins that particular battle.

Hit the road however and it’s a win to the Captiva.

Riding on substantially bigger 19″ rims the Holden is a far more accomplished drivers car. It’s steering is light and direct, it’s ride solid and stable.

Side by side - Hyundai ix35 & Holden Captiva 5

Side by side – Hyundai ix35 & Holden Captiva 5

A new generation 6-speed automatic is also a noteworthy inclusion.

The ix35 SE simply isn’t as well sorted. It’s gets a little cagey when asked do deal with corners. It’s steering is strangely heavy and sloppy off centre, the 17″ inch wheels squeal loudly when pushed. It’s not a pleasant driving experience at all.

The brakes also feel underdone. After jumping from Captiva to the ix35 the first shove on the left pedal induced a brief heart flutter. They don’t bite as progressively as the Holden’s and instead feel hard and woody.

The battle of the diesels is clearly won by the Hyundai. It sports far more enthusiasm and sophistication over the Holden unit. Sharp off the mark, it’s hits a far more pleasing spot then that of the Holden.

Ins and Outs.

The Captiva 5 LTZ as tested features a AWD 2.2 litre 135kW / 400Nm 4-cylinder diesel coupled to a new 6-speed transmission.

Hyundai provided us with the ix35 SE AWD 2.0 litre 4-cylinder diesel. It’s rated at 135kW / 392Nm and is unique to the SE variant.

So both engines are side by side on paper, but all important torque kicks in much earlier then the Captiva’s unit.

Hyundai ix35

Hyundai ix35

The SE model is sourced from the Czech Republic rather than South Korea like the rest of the ix35 range, which incidentally is where the Captiva originates from. Basically because Hyundai has some supply constraint issues out of South Korea.

It’s a matter of what goodies you prefer when it comes to these two cars. Both are well equipped.

The ix35 SE includes a day/night rear view mirror with reversing camera, privacy glass, front and rear heated seats (outside rear seats only), Bluetooth Audio Streaming and electric folding side mirrors. Items the Holden could only dream of.

However the Captiva LTZ scores the more attractive 19″ rims, front park assist, roof rails, and dual zone electronic climate control.

Bragging Rights

The Captiva 5 LTZ is now the flagship model sitting above the LT. Its looks and packaging are acceptable.

Hyundai ix35

Hyundai ix35

The ix35 SE is essentially the base model Active with a handful of extras thrown in. It’s the better looking of the two and is simply the superior car.

The Lasting Impression

EFTM have dealt with Holden’s Captiva on numerous occasions. We are still not convinced with its inherent quality. It’s the kind of vehicle that hints at shaking itself apart given enough time.

The ix35 SE is better built and sits several rungs above the Captiva in almost every area.

The Hip Pocket

The ix35 SE as tested is $34,990 with a $595 metallic paint job thrown in.

Side by side - Hyundai ix35 & Holden Captiva 5

Side by side – Hyundai ix35 & Holden Captiva 5

At $36,990 the Captiva 5 LTZ Diesel seems a tad over priced. Essentially the diesel unit becomes a $4000 option over the $32,990 2.4 litre petrol LTZ.

As tested the Hyundai unit was also more frugal at the bowser sipping 7.8L/100km compared to the Holden’s 8.5L/100km.

The EFTM Rubber Stamp

Both the ix35 and Captiva earn a PASS from EFTM

Both the ix35 and Captiva earn a PASS from EFTM

It becomes a matter of personal choice when it comes to these two – at EFTM Trevor would take the Hyundai while Chris would take the Holden. Either way both the Hyundai ix35 and the Captiva 5 LTZ earn the EFTM rubber stamp.


[schema type=”review” rev_name=”Holden Captiva & Hyundai ix35″ rev_body=”Two medium-sized family SUVs – average overall but worthy in the price range and really a buyer’s choice” author=”Chris Bowen” pubdate=”2013-08-08″ user_review=”3″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”5″ ]