General Motors Co. has launched the Chevrolet Captiva Sport compact crossover in the U.S. fleet market. As a result of this strategy, GM will be able to free up the Chevy Equinox for retail sales. Dealerships have been complaining about the shortage of Equinoxes. From January to February 2011, Chevy sold 28,281 Equinoxes, a 61% increase from the same period a year earlier.
In a statement, Alan Batey, Chevrolet service and sales chief, said that it turned to its global network to cope with the growing demand from local fleet customers and to continue to meet strong retail demand for the Equinox.
The Captiva Sport has the same platform as the Saturn Vue, which was discontinued in 2009, as the Saturn brand ended. The Captiva is sold in over 50 markets throughout the world. GM plans to bring it into the U.S. from the Ramos Arispe plant in Mexico.
Meanwhile, a U.S. version of the Captiva will arrive in the fourth quarter as a 2012 model. The five-seat crossover will be powered by either an Ecotec 2.4-liter four cylinder or a 3.0-liter V-6 engine, both with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The Captiva Sport will come in LS and LT models with four trim packages, including the LTZ (an all-wheel-drive model). The LTZ version is powered by the V-6 engine and is also offered with a leather trim package, sunroof and 10-speaker sound system.
According to Batey, the Captiva Sport’s various features being offered are as rich as those found in any vehicle from Chevrolet. Fleet customers, Batey added, will see that it is a versatile vehicle as it offers the cargo capacity they want as well as the efficient package that can help keep expenses down.
At the heart of the Captiva Sport is a driving character that is clearly European-inspired. There is the MacPherson strut independent suspension in the front and the independent multi-link suspension in the rear, both of which complements the stiff and the steel body frame of the integral structure.
Due to the isolated engine cradle, a smooth ride is assured with quietness improved as well. Coming in as standard on all the models are the StabiliTrak electronic stability control, traction control, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes. These different systems work hand-in-hand to result in outstanding vehicle control.
While handling features like the StabiliTrak aid drivers in avoiding crashes, the Captiva Sport improves the protection of its occupants with the use of high-strength steel structure plus a list of other standard safety features meant to protect occupants. As expected, standard as well are the front-seat side thorax air bags and the dual-stage front-seat air bags.
Then there is the rollover capable head curtain air bags which cover the front and that of the rear rows, which are also equipped as standard. The standard safety features do not stop there as this model will also be getting front-row safety belt pretensioners, active head restraints, and the automatic power door locks.
Standard as well are the side turn signal lamps and tire pressure monitoring system. There is also the Pedal Release System that decouples the brake pedal in the event of a crash and thus helps in ensuring that the occupants avoid injuries.