Chevrolet Captiva vs Hyundai Santa Fe

With each passing year, we see an increasing onslaught of sport utility vehicles. The softroader market is the most popular. And not surprisingly, while we may like everything big and brutish, we also prefer these behemoths drive like low-slung saloons. Last year, the Hyundai Santa Fe was pitched against the Nissan X-Trail – the Santa Fe had come out with flying colours. But this time around, the Chevrolet Captiva is back with a new face and a bigger heart. We put them both to the test, on and off tarmac.

Let’s start with the Chevy. The Captiva has an all-new face. The large grille dominates the front and is in line with the family face that has been adopted by Chevrolet. It looks like an evolution of the Cruze’s grille, only much bigger. It makes the Captiva look aggressive. We’re not complaining but to really bring out the lines, you need to see one in lighter shades. Apart from the new face, you get a restyled front bumper and fog lights. But there are virtually no changes to the side or the rear. A new set of alloys would have helped here.

The Santa Fe looks a bit timid in comparison and doesn’t scream for attention like the Captiva’s new ‘swallow-everything-in-its-path’ face. But even then, the Santa Fe is a large, proportionate design. While it doesn’t grab your attention, it’s still quite pleasing to look at. And that is a good thing considering some designs in the past have had their quirks. Both the softroaders have good road presence, but you can’t deny that the Chevy’s massive grille warrants a second look every time it passes you in the street.