The outside does have a bit sporty look. While it’s not slammed to the ground like a Lamborghini, it does have an aggressive forward leaning stance. The chrome accents and side vents do add to the sporty look. But wait, there’s no sport badge? So Chevrolet decided to call this thing a sport SUV but didn’t badge it like that? There has to be a reason. For now, let's look inside the Saturn Chevy.
The interior does give some sporty hints as well. With a lightweight, minimalistic look and chrome accents from the inside this feels fast. This feeling is duplicated with the supportive seats, making you feel like this thing is perfectly capable of being thrown around your local autocross event or fast food chain. From an around town and daily driving perspective, my only gripe is the voice activation shares the same button as the mute button, and has a crazy delay. But in a "sport" SUV who cares? Your main concern is how the Captiva Sport drives.
The driving experience tells it all. The engine likes to rev a lot, but there is no Sport mode. This is a 2015 vehicle with the word "sport" in the name, but doesn't have a Sport mode. Ok, but does the manual mode make up for it? If you know how to shift, kinda. The engine makes you feel like you’re going fast, but when you look at the speedometer, you realize that it’s not. On the highway this thing really lacks the passing power that you would expect from a sports model.
Is the car good overall, even if it didn’t have the sport name? How does it stack up to the competition? Here is my overall verdict:
Exterior: 5/10 This thing doesn’t really stand out, but isn’t repulsive.
Interior: 6/10 The interior has some nice touches for standard options, and has some pleasant accents. At the end of the day it still has a basic feeling.
Performance: 5/10 A car this size really needs a better engine, and an all-wheel drive option.
Fuel economy: 5/10 Despite having a decent size 4 cylinder engine, the thing just has to work too hard to get decent gas mileage for what it is.
Value for money: 4/10 When you consider the other options out there for a brand new car in this segment, it really is lacking.
Total score: 5/10
Now for the real question, should you buy it? Absolutely not. The Honda CRV, Ford Escape, and Mazda CX-5 all feel much faster and offer all-wheel drive, something even the highest Captiva does not have. All the cars I mentioned earlier also have much better engines, and are a lot faster, despite not having any sporty names or chrome accents. My guess is this is why that sport badge was removed, and the sport concept abandoned at some point during the design.