Another one bites the dust (Holden Captiva, that is...)

The Holden Captiva is one of the worst vehicles on Australian roads

The Holden Captiva is one of the worst vehicles on Australian roads


We bought a Holden Captiva in August 2013 (for my wife).

It has only done 40,000km and we have been told the gearbox has gone on it. We will find out tomorrow if Holden will fix it free of charge but they still want to charge us $245 for the yearly service.

While bringing it to the dealer it broke down and they would not help in any shape or form, so I had to get my insurance to do it.

Please help with some advice. - Paul


There's no question that the Holden Captiva is one of the worst new vehicles available in Australia today. It's badly designed and badly built, so the reliability is (as you have unfortunately discovered) absolutely appalling.

Holden's capacity to do decent customer service is also - as you have also discovered - entirely second-rate. In a well serviced vehicle that has not been abused, there should be no failure of major components after just 40,000 kilometres and two years - that's absurd.

There are two issues here: The first is the problem, and getting it fixed under warranty. The second is being treated like a valued customer (or, in your case, not being treated in this way).

Getting the problem rectified

The vehicle is, thankfully, still under warranty. (Even if it weren't, however, you'd be protected by the consumer guarantee, which basically says the reasonable life of failed components is more important than the offered warranty. For example, if the engine fails in four years with 60,000km on it, and the car has been appropriately serviced, then it would be reasonable to suggest the engine should last longer than that, and therefore Holden would be required to repair the problem even though the warranty had lapsed.)

Unfortunately, many dealers will attempt to pressure you into paying for the repairs, simply because they'll make more profit out of an owner-funded repair than they will out of a warranty job, which is funded by the parent car company. Learn more on this in my report on why dealerships refuse legitimate warranty claims >>

Don't put up with this if they try this on you. The vehicle's appalling track record and poor deign tells me this failure is - with 99 per cent certainty - a warranty job.

Poor customer service

In the interests of calling a spade a spade: Your dealer is a dickhead. It costs very little to offer some small gestures of customer service good faith. The damn car broke down on the way to its service, for God's sake. How hard would it have been to offer you some support, or throw in that (apparently minor) service for free? Obviously they're not required to do this, but doing so would have gone a long way to restore your faith in the circumstances. (Guaranteed they'd have a relationship with some local bloke with a flatbed truck and could - at least - have done you a favour on getting it towed in to the dealership. Arseholes.

Clearly, this is a dealer that doesn't value you as a customer. Simple response there: Don't do any more business with them, and write to the dealer principal to explain why you won't be darkening their doorstep any more.


Don't take 'no' for an answer if they allege the failure is not covered by warranty. Guaranteed: it is. Be a pain in the arse until they fix it for free. (Watch my report above.) Don't do business with that dealer any more, because they've told you, loud and clear, that they don't value you as a customer. And don't keep the Captiva for one nanosecond longer than the warranty. But a Mazda CX-5 instead. Read more on the CX-5 in my reviews here >>

If you need seven seats, the best choices are the Hyundai Santa Fe >> and the Kia Sorento >>

If you want to save thousands on the replacement vehicle, in due course, contact me >>  (or use the red link below). I'll also help maximise the trade-in and get a great rate on the finance if you need that.