SIM­PLY RED

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

the last Aussie Holden, be­cause it’s right in sweet spot of the Com­modore range and sur­pris­ingly good value.

It is roomy re­laxed in a way you only nor­mally feel some­thing like flag­ship Benz.

kicks hard M-car hot rod from BMW has the cabin class of an Audi.

All right, fuel econ­omy is plain aw­ful if you un­leash V8 for more than oc­ca­sional over­tak­ing spurts. It feels about 250kg over­weight, the equiv­a­lent of car­ry­ing a cou­ple pas­sen­gers all time. There is no USB socket in the con­sole, and mir­rors are far too small wind­screen pil­lars far too big thanks to a late move to fit them with airbags.

I can ex­cuse the en­gine be­cause it’s what keen driv­ers want. The pil­lars and mir­rors would have cost far too much up­date but in­clud­ing a USB should been easy. MyLink never agreed with my iPhone de­spite run­ning Pan­dora and Stitcher. That’s the few fail­ings out of way — car emerges as a clas­sic.

The driv­ing po­si­tion is very good with sports leather seats on the Red­line, there is an ex­cel­lent colour head-up dis­play — big­gest speedo read­out I’ve yet seen

shift pad­dles work well and trip car into Sport mode, and the in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem is big with a touch screen.

Most of time, the Red­line is big, lop­ing labrador that keen to please. It’s very quiet, the auto shifts smoothly, brakes are pow­er­ful and there is

good feel through the steer­ing.

At first car seems overly soft in sus­pen­sion, par­tic­u­larly when it has re­vised FE3 sports pack for sharper re­sponse with 19-inch al­loys and 35-se­ries tyres.

But the ma­gi­cians at Holden’s Lang Lang prov­ing ground have man­aged to make the car both com­pli­ant and grippy. It floats over most un­du­la­tions is not trou­bled by bumps. When you put your foot down hooks up puts all its power on the road.

Hoons could make Red­line mis­be­have but it’s a grown-up car for grown-ups who want to travel swiftly, not fast. It can be very fast if you ask, but oth­er­wise it does the labrador thing.

If you’re re­ally in­ter­ested it will blast to 100km/h in 4.9 sec­onds and there is a pleas­ing pop-bang note from ex­haust on down­shifts. There are also that sig­na­ture V8 grum­ble and slight rock­ing sen­sa­tion when you’re idling at the lights.

I also like Red­line can tow 2.1 tonnes comes with a full-size al­loy spare, although it’s to re­place slightly nar­rower front wheels on the car.

VER­DICT

The Com­modore Red­line is the best Holden I’ve driven. It also the Aus­tralian-made car de­serves bet­ter than a shabby exit. Now’s it’s good­bye and thanks for mem­o­ries.

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