Holden saves the best for last
winds back the clock by more than a decade— and reflects the prices people have really been paying for years. The more transparent price list is a gamble Holden hopes will bring more buyers back into showrooms to consider the Commodore one last time.
Importantly, the new Commodore is not a barebones proposition. Rather, the contrary is true. To compete in the most over-crowded new- car market in the developed world Holden has loaded every model with self-parking technology, rear-view camera and touch-screen display that can reply to text messages at the press of a button or on voice command.
The new Commodore is without a doubt the most hitech car designed, developed and engineered in Australia— but in many ways it’s also the Commodore that Holden had to have. The doors, roof and glass carry over from the previous model but there are big changes under the skin that reduce weight, save fuel, improve safety and make it quieter and more refined.
Holden confirmed earlier this year that the VF Commodore is due to bow out in 2016. We now know this will be about the same time as the arch rival Ford Falcon reaches the end of the line.
But the difference, for now, is that Holden plans to replace the iconic Commodore with a globally developed frontwheel-drive four-cylinder sedan that it says will wear a Commodore badge. Given that every mainstream Holden has been rear-drive since the first model in 1948, this VF Commodore really does mark the end of an era.
Without the small but significant US export revival of the Commodore, which starts later this year, the VF model would not have anywhere near the technology it’s been given.
Holden boss Mike Devereux, who spent most of his working life in Detroit before running GMoperations in Dubai and now Australia, made sure the Commodore lived up to their expectations.
Holden doesn’t like talking about it much but build quality has been a concern for