LPG wins over the economists
Hoiden’s LPG Berlina really needs a higher profile, reports CHRIS RILEY
THIS week we turn the spotlight on the Holden Commodore Berlina and ask the questions to which you want answers. But there’s only one question that really needs answering: “Would you buy one?”.
What is it?
Good question. Never really GOT the Berlina and it is becoming increasingly irrelevant. It sits between the Omega and Calais, but the entry Omega is so well equipped these days why bother?
The petrol one is $43,490 and the LPG model is $45,990 (but remember you get a $2000 rebate back from the government for being gas). Omega LPG is $42,490.
What are competitors?
Falcon of course. But we reckon its greatest threat lies in the SV6 which looks so much better and is only $300 more (I know which one we’d buy).
What’s under the bonnet?
Dedicated 3.6-litre LPG engine. Make that vapour-injection gas engine, with 180kW of power and 320Nm of torque (petrol 210kW/350Nm).
How does it go?
Well enough. But it’s all about the cost of running, with LPG only around 60 cents a litre at the time of writing. We put $20 in to top it off and it half filled the tank. Seriously, you’ve got to like that?
Is it economical?
It’s rated at 11.8 litres/100km. The tank is supposed to hold 84.4 litres which gives it a maximum range of 715km. We got 701km out of a single tank at 12.2 according to the trip computer. Talk about a close shave.
Is it green?
Berlina gets 4.5 out of five stars from the government’s Green Vehicle Guide with CO2 emissions of 189g/km. A
Prius, by the way, gets five stars.
Is it safe?
Yep. There’s a full five stars for safety, with six airbags, stability and traction control and anti-lock brakes with brake assist and brakeforce distribution.
Is it comfortable?
Comfort is one of the Commodore’s fortes. It’s big and armchair comfortable. Easy to get in and out of and easy to drive.
What’s it like to drive?
It’s not going to set the world on fire but like we said it’s all about economy. If you want or need a large car but don’t want to foot the bill for driving one, then LPG could be right for you. It’s cheap and it’s readily available – even in the country – but remember these days you can’t put petrol in it if you can’t find any.
Is it value for money?
You don’t get auto wipers, twin exhausts or a rear spoiler. But for the extra money you get larger 17-inch alloys, fog lights, leather-clad steering wheel, a trip computer with more features, rear park assist, a flash drive for audio storage, bolstered seats and a centre arm rest in the back.
Would we buy one?
Nah. We’d fork out the $300 extra bucks for the SV6 (wouldn’t you?).