Euro­pean trim with Aussie ac­cent

Albany Extra - - Motoring - Derek Og­den

For al­most 40 years, the Holden Com­modore, to­gether with sib­ling Calais, were big sedans and sta­tion wag­ons ca­pa­ble of cart­ing a fam­ily and its gear over long dis­tances in com­fort, while mak­ing good time.

So now, how does the Euro­pean-sourced, Aus­tralian­re­vised, re­place­ment com­pare with the tra­di­tional Aussie-built icon? What bet­ter way to find out than by tak­ing a fam­ily trip from the Gold Coast to Syd­ney and back?

We were blessed with a Com­modore RS-V V6 AWD Lift­back for our big trip.

Ap­proach­ing the ve­hi­cle from all an­gles, Com­modore of­fers a range of re­strained dec­o­ra­tive treat­ments to the sleek, yet sub­stan­tial, Euro­pean sports body kit with rear lip spoiler and 18-inch al­loy wheels.

In­side, it’s much the same with soft-touch sur­round­ings, a leather­wrapped sports steer­ing wheel with pad­dles, al­loy ped­als, leather­ap­pointed trim, heated sports front seats, am­bi­ent light­ing and DAB+ dig­i­tal ra­dio.

Holden was an early adapter of in-car in­fo­tain­ment with its MyLink sys­tem. New Com­modore has a 8-inch high-res­o­lu­tion colour touch­screen dis­play.

Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto phone pro­jec­tion, plus full iPod in­te­gra­tion, in­clud­ing Siri, have kept up with trends.

Even more so now with a colour head-up wind­screen dis­play and wire­less smart­phone charg­ing via a cen­tre con­sole unit. How­ever, the em­bed­ded satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem is lag­ging be­hind in­for­ma­tion on the up­grad­ing of the Pa­cific High­way.

It kept giv­ing us direc­tions to turn left or right on to now su­per­seded roads. With the ar­row rep­re­sent­ing the Com­modore on the screen, plough­ing on through pad­docks and bush­land. Not a beast in sight . . .

Based on the Ger­man-made Opel In­signia, the new Holden Com­modore comes to the Aus­tralian mar­ket in two and all-wheel drive with petrol, turbo-petrol or diesel power.

Our test Com­modore RS-V was pow­ered by a 3.6-litre V6 petrol engine mated with a new nine­speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion and all-wheel drive.

Auto emer­gency brak­ing had the wind­screen head-up dis­play light­ing up and beep­ing with a warn­ing of an­other ve­hi­cle too close in front, while lane keep­ing as­sist gen­tly cor­rected the steer­ing on any sign of wan­der­ing.

The 360-de­gree/sur­round-view cam­eras were a bonus when park­ing in tight spots, as was rear crosstraf­fic alert on re­vers­ing out from be­tween ob­sta­cles. Fi­nally, the seven-year un­lim­ited kilo­me­tre warranty will out­last many a trip

up and down the Aus­tralian east coast. The Aus­tralian Com­modore and Calais pack­age is down to Holden en­gi­neers cov­er­ing more than 200,000km of test­ing the driv­e­train and sus­pen­sion on Aus­tralian roads and at the Lang Lang prov­ing ground.

Push­ing the dash-mounted engine start/stop but­ton un­leashes 235kW and 381Nm with a note ris­ing to a rorty crescendo.

Per­for­mance off the mark was all but in­stan­ta­neous, while over­tak­ing, even on nar­row roads was quick and easy, courtesy of adap­tive all-wheel drive with elec­tric lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial.

Of­fi­cial com­bined ur­ban/ high­way fuel con­sump­tion is 8.9L/100km on reg­u­lar 91 RON unleaded, which com­pares with 10.2L/100km (town) and 7.6L/100km (high­way) re­spec­tively for the test ve­hi­cle. The big boot, 490L, takes two big suit­cases, plus the smaller lug­gage with room to spare. Stor­age in the pas­sen­ger cabin runs to a deep cen­tre-con­sole bin and gen­er­ous door pock­ets for bits and pieces.

Com­fort for the aver­age height is good but could be chal­leng­ing for a taller per­son.

Leg room in the rear is ad­e­quate with­out be­ing gen­er­ous.

Even with the pres­ence of leather, there is a feel­ing of the or­di­nary all round. Noth­ing stands out, it’s bland. The Com­modore RS-V shows the way with au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy for less than $50,000.

Euro­pean ri­vals with the same specs would be priced well above.

Pity about the sat nav.

Your lo­cal Holden dealer is Al­bany City Mo­tors 9842 8000.

Soft sur­round­ings in­clude a leather-wrapped sports steer­ing wheel, leather-ap­pointed trim and heated front seats.

Pic­tures: Mar­que Mo­tor­ing

The Holden Com­modore’s Euro­pean sports body kit comes with a rear lip spoiler and 18-inch al­loy wheels.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.