Style on top of sub­stance

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

FOR once, more power isn’t part of the lat­est update to HSV’s range.

The E3/WM3 mod­els in­stead pick up ex­te­rior and in­te­rior re­fine­ments, headed by a so­phis­ti­cated in­fo­tain­ment pack­age and an op­tional LPG in­jec­tion sys­tem that cuts fuel use with­out any ef­fect on per­for­mance.

It’s good on the reg­u­lar Hold­ens and so much fun it could be dan­ger­ous on the HSV vari­ants. There’s a temp­ta­tion here to look down at the cen­tre con­sole dis­play – HSV calls it an En­hanced Driver In­ter­face – to see how many Gs you’re pulling is al­most over­whelm­ing – and that means tak­ing your eyes off the road. Take my ad­vice – plug in the USB stick and re­view the data on a com­puter af­ter the drive.

The EDI can be ei­ther a track day toy or a use­ful way to smooth out your driv­ing style, depend­ing on which mode is di­alled up.

For theWM3Grange, it is an­other weapon in the Clay­ton-based com­pany’s chal­lenge to the per­for­mance Euro­pean sedans that it is com­pet­ing with for space in the re­served sec­tions of cor­po­rate carparks.

Value

It’s hard to ar­gue with an $89,000 ve­hi­cle that will keep up with a Merc E63 or BMW M5, has much more in­te­rior space and still costs half as much.

It’s a lot of car for the price, with in­te­rior space that puts its Euro ri­vals to shame, per­for­mance that’s on a par and mod-cons that are of­ten op­tions in many lux­ury line-ups.

That said, it’s still a lot of money for what vis­i­bly be­gan life as a Holden Com­modore, no mat­ter how many dress-up kits or flashy fas­cia HSV tacks on.

Craig Duff

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