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Next Commodore unveiled


Far from an old dog, but the Commodore’s learnt some new tricks nonetheless

If you’re in the market for a new Commodore, Holden’s recent release of specification data on the upcoming VEII model has just made your purchasing decision very tough.

You’ve got two choices. Either buy now and take advantage of the run-out sales pricing on current VE models which, given the VE series II visual upgrades inside and out are minimal, makes plenty of sense.

Or you could hang on for the new version. Granted, it won’t look much different from the neighbour’s two-year-old one, but Holden has chucked some pretty appealing technology at the range that could be worth waiting for, even at the detriment of the end of line discounting.

So, spot the changes?

They’re subtle, but the exterior changes across the mainstream models include new squarer front fascias, new larger grille new fog lamp surrounds on Berlina models and up, new 17” (Berlina), 18” (Calais, SV6 and SS) and 19” (Calais V and SS-V) wheels and revised headlamps. Nothing over the top, but then, nothing to offend current fans either.

Inside, all models of Commodore will receive colour touch screens, which is the heart of Holden’s new iQ media interface system. On Omega this brings standard Bluetooth with touch screen dialling, Bluetooth audio streaming, phone book display, full iPod integration, USB input and a single CD player. Moving up from there all other models include a 1GB flash drive with the ability to rip and store CD audio in a virtual 15-disc CD shuttle. Full colour satellite navigation becomes standard fitment on Calais V, SS V and Caprice models. Rear park assist is standard on Berlina, Calais, SV6 and SS models with the 6.5 inch display on V-series models also doubling as a reversing camera.

If you’re interested, the new 3.0 litre SIDI (direct injection) V6 and 6.0 litre V8 models are now capable of running on E85 blended bio-ethanol. Awesome. Now remind me where in New Zealand I can buy that from again?

Shock! Holden have ditched the Statesman nameplate for VEII. Booo! This, after all, is nomenclature with heritage within Holden longer than the Commodore name itself. Still, given the gradual shift in Statesman’s perception from ‘luxury’ to ‘luxury taxi’ over recent years, shelving the badge now at least means enough dignity has been preserved for a revival in years to come. The flagship Caprice model remains but receives V-series treatment in efforts to further distance itself from the airport taxi rank.

The Caprice brings a lot of Euro-grade gadgetry to the table with the 3.6-litre V6 delivering things like tyre pressure monitoring, 8-way electric seating and memory function and the top spec Holden iQ functionality. The Caprice V adds premium interior trim options, sunroof, LCD entertainment screens and wireless headsets for rear occupants, triple zone A/C and Bose audio among other pleasantries.

Details around mechanical evolution focus on the improvement of fuel economy, an area Holden is making consistent gains in. No word at this stage on improved driving characteristics, we’ll make that call when the cars land here over the next few weeks.

Contact a Holden dealer near you.

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