The 2018 Holden Commodore, rethought

2y ago


- The first of the new Opel Insignia B-based Holden Commodores I drove, the flagship Calais V with 20-inch wheels and a 320 PS V6 mated to a nine-speed auto transmission and all-wheel-drive. You can read more at
- It’s a pretty solid car and a leap ahead of the old Commodore. However, sport mode is recommended to get the right weighting for the steering wheel, and to make the most of the power, use the paddle shifts accordingly.
- The Holden badge might look unfamiliar to non-antipodean readers. Otherwise the grille is identical to the Opel and Vauxhall counterparts coming out of the same factory in Rüsselsheim. The Buick Regal is slightly different, but not by much.
- The digital instrumentation in the centre is another leap ahead of the old Commodore, and the Univers-based typeface, shared with other GM products, is clear enough to read.BA
- At the other end of the range is the two-litre turbo Holden Commodore LT. One of Europe’s top Opel engines is the base one here. And we love it. It feels so much better connected to the car.
- In fact, we love the two-litre turbo so much we think it’s the powerplant to go for. However, Holden has mostly given it to lower-spec models. It’s so much more willing, the torque is more accessible mid-range, and it suits the vehicle to a T.
- Base-model instrumentation is far more basic but still clear and perfectly readable.
- The Holden Commodore LT wagon has the same spec as the sedan, and you don’t feel the additional bulk behind you. A solid effort.
- The boot is cavernous, too, and you feel like it’s an increase on the old Commodore. The sedan, however, is down on the outgoing Insignia A in boot space.
- The RS isn’t any sportier than the LT. It just adds some standard equipment. Holden hasn’t used this badge the same way Ford has.
- The RS-V is where the V6 and AWD become standard. A smart looker, but unless you must have power going to the rear wheels and proper torque vectoring, the RS might be sufficient.
- The VXR—Holden has taken the Vauxhall initials—is the sporting flagship of the range, and adds a performance mode. Sadly, this was one we didn’t get to try as part of the media launch in New Zealand’s South Island on March 1–2.
- The interior is pleasant enou
- VXR again.

With the Opel Insignia B’s two-litre turbo as the base engine, and a V6 developing 320 PS at the top (for now), the 2018 Holden Commodore is really a good car

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