Car Buyers' Guide: A Holden does the job
Jack Biddle on the options to replace the Commodore
Ted is a long-time Holden Commodore fan, but is worried the brand will suffer with the demise of a rear-wheel-drive sedan when local assembly finally comes to an end sometime in 2017.
“Holden has built its name and reputation around the Commodore and that could all change if it doesn’t replace it with another rear-wheel-drive sedan,” says Ted.
He doesn’t particularly like front-wheel-drive vehicles and prefers a sedan over a SUV.
It’s a changing world, Ted, and the majority of mainstream vehicles are either FWD or variations on a four- or all-wheel-drive system. Plus sedans just don’t sell in the big numbers.
At the moment Holden, like Ford and Toyota, is in the process of keeping the Australian assembly lines moving as it heads toward a final closure while at the same time working on plans to replace those vehicles.
Holden is transitioning from being an assembler of motor vehicles to becoming a National Sales Operation.
The other good news for loyal followers with some spare cash is the last of the RWD Commodore range to roll off the assembly line are said to be the best models built in terms of specification levels and quality. As part of the global General Motors Empire, Holden NZ has introduced a couple of new European-built models here; all-new Astra and Insignia.
And Holden NZ promises to deliver 24 major vehicle launches and 36 powertrain combinations over the next five years.
Holden Astra VXR
The VXR is the top of the range model line-up and produces 206kW from the turbocharged 2-litre engine. It’s definitely not a family vehicle but should appeal to Holden lovers and those looking for driver excitement and a touch of affordable European influence. Prices start at $38,490 for the GTC 1.6 litre turbo and top out at $49,990 for the VXR.
Holden Insignia VXR
The Insignia AWD should appeal to many potential buyers if given the chance to showpiece its performance, safety and high build-quality features.
The 2.8l V6 twin-scroll turbocharged engine produces 239kW of power and 435Nm of torque.
It’s fitted with features such as automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane change alert, blind spot monitoring and FlexRide suspension, which is a continuously variable suspension damper system. It retains many of the old Holden traditions but adds a definite European statement to the exterior and interior styling.
Prices start at $69,990.
Driven Recommendation: Give the replacement products a try or buy a new Commodore while you still can.