Holden ZB Commodore cop cars axed over lack of rear headroom
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The New Zealand Police are set to replace their lift-back Holden ZB Commodores, over concerns centred around a lack of rear headroom.
Following an unnamed, unofficial complaint last year suggesting that the back seats of the German-built Commodore were "a bit snug" for headroom, it's been confirmed in the latest edition of Police News (the New Zealand Police Association's online e-zine) that the lift-back models will be traded for roomier station wagons later this year.
“Not everyone has the same problems, but enough staff did for the executive to make the decision it has," said Rob Morgan, manager of the NZ Police's fleet.
The ZB Commodore lift-back offers 1.3cm less headroom in the rear than the previous-generation VF Commodore sedan. According to the Police News report, Kiwi cops have also complained about a reduction of rear legroom, a lack of driver training around switching from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive and auto braking and auto-stop safety functionality getting in the way in cases like pursuits.
It wasn't all bad, though. On the flip-side, they complimented the new Commodore's improved road-holding abilities.
The unwanted lift-back models won't simply be returned to Holden. Rather, they will be transitioned into other roles where carrying rearward passengers will be less of a priority.
"The liftbacks will be retained and transitioned into other policing roles where they are not expected to be carrying passengers in the rear seats. Districts can continue to use the liftbacks as they see fit," says the Police News report.
"Because the wagons are the more expensive option, to stay within budget 16 fewer vehicles will be replaced in the 2019-2020 vehicle replacement programme."
A total of 373 new wagons will be rolled out starting July 1.