- Purchase Price
- A little thirsty on fuel
In 2016, local manufacturing of Holden cars will come to a stop. Why? They say it’s hard to stay competitive in a market that is expensive to produce cars in. Especially one that doesn’t buy its vehicles in the hordes it previously did.
Despite that, here we have what is arguably the best Commodore we have ever seen. It seems fitting that the last locally made Commodore will be the best we’ve ever had. So here’s our 2014 Holden VF Commodore Calais Sportwagon review.
The Calais, for buyers, sits on the luxury branch of the Commodore model line-up. On the sporty side there is the SV6, SS, SS V and SS V Redline models. On the luxury side there is the Evoke, International, Calais, and the Calais V.
The Calais is powered by the proven 210kW V6 SIDI V6 engine that in partnership with the newer and lighter construction can deliver a fuel economy figure of 9Litres per 100km.
Across the VF Commodore range, there is also a swag of new technology which does really well to bring the car into the 21st Century and really compete in this area. The Holden MyLink system is the centre piece of this and brings the whole experience together.
The final piece of this puzzle is the safety. It is the safest Commodore ever and its 5 Star ANCAP rating is proof of that. However, let’s get down and see what the 2014 Holden VF Commodore Calais Sportwagon is all about.
Styling plays a big part and the previous VE Commodore had done well for its age, but was long overdue for a refresh.
The VF Commodore brings some great modern styling, allowing it to both play to those who love a more aggressive look, and those who prefer something a little more sophisticated.
On the Sportwagon there aren’t many hints that this is a VF Commodore from the rear. The design has virtually remained unchanged. Whilst it would have been nice to have an update here, there was nothing really wrong with it in the first place.
On the inside, you open up to an interior which would trick you into believing that this is a car that should be asking you more for your dollar. Especially when directly compared to the VE Commodore.
There is a large LCD screen for the MyLink system, a fresh new steering wheel, smart looking instrument cluster and seats that want you to relax and enjoy the ride.
There’s simply no comparison to the VE Commodore Calais. The VF Commodore Calais is just that good.
There’s something nice about driving a proper rear wheel drive station wagon. Disregarding the fact that it only has a 210kW V6, it knows how to put the power down when it wants to.
The experience is enhanced even further with its great feeling steering control and its safety systems that don’t intrude too much if you want to have a bit of fun.
The six-speed automatic was smooth and provided gear shifts that were sometimes unnoticeable, and the electric power steering makes getting in and around tight spaces a breeze. Unlike what other reviews have said about electric power steering in the VF Commodore, it suits this car really well. That’s all.
Standard safety systems including ABS, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Traction Control, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Stability Control and Hill Hold Control all essentially perform behind the scenes, but will do an excellent job when it is their time to shine.
Big things affecting the drivability that are new to the VF Commodore include an Electric Park Brake, Blind Spot Alert, Reverse Traffic Alert and Automatic Park Assist. Essentially these things mean that it isn’t impossible to have an accident, but it makes you less likely to get into an accident. It will be a lot harder to miss the car in your blind spot, you won’t have an excuse on not being able to park straight and you won’t get in trouble for pulling the handbrake on too tightly.
On the road, the Calais it not only is comfortable but feels commanding. Finding some twisty roads allowed us to feel the car hit the apex and power out with a satisfying level of composure. Whilst it isn’t a V8 model, you’re rewarded with fuel economy of just under 10Litres per 100km.
It isn’t an amazing fuel economy figure, but much more palatable thanks to its use of Aluminium in a number of major body panels.
Living with this car day in and day out, you tend to find things that annoy you. The Calais, whilst not delivering on a stellar fuel economy, did do a good job at performing day in and day out in a number of roles. Whether this was doing the school run, picking up some furniture and going for multiple late night drives.
The remote start function made sure that the car was nice and cool before departing and the fact that a key is no longer needed to be in hand when unlocking and starting the car is a big bonus.
The MyLink system with its iOS integration, App support and overall ease of use made this car pretty easy going.
It also impressed quite a few along the way.
How much does a VF Commodore Calais Sportwagon cost? Well, it is a lot less than you might think.
In Brisbane, our drive away price starts from $46,954 for the very car we reviewed. This includes a 3 Year/100,000km Warranty, Roadside Assist, and Capped Price Servicing at $185.
For a vehicle this size, you’re hard pressed to find something this cheap and something that shares the build quality and features the VF Commodore now has.
Over the last few years the VF Commodore has tried hard to stay relevant with a car that wasn’t up to par with what the competition was offering. It certainly wasn’t able to compete with other smaller vehicles out in the market.
Today, with the Holden VF Commodore and in particular the 2014 Holden VF Commodore Calais Sportwagon, you have a car that deserves some love. Holden picked up their game and delivered a car that Australians can be proud of.
If you haven’t drive one yet. Get out and test drive one, you’ll be glad you did.