Relatively conservative styling is well suited to a car in the upmarket class of the Holden Caprice

Relatively conservative styling is well suited to a car in the upmarket class of the Holden Caprice

For many years we have been saying that the topline Holden models, Caprice and at one stage the Statesman, offer astonishing value for money in their class.

Compare the big long-wheelbase Holdens with the high end models from the big name German marques. The Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class have similar spaciousness and performance to the Holden but cost upwards of three times the price.

Of course all this is overly simplistic, people who can afford upwards of $150,000 do so because of the image and prestige it offers.

Holden_VF_ Caprice_rearImportantly, the Australian designed and built Holdens usually cope with rough and ready backroads in the bush better than the highly priced imports.

Built tough for Australia may sound a bit corny these days, but it still means something if you’re doing endless miles in the middle of nowhere.

If you thought Holden Caprice was a bargain before, just look at the prices of the soon to be launched new models. The recommended retail prices of the Caprice and Caprice V Series have been reduced by an astonishing $10,000.

With its eyes firmly on the hire car market Holden has taken the unusual step of only offering the 3.6-litre V6 Caprice with LPG at just $54,990 RRP with six-speed automatic transmission. Caprice features new premium leather front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome exterior detail.

Holden_VF_ Caprice_interiorThe range-topping Caprice V Series provides V8 performance from its 6.0-litre engine and is priced at only $59,990. It also comes with a six-speed automatic transmission.

On-road costs have to be added to these prices.

Both models feature many of the latest high-tech items we have seen in the big name German cars for some time now.

Caprice has Sensor key technology and push button start; satellite navigation with full colour mapping and live traffic updates; an eight-inch, high-resolution colour touch screen with Holden’s MyLink app-embedded technology, including enhanced voice recognition and Siri Eyes Free integration, full iPod integration and Pandora and Stitcher SmartRadio built-in apps.

Major safety items are Auto Park Assist for parallel and right angle parking; Reverse Traffic Alert; Blind Spot Alert; Front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera; Electric park brake with automatic release; Hill Hold Control; Hill Start Assist; and Trailer Sway Control.

To that wide array of standard features, the Caprice V Series adds rear seat entertainment system with remote control, DVD, AUX input and dual channel wireless headphones. Leather front and rear bucket seats, quaintly called ‘Deluxe’ seats by Holden, add to the upmarket air. There’s a Bose premium nine speaker audio system and

An electric sunroof and 19-inch alloy wheels are major exterior upgrades on the Caprice V.

Buying a Caprice V adds Forward Collision Alert; Lane Departure Warning; a Colour HeadUp Display; to the active safety features already listed for the standard Caprice.

Speaking with obvious pride of his new upper cruse models, Holden’s Executive Director of Sales and Marketing, Philip Brook, said, “We think we’ve made a smart investment in our long-wheelbase models. Caprice has always been an extremely well designed, well-proportioned large car and the all new interior is particularly important to customers in this segment.”

We have yet to drive the long-wheelbase Holden sedans but will do so shortly and write a detailed report on our findings immediately afterwards.

The 2013 Holden Caprice range is:
Caprice 3.6-litre LPG V6 four-door sedan: $54,990 (automatic)
Caprice V Series 6.0-litre V8 four-door sedan: $59,990 (automatic)
Note: Prices do not include government or dealer charges. Contact your local Holden dealer for driveaway pricing.

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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