Holden Caprice V has bundles of space, a touch of pace but it lacks a little grace
What we like:
- Heads up display
Not so much:
- Interior doesn’t exude elegance
- Build quality
- Doesn’t fit in a standard parking space
- Boot opening
Holden’s Commodore based Caprice V limousine is the last of the locally-made long wheelbase luxury sedans. And, as Holden faces a seismic shift in its line-up in the near future, we look at whether the Caprice is a true interpretation of limo luxury and if Holden should trawl through the General Motors product catalogue for a worthy successor.
Price and Equipment
Holden’s Caprice range opens with the gas powered V6 model for $54,990. Step up to the V8 only Caprice V for $60,490 and Holden offers all the equipment in their technological chest of drawers. Self-parking, Holden’s MyLink infotainment system with satellite navigation, Pandora and Stitcher which are wired up to a BOSE stereo. In the Caprice V, rear passengers are treated to screens mounted on the back of the front seats that display DVDs played in the head unit. Headphones are supplied along with a remote control.
There’s also Holden’s excellent heads-up display, remote start, collision and lane change alert in addition to blind spot monitoring.
Caprice models ride on 18 inch wheels and the Caprice V is upgraded to 19inch rims.
Limousines like the Caprice are all about comfort and space. The rear quarters are definitely the big Holden’s piece de resistance. At 1097 millimetres, there is plenty of room for rear passengers to stretch out on the comfortable (outer) rear seats and enjoy a movie of their choosing while they are chauffeured along.
Although the Caprice can seat five, the rear bench is sculpted for the two outer passengers and, as a result, the middle chair is a little too high, a little too narrow and little too firm. Best to opt for a window seat.
Moving to the front, Holden’s new dash design introduced on the VF Commodore-this series of Caprice has been codenamed “WN”- has undergone a luxury themed makeover. Cream vinyls and artificial suede dominate the cabin and create much of the interior’s ambience. Satin silver style inlays and touches of chrome and blue interior lighting complete the look.
The choice of colours and textures suggest that Holden was attempting a sporty/luxury theme but, the use of some cheap looking and feeling materials see that this ideology is executed with only some success. Similarly, the flat-bottomed sports steering wheel shared with the SS-V was great to use, but appeared a little out of place.
The heated front seats-driver’s with three memory settings and the passenger’s with two- are body hugging, supportive and comfortable. There is also ample front legroom but, disappointingly, head room in our sunroof equipped test car was a little tight for passengers over six-feet tall.
All passengers are entertained by Holden’s MyLink infotainment system. Graphics are crisp and clear and the eight inch touchscreen is responsive. Applications such as Pandora and Stitcher help expand the musical palate and sound through the BOSE speakers is above satisfactory.
Holden’s voice control was effective in understanding and actioning requests and this was particularly useful when dialling up navigational commands without taking hands off the steering wheel or eyes off the road.
Speaking of keeping one’s eyes on the road, Holden’s adjustable head-up display conveys essential information such as vehicle speed, engine revs and the all-important speed limit all in the driver’s line of sight, all without being distracting. Navigational instructions can also be display.
As expected for a car of the Caprice’s size, the boot is a cavernous at 531 litres, but we found the boot opening a little small and awkward there protrusions from boot lid which could pose a hazard when loading and unloading cargo.
Engine and Transmission
Holden has fitted the tried and tested 6.0 litre Generation IV Chevrolet-derived V8 and six-speed automatic. The V8 churns out 260kW @ 5600rpm and 517Nm @ 4400rpm which allows the limo to motor along swiftly.
However, the duo lacks some polish: accelerate hard and lift off the throttle and be greeted by a “thump.” Still, the Active Fuel Management cylinder shut-off system helped keep consumption down, with an average of around 14.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
Ride and Handling
Despite the Caprice’s size, the big sedan tackles twists and bends with aplomb. Although not sporty, the Caprice is pleasant to drive. Ride is not uncomfortable, but it could be considered a little too firm and fragile for a car vying for “limo” status.
The park assist function helps slot the Caprice into parallel or right angled parks.
The Holden Caprice range has been awarded an ANCAP five-star crash safety rating and the car is fitted with Electronic Stability Control that incorporates: anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), electronic brake assist (EBA) and traction control (TC).
Blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, collision avoidance and reverse traffic alert all help to prevent accidents occurring. A rear camera is fitted and the image is displayed on the eight-inch touchscreen in the dash. Unfortunately, image quality is poor and as the camera is mounted in the boot lid and, is exposed to the elements. In short: when it rains, your image will be blurry.
Dual front, side and curtain airbags cushion the impact should the unavoidable happen.