Aus insight into NZ Commodore plan

Unveiling of Australian market ZB Commodore specs and pricing surely gives Kiwis a good idea of what we are in for.

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KIWIS won’t know exact pricing for the new Commodore until next year, however the Australian market stickers and specifications are out now and might nonetheless point to what we can expect to get – and spend.

Good news is that there’s very strong likelihood the new-gen line will hit with lower prices than have attached to the outgoing car, most particularly at the top end.

Going by Australian pricing, the hero models of the incoming ZB line – in Australia that’s the VXR liftback car and, in New Zealand, the high-riding Tourer wagon with a common 235kW/381Nm engine and all-paw drivetrain – are potentially going to place into territory occupied by the outgoing VF SV6 rather than the $70,000-plus area inhabited by the V8 fare that has no cylinder-count equal in the new family.

In Australia, the VXR V6 car starts at the equivalent of $NZ61,037 while the Tourer that Holden NZ boss Kristian Aquilina has previously cited as his best local market weapon – given the strong local market shift from traditional passenger cars toward SUVs – starts at $NZ50,135.

Interestingly, the V6 AWD Tourer restricts to just two models in Australia does not offer in the same VXR format as the road car, but instead dresses in plusher Calais trim.

Nonetheless, even with the high-end treatments it would look handy against cited rivals the Subaru Outback and Volkswagen Passat Alltrack. Australia sees the Tourer in Calais V6 AWD and Calais-V V6 AWD forms. The latter lobs in for $NZ58,857.

Bear in mind that, with the outgoing VF, the Calais wagon was at least a $74k proposition while the SS V wagon was $4000 dearer. And SS-V sedans all sat above $70,000, too.

Holden New Zealand has deferred discussing the Australian market pricing when approached for comment. Spokesman Ed Finn declined, also, to say when our pricing and model line detail will be announced beyond offering an announcement will occur in early 2018.

It’s already known that the new model will come to New Zealand after it has hit sale in Australia – in the past, we’ve been about a month behind.

This time, though, there’s potential the gap will be wider. Finn had nothing to offer in riposte when it was suggested that his comment about ZB being a first quarter arrival might mean it won’t reach the showroom until perhaps March.

Aquilina has previously said that New Zealand will not see as many Commodore variants than our neighbour.

Notwithstanding, it’s interesting to see the line across the ditch begins with an LT 2.0-litre turbo with 191kW/350Nm, priced from $33,690 ($NZ36,720) before on-road costs. 

The LT Sportwagon kicks off from $A35,890. A diesel engine is available as a $A3000 option on all LT variants over there.

The base model gets plenty of gear: a nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, as are 17-inch alloy wheels and automatic headlights. Keyless entry with push-button start, semi-automatic parking, a rear-view camera and parking sensors are all included too, along with the full suite of active safety systems – autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, and forward-collision warning – are fitted across the range. There’s no reason why NZ will not mirror this.

The driver gets an eight-way adjustable electric seat and holds a leather steering wheel from the base model up, while rear-seat passengers are provided with a 60/40 folding bench. A 7.0-inch MyLink touchscreen features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but no in-built navigation, while the spare wheel is, unfortunately, a space saver.

Moving to the RS 2.0-litre turbo in Australia means buying into a $A37,290 Liftback or $A39,490 Sportwagon. The RS can also be ordered with the V6 AWD (230kW/370Nm) powertrain, which adds $A4500 to the deal.

RS cars get 18-inch alloy wheels and a body kit, along with front sports seats. There’s also blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, a rear lip spoiler and sports leather steering wheel.

Sitting above the RS is the RS-V; our neighbours pay $A46,990 for it as a Liftback or $A49,190 in Sportwagon guise. The V6 powertrain is standard, along with more sophisticated strut suspension and an adaptive all-wheel drive system with an electronic limited-slip differential.

Wireless phone charging and an 8.0-inch screen in the instrument cluster are standard, as is a larger 8.0-inch MyLink touchscreen. That brings factory navigation and DAB plus radio to the mix. Leather seats, heated at the front, and a sport steering wheel with paddles are also included.

The Calais starts at $A40,990 in 2.0-litre turbo guise or $A43,990 with the diesel, and delivers 18-inch alloy wheels, leather trimmed and heated front seats, wireless phone charging, blind-spot warning plus rear cross-traffic alerts. The plush derivative has a 8.0-inch touchscreen with factory navigation and DAB plus radio, while the driver is treated to a 4.2-inch screen in the instrument cluster.

The Calais-V V6 AWD rides on 20-inch alloy wheels as standard, and gains adaptive LED-matrix headlights over its cheaper sibling. Buyers also get a sunroof, an 8.0-inch digital display in the instrument cluster, a head-up display, a 360-degree surround camera system, massaging and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a sports steering wheel.

The VXR V6 AWD also has 20-inch alloy wheels, but takes adaptive dampers and Brembo brakes. There are VXR branded sills and floor mats, leather sports seats (ventilated and heated front, heated rear) and Bose premium audio.

The same 360-degree camera and adaptive LED Matrix headlamps as the Calais-V are implemented.