Holden Captiva 7 Series II 2011 Review

July 22nd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

In the tough economic climate of 2011 carmakers need a full and strong repertoire of models to succeed. Holden knows this fact and has spent the last five years establishing itself as a brand with more to offer than just its Commodore flagship. The Captiva crossover has been key in helping Holden broaden its appeal since its debut in 2006. For 2011, it’s been updated with an extensive facelift and a new engine range, but will these changes tempt buyers away from competition like the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Territory? Recently, Car and SUV was surprised by the improvements and advancements Holden has made to its Series II Cruze small sedan, and was keen to see if it could repeat that success with the Captiva. After a week driving the new 2011 Captiva 7 LX we found the answers.

The 2011 Captiva is again built in two models (five-seat and seven-seat), with the larger Captiva 7 available in three trim levels – SX, CX and LX. Our test subject was the top dog of the pack, a Captiva 7 in highest-spec LX grade.

Visually the new Captiva has been worked over with some major cosmetic changes, particularly at the front. The LX model has a modern and aggressive appeal lead out by a new front grille, projector-style headlamps, wide blackened-out lower air dam and a more sculptured bonnet. The rear end changes are subtler and include new clear taillights and chrome trim with a low silver diffuser and twin tail pipes adding a sporty touch. Completing the top-spec look on the LX are chunky 5-spoke 19-inch alloys, plenty of chrome work and recessed front fog lamps. Overall, the styling updates are very effective in giving the Captiva a purposeful, contemporary look and offering buyers visual reasons to opt for the 2011 model. Continue reading “Holden Captiva 7 Series II 2011 Review” »

Making of the next-gen 2012 Holden Colorado concept video

July 11th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden’s new 2012 Colorado was recently shown for the first time in concept form at the Australian Motor Show and has already gained a load of interest. To keep up the hype, Holden has released a video showing what went into preparing the Colorado show ute for its unveiling. There’s plenty of behind the scenes stuff and footage of the show car in action.

While exact specifications for the production Colorado ute haven’t been released expect it too launch with a 2.8-litre diesel engine and be offered in various markets globally in Holden and Chevrolet forms.

Check out the video below to get an idea of what Holden’s latest ute will look like when it reaches NZ showrooms next year. Continue reading “Making of the next-gen 2012 Holden Colorado concept video” »

Holden Cruze SRi-V Series II 2011 Review

July 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Sequels don’t often live up to expectations but the Series II Holden Cruze might just buck that trend. Like a rock band recording a second album Holden had to get a new take on a now familiar sound. Shifting production of the Cruze from Korea to Australia has given the small sedan a positive new flavour. It’s received cosmetic tweaks revised suspension and in our tested SRi-V variant – a new turbocharged powerplant. Car and SUV spent some time with the Series II Cruze to find out if this sequel tastes sweeter than the original formula.

The Australian sourced Cruze has received some subtle styling tweaks to boost the vehicles appeal to a local palate. The grille and front indicators have been replaced and chrome trim has been used more extensively across the range. Our top-spec SRi-V model has been given the sporty treatment with a full body kit, bootlid spoiler, fog lamps, chrome door handles and 5-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels. The result is a very handsome small sedan with brawny big car styling in a compact body. The coupe-like roofline, broad shoulders and sharp creases work together nicely to give this sporty Cruze genuine road presence. Continue reading “Holden Cruze SRi-V Series II 2011 Review” »

Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina

July 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden has unveiled the new 2012 Barina at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. First unveiled last year in Chevrolet form as the Aero the Holden-badged 2012 Barina will go on sale in NZ this October.

The next-generation Barina will add to a Holden’s growing small car range that now includes the Australian-built Cruze sedan and hatch and the smallest of the line up, the Barina Spark.

In terms of styling, most of the Chevrolet Aero’s design has been retained including the distinctive ‘dual port’ grille which is set to give the Holden range a new corporate face in the future. Dynamic lines are carried through a high beltline, sweeping roofline and subtle integrated rear spoiler. The Barina’s design work was completed at GM’s South Korean design centre.

In the cabin the new Barina use a similar motorcycle-inspired instrument panel as the smaller Barina Spark. Blue illumination is used all round and LED backlighting also features. Standard equipment includes modern kit like Bluetooth and audio streaming, iPod connectivity, cruise control and steering wheel audio buttons. Continue reading “Holden drops covers off all-new 2012 Barina” »

2012 Holden Colorado ute debuts at Australian Show

July 1st, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Holden has pulled the covers off it’s next-generation 2012 Colorado concept ute at the Australian Motor Show in Melbourne.

The new Colorado was first shown in Chevrolet form earlier this year and Holden’s version has kept with a similar curvaceous body design and ‘dual port’ grille. The concept Colorado is presented in a crew-cab form with the production model to be launched in New Zealand and other global markets in 2012.

Holden New Zealand Managing Director, Jeff Murray said Holden’s most significant play in the growing light commercial segment is without a doubt the new generation Colorado. “Clearly this is a show vehicle however, the basic proportions and design are pretty much what you can expect for the production version of the Colorado which will arrive in Holden showrooms in this country in 2012,” Mr Murray said.

The Colorado design project was led by 26-year-old creative designer Ben Last who worked closely with General Motors‟ Colorado homeroom and design studio in Brazil along with operations in Thailand and the US to develop the final Australian show theme. Continue reading “2012 Holden Colorado ute debuts at Australian Show” »

Holden’s 2012 Colorado ute previewed with Chevy badged concept

June 20th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

While it doesn’t have a big V8 engine under its bonnet Holden’s next-generation 2012 Colorado ute is still going to be a staunch looker. To whet the appetites of global truck fans General Motors has revealed an extra tough double-cab concept Colorado in Chevrolet form.

Named the Double-Cab Rally concept, this truck follows on from the unveiling of the Colorado Space Cab concept at the Bangkok Auto Show back in March. Clearly this is a off roading ute with a pair of winches (one at the front, one at the rear) ready to go if the mud gets too deep. To help keep it going forward there’s 305/60R18 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain tyres, long suspension travel and a unique rollbar/rail system across the roof and tray. At the rear there are special holes in the tailgate for bailing sand or gravel that may be caught in the tub during racing. To further reduce weight the side windows are made of clear acrylic.

Inside the Rally concept is fitted with racing seats and five-point harnesses. Continue reading “Holden’s 2012 Colorado ute previewed with Chevy badged concept” »

New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes

May 27th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Production of the next-generation 2014 Chevrolet Impala will be shifted to GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing plant. At this production facility the new Impala will be produced alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Malibu with the decision being an early indication that Holden’s Commodore won’t be returning to U.S. shores.

The next American-market Impala will use a stretched version of GM’s Epsilon II platform, with a front-wheel drive layout. It certainly won’t prove a popular move with Chevy enthusiasts who want the famous-named large sedan to be rear-wheel powered and it also lessens the chances of the Commodore ever returning to the U.S., in either sedan, wagon or ute bodystyles.

With the Impala going front-driven GM is showing an awareness of fuel economy regulations. GM’s decision to keep most of its range front-wheel drive shows that the automaker has a preference for better fuel economy over performance. The front-wheel drive architecture also helps with developing more modern interiors due to the absence of a bulky driveshaft running the length of the car. In simple terms the Commodore just doesn’t fit into GM’s new politically correct range. It was popular in Pontiac G8 form but that was a different time and with the new Malibu being a direct competitor within the GM range the Commodore will have a tough time finding its way back into the lucrative America market. Continue reading “New Chevrolet Impala could kill Commodore’s U.S market hopes” »

New VF Holden Commodore to save weight with aluminium panels

May 25th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

In 2014 Holden is on track to launch its next-generation VF Commodore and the new model comes carrying serious expectations and some new technology. Fans can expect significant savings in fuel economy, improved aerodynamics, new electric power steering and it will also be the first Aussie-built car to use mass produced aluminium panels in its construction. To remain competitive with vehicles like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Holden’s Commodore will be saving weight wherever it can.

Total fuel savings will be in the region of 7% off the current figures of the VE Commodore range (pictured). This will drag the 9.1lt/100 km combined rating of the 3.0 L V6 SIDI down to a more acceptable 8.4 lt/100 km. The older 3.6 L Alloytec V6 will drop to 9.1 lt /100 km (26 mpg) down from its current 9.8 lt/100 km. The fuel saving measures are partly funded by the Australian federal government, which has used AU$39.8 million from the discontinued Green Car Innovation Fund.

The entire VF model’s development will apparently cost just AU$189 million which is a huge decrease on the rumoured one billion that was spent on the VE Commodore. Continue reading “New VF Holden Commodore to save weight with aluminium panels” »