The LT’s standard active safety features include Holden Eye, a forward-facing camera set-up with autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and distance/collision warnings, plus semi-automated parking with rear camera and front and rear parking sensors.
In conjunction with the usual six airbag arrangement, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and ISOFIX childseat points, all models have a five-star ANCAP safety rating. Auto-locking rear seatbelts also provide added security when fitting childseats.
The LT has Holden’s MyLink infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and iPod integration on a seven-inch colour touch-screen. Remote entry and start, cruise control, leather steering wheel, an eight-way powered driver’s seat and 17-inch alloys are also nice to have at this price.
Our Calais, from $40,990, adds 18-inch alloys, leather-appointed and heated front seats, wireless phone charging, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert and satellite navigation on an eight-inch touch-screen. A 2.0-litre diesel option ($3000) is available on LT and Calais. Rounding out the 2.0-litre line-up is the sporting RS, in Liftback ($37,290) and Sportwagon ($39,490).
The V6 models are AWD-only, starting with the RS Liftback from $40,790 and RS-V Liftback and Sportwagon from $46,990 and $49,190 respectively. A V6 Calais Liftback is $51,990 while the top sports model, the VXR V6 Liftback, is $55,990. There are no V8s and the SS badge is on hold, further reinforcing the ZB’s mature buyer target and European flavour.
One of the biggest changes for Commodore is the Liftback body architecture. In typical European style, it’s long rather than wide but provides massive space and great load flexibility, given the lack of a rear wall and parcel shelf. The 60/40-split rear seat, with handy childseat anchor points, does not fold completely flat, but the load length is sufficient for an adult to lie stretched out.
Aiding this space, regrettably, is a horrid little spare wheel and the dilemma of where to stow and secure a punctured road wheel. The rear seat is shaped for two adults and is a little more upright than most, leaving the centre rear seat as a cramped and uncomfortable option.
Rear headroom in the Liftback is just adequate, and you also sit low to the floor, so access is not as easy and with knees up there’s less leg support. Centre-console air vents, overhead lighting, USB charging and handy storage pockets are provided for rear occupants.
Up front it’s a different story. Good access, generous head and leg room, particularly with the powered driver’s seat range, and a stylish cockpit welcome drivers. That said, the presentation continues the European flavour with small dials, some unfamiliar switches and difficult-to-read controls.
A saving grace is the large central screen for all secondary functions, a centre instrument screen for all driving information, logical steering-wheel buttons, excellent vanity mirrors and handy centre-console storage compartments. However for a car with the prestige Calais badge, we were disappointed by the lack of expected features, such as a powered passenger seat or adaptive cruise control, and firm rather than plush leather.