For as long I can remember the Calais V is your choice if you wanted Caprice like features but didn’t want the long wheel base and the VF model is no exception.
The Calais V on the outside has a classy look the chrome grill and highlight around the fog lights and DRl’s give certainly give it an up market look. Finished in Phantom Black metallic paint the Calais V is extremely good looking specially as the black paint really sets off the chrome trim.
The inside and the Calais V just oozes luxury, The leather trimmed flat bottomed steering wheel is comfortable to hold and has the buttons for the audio, cruise control, voice recognition and the crash avoidance which allows you to set the distance or turns it off.
The instrument panel features blue back lighting apart to set it apart from the sports models that have red back ground.
The LCD screen is multi coloured and offers a great array of information available via the stalk.
The dash has great looking light suede and strip going across which is continued across the door trims, which adds to the classy feel of the interior.
The Calais V is also equip with the new HUD or head up display which projects the speedo and few other functions onto the windscreen in front of the driver so it means you don’t have to look down at the speedo.
The centre stack featuring the superb Holden Mylink system now if you had read some of my previous reviews VF Commodore reviews then you would know how much of a fan I was of this system.
The Mylink system offers you full connectivity with your smart phone which means you doing just about anything, from live Bluetooth streaming of music from your device, live stream of music from the internet via the built in Pandora and stitcher apps, watch DVD’s while you vehicle is stationary.
The 8inch colour touch screen is easy to see and very easy to use. You can also adjust various set ups for your vehicle via the screen which allows you to personalise some features.
The HIVA controls for the dual zone climate control aircon are below the Mylink system and they are just simply classy looking.
The console features the buttons for the Auto Park Assist, Front and Rear Park Assist and the Electric Parking Brake. At the front is as handy storage tray and 12 volt socket which makes it a perfect place to store your phone.
The dark leather seats which have a contrasting light stripe down the middle of them are extremely comfortable and offer a great amount of support, for the winter they also are heated, the seats have 8 way power adjustment as well as electric lumbar adjustment, the seat also has a memory function so your favourite driving position is only 1 push of button once you’ve stored it.
The back side is spacious offers plenty of comfort and great amount of legroom, when you have 2 passengers in the back the middle folds down to reveal a handy armrest and in the middle of the base of the are seat are 2 retractable cup holders.
As you would expect the boot has plenty of room to carry everyone’s luggage.
Under the bonnet the Calais V I tested was powered by Holden’s 3.6L V6 engine developing 210kw of power and 320Nm of torque.
No surprises with this engine it has a decent amount of power, very tractable to drive in everyday traffic and will cruise effortlessly and very economically on the freeway.
The 6 speed auto worked well and seemed to be well suited to the engine I never did have a problem with it hunting for gears. It does have a sport shift function if you want to change gears yourself, but to be honest I didn’t use it all during the week as the car was such comfortable cruiser you just jump put it drive and enjoy the comfort.
The VF Calais V rides on the Holden’s comfort tuned suspension unlike previous models where the suspension was more performance based, and I that’s why this car was such a dream to drive.
The suspension just soaked up the bumps, never once feeling unsettled under conditions I experienced during the week. Everybody that rode in it during commented on how good the ride was, on the freeway Calais V was extremely smooth indeed this car would make an awesome long distance cruiser.
The electric power steering (EPS) also receives a more comfort orientated setting, and is exceptionally well weighted and offers a great amount of feedback but is light enough to make parking easy as.
The Calais V is loaded to the gunwales with technology and safety features including ABS, EBD, Safety and technology wise the VF SSV is chock full of it thanks to a move to the new Global-A Serial Data Electrical Architecture, Electric Park Brake, Hill Start Assist, Reverse camera with front and rear parking sensors, Auto Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Reverse Traffic Alert and colour Head-up Display, ISOFIX child restraint systems, Rear seat belt alert that warns the driver when rear seatbelts are unbuckled. Boosted side impact protection with latest pelvis/thorax airbags, Improved safety cage as you can see quite a list and I might have forgotten a few things.
There was not a lot I found wrong with the Calais V the week I had it and I think Holden should be congratulated for the work they have done the VF they certainly taken the VF Calais V to another compared to previous models. The amount of features, technology and luxury is something you would be use to finding on a much more expensive car in fact many people were very surprised to find out the Calais V’s RRp was less than $45,000 most them picked it as costing over $60,000.
I can’t say enough about how good this car really is, if your after a family car that will carry 5 people and their luggage in luxury and comfort then look no further, for those of you thinking about an SUV the Calais V also comes in sportwagon which more carrying capacity.
Do you self a favour get down to your local Holden dealer and check out the Calais V you won’t regret it, for more information on the Calais V or the rest of Holden’s VF Commodore range visit their web site www.holden.com.au