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Road Test


Holden Epica CDX

by Stephen Walker

7th December, 2007


Holden Epica CDX 
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Holden's mid-sized Epica is another model sourced from Daewoo in South Korea. As we have indicated, previously, the acquisition of Daewoo by General Motors was a definite win-win deal. That's because it is clear that Daewoo is good for General Motors and General Motors is good for Daewoo. The Epica is just one of four Holden models currently fully imported from South Korea. The others are Barina, Viva and Captiva.

The Holden Epica is available in two models, the CDX and the CDXi. Each is equipped with a small V6 engine, which provides good economy. The 2.0 litre V6 with manual transmission in the CDX uses just 8.2 litres of ULP per 100 kms. The 2.5 litre V6 uses 9.3 litres per 100 kms. Curiously, there is a different sized fuel tank fitted with each engine. The 2.0 litre V6 has a 65 litre tank, whilst the slightly thirstier 2.5 litre V6 has a slightly smaller 63 litre fuel tank.

On this occasion, the test car is the base model CDX fitted with automatic transmission. The choice of auto transmission makes the choice of the 2.5 litre engine mandatory. This engine produces 115 kW of power at 5,800 rpm. The torque figure is 237 Nm at 2,600 rpm.

Australia's mid-size new car market is particularly aggressive. Holden's entry, the Epica, is amongst the larger of the mid-size category and, therefore, offers quite a roomy interior. The Epica doesn't offer the finesse of a Mitsubishi 380 but it does offer an exceptional alternative to the cheap Toyota Camry (a car which abounds in the nation's fleet market).

The roominess is noticeable throughout the Epica. The interior, both at the front and in the rear provide excellent space for occupants of a mid-sized sedan. The boot is capacious, to say the least! It offers 480 litres of space. The rear seat can collapse in two sections to further improve the flexibility of the carrying capacity. One cheap aspect of the Holden Epica is the boot liner. It is as cheap as cheap can be. In fact, it demeans the good name of Holden!

At 4,805 mm long, 1,810 mm wide and 1,450 mm high the Holden Epica is clearly amongst the larger mid-size cars.

The occupants have numerous storage options in the Epica. For example, upfront there are small pockets on the front doors and the centre console has two cup holders and two storage bins (one tiny and one small). A small storage compartment, suitable for CDs, is located above the audio system. In the rear, there are no door pockets, but the passengers can drop the centre armrest when there is no middle passenger. The armrest, when dropped, has two cup holders. Further, the rear occupants can use pockets located behind each of the front seats.

Whilst not too flash, the interior is certainly a pleasant environment with pleasing seat and door trims that feel nice to touch. This provides a comforting situation as some cars, in this class, lack class!

On the inside, the uncomplicated dashboard is decidedly low-tech. This means the audio can be adjusted in a particularly easy manner. Additionally, you can adjust the clock without spending 20 minutes with the owner's manual. And that has to be a good thing. Whilst there is auto 'down' for the driver's power-operated side window, there is no auto 'up' for any window amongst the driver's control panel. There are steering wheel controls for the audio system and the cruise control. Again, these controls are easy to operate. The turn indicator stalk is, like other Holdens, mounted on the correct side of the steering column. There is an adjustment for the steering column height, offering quite a wide range, but there is no telescopic function. The driver's seat features lumbar support.

Holden Epica CDX 

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The recommended retail price for the Holden Epica begins at $25,990 for the 2.0 litre V6 with manual transmission. The test car is priced (RRP) at $28,350. This represents $27,990 for the car plus the optional metallic paint job at $360. In the traditional manner, state/territory taxes and dealer charges are an additional cost.

Standard equipment on the Epica CDX includes four airbags, ABS, air conditioning, power steering, remote locking, CD player, 16" alloy wheels (4), a 15" steel emergency spare wheel, power operated external mirrors, tinted windows, cloth trim and engine immobiliser.

On the road the Holden Epica feels good as it offers an easy to drive solution with good visibility and tidy manners. The Epica is not the type of car that will excite many people. It is more the type of car that a reserved driver with nothing to prove will find comforting and easy to handle. It offers plenty of room and, without breaking the bank, demonstrates that simplicity has an appeal all of its own in the Holden Epica. Although it lacks a driver's footrest (a feature that provides comfort, especially on long drives), it is a car that just gets on with the job of providing cost effective motoring in a manner that is highly prized by many car buyers. On paper, it looks as though the expense of ownership is quite likely to be easy to manage. And that is an important consideration to the target audience.

On that basis, the Holden Epica is not startling, neither visually nor dynamically, but it does represent good value due to its bulk and the mix of small V6 power and economy. That is sufficient to put it ahead of its major competitor.

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Other Holden content: here.

Other General Motors content: here.

Other Daewoo content: here.

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