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Holden Epica CDXi (copyright image)

The Holden Epica CDXi diesel is priced from $33,490*.
An Epica CDX diesel is available from $30,490*.
Automatic transmission is standard on both versions.

* recommended retail price

ROAD TEST:   Holden Epica CDXi (Diesel)

by Stephen Walker

3rd March, 2009

Home > Road Tests > Holden News

Diesel engines continue to satisfy drivers for one major reason. And that is the frugal fuel consumption. But there are other benefits too. These include, and they are related to the lower fuel consumption, less time spent at the bowser because you just don't need to go there so often. The other important benefit is the reduced amount of emissions from the tailpipe. This factor means we can all breathe just that little bit easier!

Sales of diesel engined cars continue to drive more and more interest in these economical vehicles. Holden introduced their South Korean sourced Epica to the diesel brigade last year. Thus Holden is currently offering diesel engines in their Astra, Epica, Captiva and Colorado models.

The Holden Epica line-up is now rationalised to a choice between a 2.5 litre 6 cylinder petrol engine and a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder (common rail) turbo diesel engine. There are two trim levels to choose between, the base model being the CDX and the higher level model is known as CDXi.

On this occasion, we drive the diesel engined version. And drive it we do! In fact, covering well over 3,000 kms during an extended trip from Melbourne to Sydney and beyond, then back to Melbourne. During drive sessions of this magnitude you really get to know a car. The Holden Epica diesel satisfied all aspects of driving pleasure. Whilst the Epica doesn't always spring to mind when talking about diesel cars, it certainly has a way of satisfying those behind the steering wheel. It's not a car to get excited about. In that respect it is just like a Toyota Camry or a Honda Accord Euro. However, the Holden Epica has an honest way of just going about its business. The Epica never disappoints, although it does demonstrate a pleasant experience for the driver rather than a dynamic experience.

Holden Epica CDXi (copyright image)

Stephen Walker with the
Holden Epica CDXi.

On the road you do notice some wind noise around the "A" pillars at speed. You also notice that the air conditioning (dual-zone in the Epica CDXi) works quite effectively.

And if you're curious about diesel 'rattles', I can confirm there is a bit of noise emanating from the engine, but you only notice it at idle.

The mid-size Holden Epica at 4,805 mm in length is very, very close to being a standard sized car. It has a roomy interior, offering plenty of comfort for four adults, five at a 'pinch'. The boot, at 480 litres, is huge and quite useful in its lay-out.

But it is the size of the fuel consumption which is a good talking point. On the well known and often quoted combined cycle, the Holden Epica diesel will use 7.6 litres of fuel for each 100 kilometres on average. This is a good figure for a car of Epica's size. The fuel tank holds 65 litres of diesel fuel.

A six speed automatic transmission is standard across the Holden Epica range. It features just one overdrive ratio. Front wheel drive is the chosen method to put the power to ground. A healthy 320 Nm of torque is available at 2,000 rpm, whilst the power from the transversely mounted SOHC diesel is 110 kW at 4,000 rpm.

An interesting aspect of the Epica's development is the fact that General Motors Daewoo used 261 vehicles (petrol and diesel) to ensure 'everything' was the way it was meant to be. Those vehicles covered 3 million kilometres in testing around the world, including 64,000 kms in Australia. The engines were tested for a combined 6 million kilometres.

Standard safety features for the Holden Epica include six airbags, electronic stability programme (ESP) and numerous other aspects which indicate that GM Daewoo have respect for occupant safety.

Other features which come with the Holden Epica include alloy wheels (16" with CDX, 17" with CDXi), power windows (front and rear), cruise control, 4 way adjustable steering column (all cars should have this useful feature), automatic headlights, remote central locking, single disc CD player with a 6 speaker audio system, steering wheel mounted audio controls, radio antenna in glass and an engine immobiliser amongst other items. The front door bins are narrow and shallow. There is no driver's footrest.

Holden Epica CDXi (copyright image)

Holden Epica CDXi
Location: Holbrook, NSW.

Additionally, the Epica CDXi has rear parking sensors, 6 disc CD player with an 8 speaker audio system, steering wheel and gear shifter wrapped in leather, together with front fog lights amongst a few other features.

Metallic paint is optional for the CDX at $500, whilst leather trim is optional for the CDXi at $2,000.

Prices for the Holden Epica begin at $28,490 (RRP) for the petrol-engined Epica CDX. The diesels are priced at $30,490 (RRP) for the Epica CDX and $33,490 (RRP) for the Epica CDXi.

As a mid-sized car, the Holden Epica is best described as an almost large car that has been well tested and now, importantly, offers a diesel engine option. The proven economic value of the diesel is well known, whilst the roominess of the Epica is appreciated. The price is right, whilst the driving dynamics are non-existent. Thus this car suits folks who just want non-engaging motoring with the comfort that comes with the space that is provided by the Holden Epica.


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