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Road Test

Holden Caprice

by Stephen Walker

28th September, 2008

Holden Caprice (WM series) 
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With a successful export programme, Holden's big cars are as popular overseas as they are at home.

The big "twins", the Statesman and Caprice, continue to appeal to quite a broad range of customers. Government fleets, executives, hire car operators, taxis and the occasional private buyer are attracted to the comfort and space provided by the locally built large sedans.

On this occasion, I take the top-of-the-line Holden Caprice for a mighty good run.

The test car was coloured "Evoke", whilst the "Onyx" interior was the standard leather. The engine was the 6 litre V8, coupled to a 6 speed automatic transmission.

Our drive programme around Sydney and the Hunter Valley covered 2,057 kilometres. More than sufficient to determine that the Holden Caprice offers a very relaxed driving experience. And it was the same for the passengers too!

On the road, I formed the view that the firmer ride of the Caprice was preferred more so than the softer ride offered by the Statesman version of the WM series Holdens. However, that is certainly a personal preference as I fully expect and accept many folks will prefer the softer ride offered by the Statesman.

Stephen Walker with the Holden Caprice (WM series) 
Image copyright: Next Car Pty Ltd 
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Performance from the imported V8 is just as you would imagine. It propels the Caprice particularly well and I expect it performs at a greater level than that sought by most owners. The locally manufactured 3.6 litre V6 is available at a lower price (minus $4,000), for those who have no desire for the big V8.

The 270 kW V8, which provides an enormous 530 Nm of torque, enjoys fuel. The 'combined' rating comes in at 14 litres per 100 kilometres, when premium unleaded petrol is used. Although the use of the lower grade petrol (91RON) is permitted. Fuel tank capacity is 73 litres.

On the inside, the roomy interior offers lots of comfort. The rear seat legroom measures up well, even for the tallest of passengers. There can be no criticism of the interior comfort levels. The space is just huge, to use an expression I wouldn't normally use.

Standard equipment for the top Holden includes (but isn't limited to) tri-zone electronic climate control air conditioning, 220 watt Bose audio system, DVD player with dual LCD screens (front LCD screen also plays DVD when the car is stationary), six airbags, 18" alloy wheels (including the spare wheel), electronic stability programme (ESP®), quad exhaust outlets (V8 only), leather wrap steering wheel (with height and reach adjustment), front and rear park assist sensors, electro-chromatic interior rear view mirror, passenger side exterior mirror dips when reverse gear selected to show low-level hazards, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlamp mode, 6 disc CD player (MP3 compatible), 10-way electric adjustment of front seats (slide, cushion tilt, height, recline, lumbar), driver’s seat memory (3 positions), power windows (driver and front passenger windows include an express up and down feature), cruise control and trip computer.

Holden Caprice (WM series) 
Image copyright: Next Car Pty Ltd 
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Priced from $72,690 (RRP), the Caprice V8 is Holden's top-of-the-line model.

On the value equation, the Holden Caprice measures up quite well. It is a big car (5,160 mm long) and it is well equipped, thus providing quite a lot for those purchasing dollars. The comfortable environment for the appreciative occupants is rewarding, but finding a suitable parking space in busy suburban business centres is not.

In summary, the name of the game with the Holden Caprice is abundance. There is an abundance of space, an abundance of luxury, an abundance of power and an abundance of fuel consumption. The Caprice offers everything in abundance. That will more than satisfy many prestige car buyers.

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