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Holden Caprice V road test

by Stephen Walker

29th January, 2014

Home > Road Tests > Holden

Related stories:
GM to cease Holden production in Australia
11th December, 2013
Holden Caprice prices announced
15th May, 2013

Holden's largest car has a ready made market amongst hire car operators. To a lesser extent the chauffeur driven government/corporate car and the taxi industry are likely customers, too. But there is still a number of Australians, in the private market, who appreciate the virtues of a large sedan. They, quite rightly, value the roominess that is available in a car such as the Holden Caprice.

Holden's large sedan remains the last of the big Australian-made cars. Whilst popular at one time, the sales of such large sedans has waned over the past couple of decades. Yet the Caprice remains with us for the time being. Its future is limited though.

Test Car particulars

The test car was the Holden Caprice V. This is the top of the two model line-up.

The colour of our car, Prussian Steel Grey, was introduced in 2013 when the VF and WN series Holdens were released.


The Caprice V is priced* from $59,990* excluding options, accessories and on-road costs.


Two variants of the WN series Holden are currently on the market - Caprice (priced from $54,490*) with a V6 engine and the V8-engined Caprice V.

Driving the Holden Caprice V

One thing that is evident with any long wheelbase car and that is the smooth ride. It is amply evident with the Caprice and it ranks high as one of the best features of this car.

Holden have undertaken serious work with the driving dynamics over the years and the fruits of their endeavours are demonstrated with the Caprice V. Each of the aspects in this area are very good - steering, braking and suspension are all up to the required standard for a luxury sedan. NVH are well controlled, too.

If there is a downside of the Holden Caprice it is the physical size of it! The very feature that makes the interior so good is the very aspect that hinders parking the car in a busy urban environment. You do get used to it and the rear view camera is a convenience that is absolutely neccessary when reversing into tight parking spaces.

In getting around Melbourne and nearby environs, covering some 518 kilometres, with the Caprice we were fully satisfied with the driving aspects of this big car. Except one point - the performance from a standing start. I never felt as though this V8 was a good performer. Early in the drive programme I checked under the bonnet to make sure it was a V8 in there!

The head-up display is a worthy addition to the Caprice V and I can confirm it is a handy driving tool.

Living with the Holden Caprice V

The spaciousness is very obvious upon entry to the Caprice. With plenty of room for five occupants, this car proves that space is a good thing when you have a car load of adults.

To appreciate the roominess, the numbers tell the story. Front legroom is 1,074mm and in the rear it is 1,097mm!

The interior was comfortable. Our driving included two or three occupants for much of our driving time. Spaciousness was appreciated. However, each occupant (including myself) thought the interior didn't really match the perception of a luxury sedan. The contrasting coloured stripe on the seating area was out of place in the opinion of each of our occupants. Upfront there is some leather on the seating surfaces.


Caprice V comes with a 6.0-litre V8 engine that packs up to 260kW of power at 5,600rpm and 517Nm of torque at 4,400rpm. Active Fuel Management has the ability to shut down half the cylinders in certain circumstances in an effort to reduce fuel consumption. You will never notice the activation and deactivation of this seamless sytem.

Automatic transmission, a six-speed unit, is the sole driveline on offer. It has a sequential manual change selector - if need be.

Disc brakes are fitted all-around.

Four 19"x8" alloy wheels are standard.

The power assisted steering is of the rack and pinion variety.


Caprice V comes with a blind-spot alert sytem; forward crash alert; and lane departure warning which are all an appreciated driving aid - but these will never replace responsible driving practices.

Dual front, side chest and side head airbags are standard. Anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC) are also standard.

The Blind Spot Alert is an excellent driving aid. I would like to see this feature fitted to all cars.

Three ISOFIX child seat points are fitted, which is better than two as it improves flexibility as well as capacity.

In earning a five-star ANCAP crash worthiness rating, the WN series Caprice models gained 35.06 points (out of 37).

Fuel and emissions

Consumption for the Caprice V V8 is rated at 11.7 litres/100 kilometres.

The on-board trip computer indicated our consumption was 10.6 litres per 100 kilometres. We were happy with that as our driving was a good mix of varying traffic conditions - highway and local streets - sometimes in heavily congested circumstances.

Standard unleaded petrol (91RON) is suitable for the V8, as is E10 and E85. Yes, E85 is suitable for the WN series V8 engine. Another suitable fuel is premium unleaded petrol -PULP- (95RON) which provides a slightly improved performance level.

The fuel tank capacity is 71 litres.

CO2 emissions rating is 278 grammes/kilometre on the 'combined cycle' for the V8.


The Caprice V has a convenient keyless entry/start as standard. So, too, a sunroof (which I dislike); dual screens for back seat passengers - with remote control; satellite navigation; electric operation for the parking brake and remote engine starting (gets the air con going before you even get into the car) and lots more.

In the gimmickery department there are new technology items such as Automatic Park Assist; Reverse Traffic Alert; and Trailer Sway Control. These types of technology should be practiced slowly before letting yourself loose with their use.


Yes, there is Bluetooth and it has some voice activated features. An eight-inch touchscreen is standard. USB connection is included, too.


Length: 5,160 mm
Width: 1,898 mm (excluding mirrors)
Height: 1,470 mm
Wheelbase: 3,009 mm

Boot capacity: 531 litres.


When fitted with appropriate towing equipment, the Caprice will tow a braked trailer (and load) up to 2,100kg.

After Sales

Three year/100,000 kilometre warranty is featured and a fairly basic roadside assistance package is included for the first year (conditions apply to both the warranty and roadside assistance).

Capped price servicing is a Holden feature (conditions apply).


The Holden Caprice V will only appeal to those seeking a large car - but that is a shrinking market segment.

However, the qualities offered by the Caprice are not only the spacious interior with a nice ride but it comes with a price that makes this car worthy of more consideration than it seems to achieve.

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


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