A first look at the Holden VF Calais

Holden is banking on a host of technology in its new VF Commodore to win over new car buyers.

  • Holden is banking on a host of technology in its new VF Commodore to win over new car buyers. The top of the range model is the Calais V, and we've just taken one for a spin. Let's check it out.

  • Holden describes the VF Commodore as "the most technologically-advanced car ever created in Australia." We'll ignore the fact that most cars aren't created in Australia any longer.

  • The Calais V is the top of the range VF model. Our test vehicle came with a 3.6 litre V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission, producing 210kW.

  • The Calais V comes with LED daytime running lamps.

  • 19in alloy wheels and 245/40 R19 tyres are standard.

  • Rear parking sensors are also included.

  • Here you can see a close up of one of the rear parking sensors.

  • The Calais V comes with a blind spot alert. The door mirrors scan the blind spots of the vehicle and display an alert on the glass of the mirror when a car moves out of the driver's vision. The mirrors are also heated and the passenger side mirror tilts downwards automatically when the car is put into reverse to prevent hitting gutters when parking.

  • One of the sensors on the front of the Calais V. The car has front parking sensors and also comes with a forward collision alert. The latter uses a windscreen mounted camera to warn at three preset distance settings.

  • Keyless entry and push-button start is included. There's also a remote vehicle start, which is activated by unlocking the car, then immediately holding down the remote start button on the key.

  • The cabin is well equipped and comfortable and while there are plenty of controls, most of it is well laid out and easy to use.

  • The menu button on the right side indicator stalk controls the trip computer on the instrument cluster.

  • A lane departure warning notifies the driver when they are moving outside a lane without indicating. It works well enough, however unlike some other cars we've seen, it doesn't steer the car back in the right direction.

  • The MyLink infotainment system can be controlled using steering wheel controls. You can answer and end calls, change the audio function and adjust the volume on the left of the wheel.

  • The lane assist and forward collision warnings are easily activated from the left side of the steering wheel controls. Cruise control is also available here.

  • The Calais V comes with an automatic parking assist function. This feature self-parks the car, with the driver only having to operate the pedals. When the system is activated, the wheel will automatically turn to park either parallel or at 90 degrees. We found its implementation very hit and miss and on one occasion it parked over a gutter.

  • A head-up display unit projects information like speed directly onto the driver windscreen. You can adjust the brightness of the HUD and its position on the window, and you can also turn it off if you wish. We found it very helpful.

  • The Calais comes with Holden's MyLink infotainment comprising of an 8in colour touchscreen display.

  • Features include the ability to access the Pandora streaming music application using your smartphone's internet connection, along with other apps like Stitcher (internet radio) and BringGo (satellite navigation).

  • The MyLink system is easy enough to use and the controls are well laid out.

  • Full satellite navigation comes standard on the Calais V.

  • Two auxiliary ports and a USB port are also standard, though there's no digital radio.

    We'll have a more in depth-look at the Calais V in the coming week.

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