Australians will be in for a pleasant surprise when they open the door to the new Commodore. At first glance you could be forgiven for thinking you’d pressed the wrong key and stumbled into a BMW, such is the finish of the materials and the technology that’s evident.
With Australians buying European cars in record numbers, Holden designers benchmarked the best from Germany to help them come up with the VF Commodore’s new interior, which shares only the console lid from the old car.
Everything else is new, from the steering wheel to the indicator stalks. The clumsy handbrake is gone, replaced by an electronic switch. The colour touch screen is almost as big as a handheld tablet. The topline Calais model comes with a heads-up display, which reflects vehicle speed and other key information into the driver’s line of sight.
Meanwhile few drivers and passengers will be able to resists rubbing their grubby hands on the suede material on the dash, bordered by stiched leather. The good news, though, is that the suede is synthetic, so it wipes clean with a damp cloth.
The door pockets are smaller than before but the cup holders near the centre console are bigger, and there are more small pockets, including in the door-pulls on each door. There are now two 12V power sockets (one under the air-conditioning controls and another in its original place, the centre console), and dual-zone air-conditioning standard across the range.
The seats are new, front and rear, but the headroom and legroom are the same as before because the core of the car has been carried over from the VE Commodore released in 2006. The roof, doors and glass are the same, but from the driver’s seat, everything looks brand-new.
This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling