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Holden Calais VZ 2004 Review

If you want a five speed automatic transmission, you have to have the 190.

Calais V6 sells for $52,660 putting it among some class competition from Europe – albeit not quite the same size or engine capacity but with plenty of prestige.

But Holden has turned up the features wick giving Calais some choice goodies such as leather upholstery as standard equipment, park distance control and a set of sexy looking spoke alloy wheels.

It's a tempting package that stands out against other VZ Commodore models.


  • Has good engine performance spoiled by exhaust note that sounds the same as old 3.8 Ecotec engine.
  • Impressive fuel economy for a big, heavy car, average can get into the 10s without much trouble.
  • Five speed automatic transmission captures engine torque well, flicks between ratios quickly, contributes to fuel economy.
  • Active Select gear selection buttons on steering wheel are superfluous.
  • Transmission is similar to previous BMW five speeder.
  • Still a degree of vibration from the drivetrain at highway speeds.
  • Induction noise intrusive under heavy throttle applications.
  • Engine has good mid range and top end response. More was expected lower down. Could have been due to drive-by-wire throttle operation on all new VZs.
  • Has impressive dynamics for family four door sedan. Steers and rides better than ever. Fun element in sporty feel to Calais and other models. Steering improvements and wider tyres contribute to solid on road feel.
  • Interior pretty much the same as previous model with minor tweaks and some extra flash stuff. Still looks good, easy to use, Calais is features rich.
  • Couldn't work out how to get natural outside air through climate control system unless "conditioned."
  • Exterior styling possibly too similar to previous model. Looks good, more imposing front treatment, same at the sides and rear.
  • Like the electronic safety controls, particularly ESP, (Electronic Stability Program) that individually brakes each wheel to counteract skidding.
  • Has latest generation Bosch ABS and an improved traction control that doesn't kick back through the accelerator like before.
  • Sound system in Calias impresses. Electric controls to many functions. Boot release is by keyfob only.
  • New, attractive colours lift car's appeal.

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Range and Specs

(base) 3.8L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,800 – 9,990 2004 Holden Calais 2004 (base) Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 10 car listings in the last 6 months

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