Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Luxury Still in Vogue; Cool New Features Add to the Allure of an Australian Sedan Favourite

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Luxury Still in Vogue; Cool New Features Add to the Allure of an Australian Sedan Favourite

Article excerpt

CHANCES are that you've probably seen me in front of you at a red traffic light or at a road works stop sign. I'm the one bopping away to the music singing at the top of my lungs, screaming a bit louder during the chorus to disguise the fact that I don't really know many of the other verses.

If we are forced to linger a little longer I usually throw in a few arm movements and shoulder jerks for variety, hopefully in time to the music. I am after all of Generation X, the latter half let it be hastily said, and we pride ourselves on knowing our music.

As children we supped on a diet of our parents' record collection of hits from the '60s and '70s, as teenagers we grooved to the beat of the '80s blaring from walkmans and in the '90s we sweated it out on the dance floor to the latest rave mix. Now we are trendy enough to appreciate modern-day wonders while still shaking our heads in that oh so wise fashion that this generation actually believes that Forever Young is a Jay Z original.

In fact, there are so many songs floating around in our modest heads that it is sometimes difficult to put a name to a ditty. That whole tip-of-the-tongue scenario is horribly frustrating especially when your radio station of choice is in the middle of a 60-minute playlist.

Imagine then what a lovely surprise it was to glance up at the top-of-the-range entertainment system in the Holden Calais and see the name of the current song and artist lighting up the screen. That is just one of the many features in this luxurious offering, a car which incidentally first made a name for itself in 1984 a the very year the Alphavilles were enjoying chart-topping success with Forever Young.

Comfort

As one of Holden's top billings you would expect the Calais to offer an above standard range of pampering and it certainly doesn't disappoint. The soft leather seats with lumbar support are comfortable to stretch out in taking the pain out of longer journeys. The driver's seat has an eight-way power adjustment and coupled with a steering wheel that can move for reach and height makes for the ultimate in driver comfort. The dash and trim can sometimes be boring in models of this type but the Calais has kept things lively with silver accents and sporty materials. Instruments take the common-sense approach with the more frequently used dials at the driver's touch.

On the road

There is little doubt that the Calais benefits enormously from the switch to the 3.6-litre V6 SIDI powerplant. For those unfamiliar with the technology, the Spark Ignition Direct Injection allows for improved performance and efficiency by directing fuel straight into the combustion chamber. The Calais sings lustily through the widest part of the torque band with the Linear Control Suspension keeping bumps to a minimum. Tight around corners and powerful on the open road it makes for a pleasurable drive. …

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