Holden’s all-new Calais V V8 has won News Ltd’s 2006 Car of the Year award, the highest motoring accolade from Australia’s largest print media organisation.
The topline VE Commodore model scored 79 out of a possible 80 points from the eight News Ltd motoring writers and was 20 points ahead of its nearest challenger.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director, Denny Mooney, said the award was particularly important for the recognition it gave Holden’s entire workforce.
Newspaper titles involved in judging were the Daily Telegraph in New South Wales, Herald-Sun in Victoria, Adelaide Advertiser in South Australia, Courier-Mail in Queensland, Hobart Mercury in Tasmania and Sunday Times in Western Australia.
“This is a win for Holden’s 8000 employees who have given their all to deliver the VE Commodore,” Mr Mooney said.
“It’s really gratifying to see the car recognised for all the hard work of everybody at Holden to make VE Commodore successful.
“Recognition from some of Australia’s most accomplished automotive media adds to the credibility of the award.
“This is a real honor for an Australian manufacturer which is competing with the world’s biggest car brands in this market.”
News Ltd judges praised Calais’ striking design, strong handling, suitability for Australian conditions and value for money.
Several made favorable comparisons to far more expensive European marques, with the Courier-Mail’s Gordon Lomas writing: “The Calais is simply the best car in the Commodore range that boasts the type of ammunition needed to fight Euro marques on their terms but at less than half their price.”
Adelaide Advertiser motoring editor Bryan Littlely: “Class, comfort and performance … the Calais V has it all and delivers faith that the future of Australian auto design is in good hands.”
The win was Holden’s fourth with Australia’s largest newspaper group in nine years. Others were the new generation Monaro (2001), TS Astra (1998) and VT Commodore (1997).
The award follows Holden receiving the People’s Choice Award in the first annual Drive Car of the Year Award organised by drive.com.au, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne.
The all-new VE Commodore SS V performance hero received almost 9000 votes or 6.1 per cent of almost 150,000 votes cast, with the next highest votegetter on 4.2 per cent. Holden variants received 13.3 per cent of all votes, including 12.4 per cent for VE models.
Drive.com.au editor Toby Hagon: “It’s hard to go past the SS V’s simple recipe of a powerful V8 engine in an affordable rear-wheel drive sedan. There are few cars in the world that can match this kind of rear-drive performance for the price.”
Holden has also claimed MOTOR’s Bang For Your Bucks award with the SS Commodore and been nominated for the annual World Car Of The Year award among other recognition for the all new fourth generation car range.
Source - Holden
News Limited Car of the Year – What the Judges said
Kevin Hepworth, Daily Telegraph, Sydney: “It seems that even one billion dollars will not buy you perfection - but it does get you a lot of things to like. While it has its shortcomings, the Holden Calais V V8 is a car of some considerable distinction ... and one which is well worth getting to know.''
Paul Gover, Herald Sun, Melbourne: “At first I was going for the Porsche Cayman, because it is such a neat car and a wonderful drive. Then I slipped into the Toyota Aurion and realised how much extra work has gone into the car in Australia to move it up and beyond the basic Japanese Camry. But a back-to back run between the Aurion and the Calais proved almost instantly that Holden has produced the best car of 2006.”
James Stanford, Herald Sun, Melbourne: “The dirt track and bumpy country tarmac roads of the test route really did showcase the big Holden's true road-holding capability; it simply is the best car for Australian conditions.”
Gordon Lomas, Courier Mail, Brisbane: “The Calais is simply the best car in the Commodore range that boasts the type of ammunition needed to fight Euro marques on their terms, but at less than half their price.”
Bryan Littlely, The Advertiser, Adelaide: “Class, comfort and performance ... the Calais V has it all and delivers faith that the future of Australian auto design is in good hands.”
Stuart Martin, The Advertiser, Adelaide: “Holden has boasted about being world class before, but this time they have done it; great dynamics, a decent ride, good core body strength and a handsome shape add up to an A-grade package.”
Keith Didham, The Mercury, Hobart: “All those behind the Holden badge; the designers, the engineers and those right down the production line can stand tall. The Calais proves we can do it here. At the end of the day, the winner of Car of the Year is the one that best blends driveability, safety, style and value for money. The Calais feels solid, looks terrific, and offers a rewarding drive. What more do you want?”
Neil Dowling, Sunday Times, Perth: “Attributes expected of a European car costing twice the price - comfort, high build quality, performance and balanced styling - make the Calais V a perfect winner and an easy decision. That’s without needing a hint of patriotism.”