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A bloody good drive

Discussion in 'ZB Holden Commodore (2018)' started by StrayKiwi, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. StrayKiwi

    StrayKiwi Active Member

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    I drove the section of road between Otamauri and Moawhango called the 'Gentle Annie' for the first time ever. We drove it from east to west because accommodation options are much better in Hawkes Bay than in the central North Island. We were blessed with an absolute stunner of a day. If you get the chance to drive it, I can't recommend it highly enough. One of the best drives in the country in my opinion.

    And I got the chance to really explore the performance aspect of the VXR in a road legal context as the road is very twisty in places. I still can't fault the AWD system, there was no wheel slippage or centre diff clunking in the switchbacks as you'd get from a Haldex or Subaru system. The car definitely doesn't feel like it weighs nearly 1800kg either. You can throw it from lock to lock and it just settles and drives through the apex like a hot hatch.
    Even when driving it hard, the gearbox is smooth although in automatic mode it would like to change down very late in corners which was a bit disconcerting. I ended up driving most of it with the gearbox in manual mode and using the paddles.

    When you get to the end, put the drive mode back to Touring, move the gear shift sideways back to D, set the Adaptive Cruise Control and head home @ 7.5L/100km.
    [​IMG]

    EDIT: For our Australian friends who might want to give it a go (and I still recommend you do) pick your time of year carefully. The NZ Spring and Summer will offer the most settled weather. In winter the road can be closed due to snow and I would say some of the more shaded parts would get black ice on them very quickly in cooler weather.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
  2. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    Nice one! :cool:

    You definitely can feel the back-end behave sweetly on the twisties... :)
     
  3. wetwork65

    wetwork65 A wet business

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    I'm jealous. Nice road, I remember how enjoyable these roads can be from when I used to live there.
    But haven't tried it with my wife, she gets car sick on the NZ twisties...o_O.
    Mind you the rental Kluger we had last time is probably not the best way to travel these roads.
     
  4. commodore665

    commodore665 expat Saffa

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    That’s s great piece of road
     
  5. StrayKiwi

    StrayKiwi Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    Up at the Te Mata Peak car park the day before, looking NW towards where we were going to be driving the next day. For the record the road cuts through the lowest point in the distant hills just to the right of the handlebars of the bike. Not a drive for the faint hearted as this one is very narrow and has quite a lot of traffic on it.
     
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  6. Badgerdog

    Badgerdog Active Member

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    Very nice and thank you for sharing. Never even knew this road existed so you've painted me a target to hit and let me take a punt here and suggest there's no speed camera's and no cops and very little other traffic so you really can really explore the limits of the handling and have fun on this remote road well away from the ever present PC police that exist almost everywhere else ?

    Gotta say in sport mode you can really feel the torque vectoring kicking in and it makes these cars handling a very, very sweet ride.
    Plenty of power when you really "get up" the engine too.
     
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  7. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    You should try the Taupo to Napier/Hastings road.
     
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  8. Badgerdog

    Badgerdog Active Member

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    I haven't driven that one either...I am feeling the need to explore !!!
    This a good place to start from, right on the lake edge. https://clearwatermotorlodge.co.nz/ (apologies for the thread hijack)
    Its okay to go on a road trip for no good reason at all, just to enjoy the car and see the scenery...
     
  9. kos

    kos Active Member

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    Gentle Annie is on the Taihape / Napier road is it not?
    You could always stay at the Taihape Motel and do a bit of train spotting
    Did a trip Hastings/Rotorua return 2 years ago left Hastings it was 25 degrees at the peak of the Napier Taupo Rd it was 8 degrees and misty this was in Autumn.unfortunately I was only driving a Hastings rentals jap import 2.4 Camry. Coming back to Napier that day a manual box would have real nice on those steep down hill curves.
    Nz roads for drivers eh.
    Going to have to do the Gentle Annie next time I trip back home to nz.
     
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  10. StrayKiwi

    StrayKiwi Active Member

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    Do you mean SH5? Each end is crawling with traffic cops, the middle not so much. Plenty of idiots who think their Ranger/Amarok/Colorado/SUV or work van is fast too. This poor guy in a Corolla wagon just couldn't pass me going up hill on the passing lanes, but he spent the better part of 50km trying.
     
  11. 87VLCALAIS

    87VLCALAIS Member

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    The Gentle Annie would be a better drive than the Napier Taupo road from the point of view of exploring the ZB's handling.

    I have a RSV same colour as StrayKiwi's. I need to test out the Gentle Annie.

    I beg to differ on the best time of the year for travelling in New Zealand. Late summer/autumn gives the most reliable weather generally, plus in autumn you get the benefit of the stunning colours.

    I bumped into a guy the other day who had been given VXR as his work car. He loves it.

    As an aside we were in Oz a couple of weeks ago and saw almost no ZB's on the road. You Aussies don't know what you're missing out on. My wife has a VE which is a bloody good car, but the ZB is the better car.
     
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  12. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    Yup, SH5. Do it at night and not as many cops or other traffic. Makes it a lot more challenging as it is pitch black and it just seems to go on for ever and ever, it's even more fun when that heavy fog rolls in.
     
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  13. SteveRSV

    SteveRSV Member

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    In my experience, Aussies tend to make up their mind first, then look for "facts" that support their preconceived views.
    Its lack of popularity has worked in my favour though, I got a brilliant wagon for a bargain price. I could never have brought myself to shell out $50k for any car.
     
  14. benny66

    benny66 Benno

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    Yes prices second hand are amazingly low here in Australia
     
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  15. StrayKiwi

    StrayKiwi Active Member

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    Just spent a weekend up north of Auckland with the wife. Found a sweet road to drive as well.

    Total trip distance: 570km
    Fuel use: 10.8L/100km
    Oil life is down to 31%
    Tyres still have plenty of tread after 7000km and are wearing evenly


    EDIT: The unofficial ZB watch found no less than 19 ZBs, including 3 Police cars and 4 Calais Tourers. There are far more out there than at the beginning of the year.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  16. Badgerdog

    Badgerdog Active Member

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    Roger that. I am seeing a lot more Commodores around and about in Auckland. It would seem Kiwi's know when they're on to a good thing :)
     
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  17. 87VLCALAIS

    87VLCALAIS Member

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    The number of ZB's that I see seems to have exploded in the last month or so. I was surprised by the sales figures here in New Zealand for this year up to the end of October. The Commodore is the third biggest selling car (behind the Toyota Corolla and Suzuki Swift) and and the biggest selling large car (disregarding SUVs and Utes). Based on the figures to October 2019 it was 7.2% ahead of the 2018 sales and had moved from 15th place overall to 12th place.

    In my books that isn't a bad effort, it's a pity the sales across the ditch weren't as good. Whether that would have changed the decision to discontinue the Commodore is another story as I think there was a multitude of factors, mainly the ownership of Opel by Peugeot.
     
  18. benny66

    benny66 Benno

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    Do you see many Camry around NZ? They are everywhere here in Australia particularly the entry level hybrid.
     
  19. 87VLCALAIS

    87VLCALAIS Member

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    Can't say I have, but then again I'm not really looking out for them. Popular as a taxi but that's about all.
     
  20. immortality

    immortality Home of the smoky breakfast Bacon! Staff Member

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    Someone killed on the Napier Taupo road last week, looked like it was a straight bit of road too so the locals are calling for a speed reduction.

    There may be more of em but they don't stand out from the crowd (except the cop cars of course).

    Yeah I've seen a few of the hybrid models about. Seeing a lot more Prius getting about too...
     

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