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2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test
2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test
2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test

Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to driving Holden’s new Epica. For those not in the know, the Holden Epica is basically a re-badged Daewoo Tosca. So the stigma associated with the Daewoo brand, along with the recently released crash test results of the Holden Barina (2-stars) had me in two minds.

Upon first inspection, it didn’t actually look that bad from the outside – in fact, I thought it looked quite attractive. The swept back headlight design and flowing lines make this Korean-built mid-sized sedan quite appealing to the eye.

The interior is also a nice enough place to be. The driver’s seat is quite accommodating and provides adequate viewing space over the front and sides of the vehicle. Rear seat room isn’t too accommodating for adults though, making it a kids only space. The boot has a 480-litre capacity, trailing the Toyota Camry by around 55-litres.

Surprisingly, the build of the interior seemed quite solid and robust. Aside from a slightly loose glove-box cover, the interior felt well built and quite solid to the touch. The steering wheel felt like it was made entirely out of plastic though; it felt extremely cheap and nasty. The steering wheel did feature volume, audio and cruise controls, somewhat making up for its shortfalls.

Our test vehicle – the CDX – was optioned with the Daewoo-Porsche co-developed 2.5-litre inline-6-cylinder motor, producing 115kW of power and 237Nm of torque. Although it sounds great on paper, the engine is devastatingly short of torque throughout the lower end of the rev range. Stomping on the throttle from a standing start provides no general feeling of motion or torque delivery, things only begin happening north of 3500RPM where the engine makes an almighty racket.

2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test
2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test
2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test
2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test

In general terms, the engine was a total disappointment; the 5-speed Aisin gearbox didn’t help either, providing slow and lifeless shift patterns. The handling dynamics were also pretty average, the extremely soft suspension worked wonders over some of our B-grade roads, but when pushed through a corner, the whole experience felt wrong. The entire body pushed onto the outer wheel, creating a sense of awkward motion. The steering had very little feel and didn’t provide natural kickback whilst driving, it took quite some time to get used to.

The Epica range is available in two models. The CDX is available in both 5-speed manual and 5-speed automatic, along with the option of either the 2.0-litre or 2.5-litre inline-6-cylinder engines. The CDXi is only available with an automatic transmission and the 2.5-litre engine. Prices start at $25,990 for the manual CDX (2.0-litre) and reach $30,990 for the CDXi.

Standard features available across the CDX range include: Cloth trim; 16” alloy wheels; air-conditioning; ABS brakes; traction control; cruise control; power windows and mirrors; remote central locking and alarm; six speaker MP3 compatible stereo and front and side driver and front passenger airbags. Unfortunately, ESP isn’t available – even as an option, across the range.

As competition to the Toyota Camry, it doesn’t really offer the same amount of room (both inside the cabin and boot) and also lacks in terms of its engine and handling dynamics. But it does undercut the Camry when it comes to price – quite dramatically. The top-of-the-line CDXi model can be had for around the same coin as a base model Camry. The Epica’s not a bad car for getting from A to B and if you don’t expect much in the way of performance; it’s probably quite a wise purchasing option.

2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test
2007 Holden Epica CDX 2.5 Road Test

But, I wouldn’t go rushing into Holden dealerships just yet. After the dismal crash test results of Holden’s Daewoo sourced Barina, I’d wait until ANCAP release similar results for the Epica.

CarAdvice rating (out of 5):

– by Paul Maric



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Holden Epica Specs

CDX : EP : 2.0L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 5 SP MANUAL - UNLEADED PETROL - 4D SEDAN
Car Details
Make
HOLDEN
Model
EPICA
Variant
CDX
Series
EP
Year
2007
Body Type
4D SEDAN
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$4,290 - $4,880
Dealer Retail
$5,370 - $6,380
Dealer Trade
$3,200 - $3,900
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
INLINE 6
Max. Torque
195Nm @  4600rpm
Max. Power
105kW @  6400rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
71.9W/kg
Bore & Stroke
75x75.2mm
Compression Ratio
10.2
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
5 SP MANUAL
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
3.947
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
63Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
8.2L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1460
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1450mm
Length
4805mm
Width
1810mm
Ground Clearance
175mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1200  Unbrake:700
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.8
Front Rim Size
6x16
Rear Rim Size
6x16
Front Tyres
205/60 R16
Rear Tyres
205/60 R16
Wheel Base
2700
Front Track
1550
Rear Track
1545
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Air Conditioning
Control & Handling
16 Inch Alloy Wheels, Traction Control System
Driver
Cruise Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Cloth Trim, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Eng Scuttle
Country of Origin
Korea