Our 2013 WN Holden Caprice V has performed superbly as the main family car over the past two years/35,000km, having replaced an earlier 2011 WM Caprice V.
Whilst the the WM Caprice V was also an excellent vehicle to drive, the WN Caprice V, sharing its active safety improvements, refined luxury interior and improved 'touring' comfort suspension with the VF Calais V, is far superior in terms of ride/handling, seat comfort, interior quietness, technology and design/quality of interior materials used.
As an all round family car, the Caprice more than matches many popular family SUV's, having enormous interior space to carry five adults in excellent comfort and a boot capacity large enough to easily carry their luggage requirements for a two-week holiday. And the two rear DVD screens with individual headphones, always receive a big tick from rear passengers, big and small, allowing them to blissfully see the hours pass enjoying a movie or two.
Build quality and general reliability of the WN is excellent and greatly improved over the WM Caprice. There have been zero warranty claims in its first two years. Servicing costs capped at a very reasonable $185 every 9 months/15,000km, for the first 4 services up to 60,000km, has been a pleasant surprise.
A further surprise, particularly for a 6.0L V8, has been the extremely reasonable average fuel economy of 12.7L/100km in a driving mix of 70% Urban/30% Country. A leisurely trip from Melbourne to Sydney and back yielded an impressive average of 8.3L/100km. Undoubtedly, this impressive result is largely attributable to the Active Fuel Management fitted to the WN's V8. In comparison, an earlier VE Holden Calais V8 previously owned, driven on a near identical trip, was lucky to see 10L/100km.
And then there is the absolutely superb performance and refinement of the V8 combined with a greatly improved six speed automatic. Whilst many will delight in the wondrously loud and sonorous aural output of the new VF11 6.2L V8, somehow this would be very out of character for the refined, quiet nature of the WN Caprice V. The 6.0L V8 provides more than sufficient power, particularly for safe, effortless overtaking ability on rural undivided roads, all the while barely raising its voice. Just the way a refined luxury vehicle should perform.
Overall, our WN Caprice V has been superb, performing more than admirably as a family car with a huge dose of luxury, quality, space, active safety features, technology and comfort with excellent performance, ride/handling and surprisingly good fuel economy. The best car I have ever owned, of which there have been a few.
The only downside is that these superb, world-class Australian manufactured vehicles, will be no longer by the end of next year. Most Australians simply do not realise what a loss this will be until they are gone. The end of an era. I think I might just keep this Holden Caprice V as a lasting reminder of Australian automotive design, engineering and manufacturing at its finest.