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2018 Holden Calais 2.0T v Toyota Camry SL Hybrid comparison : Two former Australian-made icons go head-to-head in their new forms

2018 Holden Calais 2.0T v Toyota Camry SL Hybrid comparison : Two former Australian-made icons go head-to-head in their new forms


Evaluating a Holden Commodore/Calais and Toyota Camry would have been incongruous till this yr, when each entered new lives as imports. Now it appears completely pure to pit this front-drive pair towards each other, regardless of a couple of variations in design and execution.

It’s the German-made Calais hatchback with turbocharged petrol engine versus the Japanese Camry sedan with petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain.

Worth and spec

Handily for the needs of this check, every is priced at $40,990 earlier than on-road prices. Nevertheless, there’s fairly a distinction in the extent of ordinary gear.

Widespread options embrace 18-inch alloy wheels with a short lived speed-limited spare in the boot, LED tail-lights and daytime operating lights and rain-sensing wipers.

Every additionally has cabin niceties together with leather-based seat trim, proximity key entry, dual-zone local weather management, eight.Zero-inch infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth/USB, sat-nav, wi-fi smartphone charging, digital radio, plus rear cabin air vents and USB factors.

On the security entrance, each get five-star 2017 ANCAP crash scores (the Camry scored a near-faultless 36.16/37), plus AEB, collision alert, lane help, blind-spot monitoring, reversing cross-traffic alert, parking sensors at each ends and a reversing digital camera.

There are some distinctions, although.

The Calais alone will get park help, heated entrance seats and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto app integration. However the Camry counters with LED headlights, lively cruise management, cooled entrance seats, electrical steering column regulate, electrical entrance passenger seat regulate, a bigger digital instrument show, a head-up show, and a sunroof.

If you need all of the fruit on a Commodore, you’ll have to step as much as the $51,990 Calais V with its V6 and all-wheel drive.

Winner: Camry


The Commodore/Calais has probably the most modern and interesting inside design of any Holden on the minute, although it lacks the polish and craftsmanship discovered in a Volkswagen Passat or Mazda 6.

We actually like the straightforward format, the driver-centric sprint design that wraps round entrance occupants by morphing into the doorways, the crisp touchscreen with app integration, and the leather-based steering wheel with idiot-proof buttons to regulate all types of features.

There’s loads of storage corresponding to door bins, a deep cubby forward of the closing console, two entrance cupholders and a sunglasses-holder in the roof. There’s additionally a suitable quantity of steering column and seat adjustment, although solely the driving force will get electrical motion.

Downsides: the devices are ringed by flimsy silver-coloured plastic that couldn’t have value various bucks, this being one instance of how the overall solidity, match/end and tactility of many inside supplies don’t really feel as costly and long-lasting because the Camry’s.

One other instance is the best way the clipped-on plastic half surrounding the within hatch door deal with was already falling away on our 11,000km press automotive. Sure, these are small gremlins, however higher to level them out now than later.

The entrance seats are additionally heated and have an honest breadth of adjustment, nevertheless they’re not the broad buckets discovered in the previous Australian-made automotive. With that stated, I did a 600km street journey and my again was left unscathed.

Given the new Commodore is about 86mm shorter between the wheels, a discount in again seat area is to be anticipated. But there’s a heap of leg room for my 194cm body behind my most popular seating place, so it’s hardly small.

It’s additionally 35mm narrower than the VFII Commodore, however shoulder room isn’t dangerous in any respect. Much less spectacular are the foot room (beneath the seats) and the top room, which is minimised by the sloping roof line. Facilities embrace LED studying lights, vents and two USB inputs.

One space the place the Calais will get plaudits is its boot. The Euro-style liftback design provides you a a lot wider opening than a standard sedan, and for those who slip the again seats down in each (simply accomplished), the Holden is way extra akin to a wagon/crossover than the ‘three-box’ Toyota, although the latter has an enormous, deep boot of its personal, and through-loading.

We’re fairly impressed with the longer however decrease Camry’s inside.

The inside sports activities a leather-based steering wheel with an electrical column adjustment like a Lexus, and a driver-centric instrument fascia that blends right into a backlit wood-look strip forward of the passenger. Every part is delicate to the contact, although the fake stitching is a contact naff. It feels fairly ‘premium’.

The extra gear can also be most welcome, notably the summer-ready cooled seats, giant colourised head-up show, and the sunroof. Contemplating its cabin feels extra upmarket and has extra gear, for a similar cash, the Toyota clearly makes a robust case for itself.

The place it’s somewhat ‘off’ is in the realm of infotainment, with Toyota’s refusal to embrace Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in favour of the clunkier Toyota Hyperlink app remaining a gripe. Ditto the extreme use of shiny black plastic over the fascia, which is an actual magnet for smudges and mud.

Storage is nice, with a cubby beneath the sliding wi-fi Qi smartphone charger, whereas it additionally has a much bigger centre console than the Calais.

The again seats supply comparable ranges of leg room, however somewhat extra under-thigh help than the Calais, superior outward visibility, higher foot area and a smidgen extra head room – greater than ample for anybody under 190cm regardless of the sunroof. Rear vents/USB factors function.

With the hybrid batteries being mounted under the cargo flooring, you’re free to drop the again seats down by way of little levers in the boot.

We’re giving the win in this space to the Camry. The Calais has that implausible liftback boot and superior infotainment, however the Toyota’s inside is best made, a contact extra snug and higher outfitted in addition.

Winner: Camry


Maybe the most important distinction between this pair is the powertrain.

The Calais as examined makes use of a 2.Zero-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol making 191kW of peak energy at 5500rpm and 350Nm of peak torque between 3000 and 4000rpm. Outputs are despatched to the entrance wheels by way of a regular nine-speed automated transmission.

This provides it a power-to-weight ratio of 124.4kW per tonne, in comparison with an inferior 97.9kW per tonne for the heavier and fewer highly effective Camry. Gasoline use on the mixed cycle is 7.6L/100km, which we managed to match on our lengthy check drive. Extremely spectacular. It’ll additionally tow 1800kg.

On a aspect word, you can too purchase a 125kW/400Nm 2.Zero-litre turbo-diesel choice that reduces gasoline consumption by about 25 per cent, whereas the Calais V and the sportier RS-V and VXR grades get a 235kW/381Nm V6 aimed toward purists nonetheless enthralled by displacement, plus all-wheel drive.

The GM 2.Zero-litre turbo engine featured right here is definitely incredible, although, and all the typical purchaser will want (although the choice of AWD with this unit can be preferable!). It’s received a robust mid-range for overtaking, and loads of oomph simply off idle enough to chirp the entrance tyres.

The 9AT has one too many ratios for Australia, since you’ll not be doing autobahn speeds legally right here, however it’s usually fairly unobtrusive. The very fact we matched the fuel-use declare is massively spectacular, and after 600km we nonetheless had lots left in the 61L tank.

The Camry has a really totally different drivetrain. It’s a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine operating on a fuel-saving-oriented cycle placing out an uninspiring 131kW at 5700rpm and 221Nm at 3600rpm.

As an alternative of a turbo, it will get assist from a 88kW/202Nm electrical motor with a small quantity of battery storage (a nickel-metal hydride quite than extra environment friendly, however pricier, lithium-ion unit), taking the system output to 160kW of energy, and the utmost torque to a variable determine.

For brief distances, under about 40km/h and with minimal throttle enter, the Camry might be pushed in EV Mode as a totally electrical automotive. Ditto in reverse gear. However more often than not, the engine powers the entrance wheels and sends cost to the battery pack, with efficiency augmented by the front-mounted electrical motor.

It’s all matched to a CVT infinite-ratio gearbox and will get a couple of driving modes to both maximise gasoline financial savings (Eco) or efficiency (Sport). The upshot of all this complexity is a exceptional combined-cycle claimed gasoline use of four.5L/100km – far superior to any petrol rival, and matching or beating most diesels whereas emitting fewer NOx carcinogens.

It’s additionally as seamless as this tech will get in operation, with Toyota’s many years of expertise displaying. The engine kicks in with out many vibrations or a lot noise, the CVT ‘droning’ underneath throttle is minimised because of sound-deadening, and the twin powertrain has extra low-down torque than you’d assume, giving it robust, surging acceleration. It’s fairly fast.

On our mixed drive loop with vital city driving, we managed 5.3L/100km with none overt effort at conserving gasoline. That’s spectacular. You’d be foolish to go for the $1000 cheaper 2.5-litre petrol non-hybrid Camry SL, although we’ll level out that this spec may also be had with a crisp (however thirsty) 224kW/362Nm V6 engine with an eight-speed auto.

It’s exhausting to find out a winner in this space. If straight-line punch and engagement are your priorities, then the Commodore is for you. In case you worth gasoline financial savings, go the Camry. Each are above common, although the Toyota packages a pricier and extra complicated system into the Camry with out charging you extra, which certainly deserves a commendation.

Winner: Tie

Experience and dealing with

The Camry sits on Toyota’s modular TNGA (GA-Okay) structure, including stiffness and decreasing the centre of gravity. Whereas mainly a cost-saving effort, firm head Akio Toyoda additionally demanded the engineers make this Camry drive in a extra partaking trend.

They delivered, because the fitment of expensive double-wishbone suspension on the rear may recommend. You sit low in the cabin, and whereas the electric-assisted steering is obscure (and overly resistant in Sport mode), the physique management by way of corners stays wonderful, regardless that the experience consolation isn’t in need of excessive.

This Camry doesn’t merely tolerate twisty roads, it truly handles them with some verve. That’s a new factor to this badge.

It additionally has a couple of nifty options you don’t get on the Holden, notably the auto maintain perform that stops you ‘creeping’ in D in gridlock, and radar-guided lively cruise management. You may as well potter round silently at low speeds.

For all this, the Calais edges it nonetheless. Holden’s Australian engineers spent a very long time calibrating the springs, dampers and extra particularly for Australia, and we’re happy that the ZB maintains the previous VFII’s acquainted long-legged, loping street really feel in addition to its agility and responsiveness to steering inputs.

For these eager to do lengthy drives, each additionally ate up corrugated gravel and not using a fuss. As we flagged earlier, we simply want Holden would supply AWD with the four-cylinder engine, because it’s arguably crisper and positively extra frugal than the previous V6.

Winner: Calais


Holden presents an ordinary five-year and unlimited-kilometre guarantee, superior to Toyota’s three-year/100,000km cowl. Toyota does, nevertheless, supply eight years/160,000km of guarantee on its hybrid battery. Each corporations supply roadside plans.

The Camry has annual service intervals (or each 15,000km, whichever comes first) capped at $195 per go to for the primary 5 providers. Against this, Holden’s intervals are 12 months/12,000km, with the primary 5 visits presently marketed at a most of: $259, $299, $259, $359 and $359.

So, the Holden has a greater guarantee, however the Toyota ought to be cheaper to service and gasoline. When it comes to resale worth, each are fairly new to the market. The very fact these grades are usually not overtly fleet-oriented means they need to maintain up okay.


This pair are usually spectacular choices.

The Holden’s ‘Australian-ised’ journey and dealing with are supreme, although some traditionalists will lament the lack of RWD. But, the Toyota is properly forward of its predecessor in this regard, and whereas it’s not as agile because the Holden, it’s each bit as cozy and quiet.

In all methods, the new Camry is the most effective automotive to put on the badge, up to now, with new ranges of driver engagement and design nous coupled with all of the acquainted attributes of worth (clearly superior to the Calais’s), cabin area and effectivity.

So, whereas in most methods the ZB Commodore/Calais household is definitely a powerful automotive as soon as you’re taking it on its deserves and don’t lumber it with the luggage of Holden’s defunct manufacturing unit, the Toyota Camry SL Hybrid takes the sting right here.

2018 Holden Calais 2.0T v Toyota Camry SL Hybrid comparison

Automotive Holden Calais 2.0T Toyota Camry SL Hybrid Worth $40,990 $40,990 Made in Germany Japan Engine 2.Zero turbo petrol 2.5 petrol, plus electrical motor Energy 191kW @ 5500rpm 131kW @ 5700rpm Torque 350Nm @ 3000 to 4000rpm 221Nm @ 3600rpm Electrical motor – 88kW/202Nm Hybrid battery – Ni-MH Max system energy 191kW 160kW Drive FWD FWD Gearbox 9-speed auto e-CVT Gasoline declare 7.6L/100km four.5L/100km Tank 61L 50L Size 4897mm 4905mm Wheelbase 2829mm 2825mm Width 1863mm 1840mm Peak 1455mm 1445mm Cargo area 490L 524L Weight 1535kg 1635kg Holden Calais 2.0T Toyota Camry SL Hybrid Exterior Wheels 18-inch 18-inch Spare Area-saver Area-saver Headlights Halogen LED Daytime operating lights LED LED Tail-lights LED LED Rain-sensing wipers Sure Sure Security ANCAP score 5/5 (2017) 5/5 (2017) Airbags 6 7 Collision alert Sure Sure Autonomous brakes Sure (metropolis) Sure (metropolis) Pedestrian detection Sure Sure Lane help Sure Sure Blind-spot monitor Sure Sure Rear cross-traffic alert Sure Sure Lively cruise management No Sure Parking sensors Each Each Rear digital camera Sure Sure Park help Sure No ISOFIX Sure Sure Cabin Trim Leather-based Leather-based Entrance seat heating/cooling Heating solely Cooling solely Seat regulate driver/passenger Driver Each Steering column regulate Guide Electrical Proximity key Sure Sure Local weather management Twin-zone Twin-zone Touchscreen eight.Zero-inch eight.Zero-inch Driver’s instrument display four.2-inch 7.Zero-inch Head-up show No Sure Satellite tv for pc navigation Sure Sure Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Sure No Wi-fi charging Sure Sure DAB+ Sure Sure Rear vents/USBs Sure/sure Sure/sure Sunroof No Sure

(caradvice.com.au, http://bit.ly/2OAkVeB)


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