With modern technology as it is today it is a wonder why some car makers are still sticking with technology that really should have gone the way of the Dodo.

Holden and Ford have seem to have hung on to what was once a great economical option and sure, once Arabs started popping each other off in order to get control of the world’s oil supplies, which resulted in petrol prices reaching record highs, it was definitely the cheaper option, and motorists, and in particular taxi drivers, had fuel conversion specialists rushed off their feet installing LPG systems.

 

 

 

 

In this day and age though with engines becoming more and more fuel efficient it hardly seems necessary to opt for the liquid gas option, especially when you factor in that an LPG engine uses more fuel per hundred kilometres than a petrol engine. Sure the cost of LPG is cheaper per litre but factoring in the higher fuel usage it would work out fairly much the same, if not more costly, depending on the drivers motoring habits.

For fleet operators and taxi drivers it could undoubtedly be a money saver but for private buyers, especially those who do short runs to work or to the local overpriced inconvenience store, this could be a money gobbler.

As a family wagon the LPG power plant could also be difficult to live with thanks to the huge 84.4 litre fuel tank which pushes the spare wheel into the luggage compartment, which in the case of the Omega we tested was placed on the right-hand side of the boot space directly in front of a now unusable storage compartment and it also hides the courtesy light, clever.

 

 

 

 

 

Also consider the current technology available with other engine options such as Holden’s SIDI (Spark Ignition Direct Injection) which, available in 3.0 and 3.6 litre versions, not only has more power, 190kW (210kW for the 3.6) compared to the 3.6 LPG’s 180kW, but is also fairly fuel efficient, sure it’s not as green as the LPG machine (203 g/km compared to 198g/km CO2’s) but when you consider that there is less weight, more power and more luggage space, well, I know which way I would go for my choice for a family car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would also prefer the luxury version over the more basic Omega. The Calais we tested was full of comfort and convenience. Of course both of these cars had the nice Holden-iQ touch screen system with Bluetooth with audio streaming, iPod connectivity and satellite navigation (optional on the Omega). Had to laugh at the navigation though, I think the voice guidance system must be from Europe, Germany in particular.When giving directions Gertrude, as I called her, would say, nay, demand you “Turn NOW!”

Handy little search function on this navigation system too where you can find your nearest Holden dealership or workshop, but weirdly the nearest workshop I could find while parked in Kumeu was in Tauranga.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a sales rep the Omega wagon would probably be a good choice and if it’s driven properly it would keep the company accountant happy but the obstruction of the spare wheel might be a hindrance for carrying boxes of samples to potential customers.

And as for the Calais sedan a perfect choice for an executive golf nut, there’s even room for a couple of sets of golf clubs in the boot.

As a side note, thanks to Huapai Golf Club for allowing me onto the course for the photo-shoot with the Calais, but as this was my first time on a golf pitch I have to say I will be very cautious entering a location like this again; stray golf balls can be quite frightening!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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