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Battle Of The Wagons

Bruce Newton
16 August 2008
www.smh.com.au

Holden's Commodore-based wagon flies in the face of its soft-roader rivals.

In an era in which the soft-roader has replaced the traditional station wagon as the family transport choice, the new Holden Commodore Sportwagon poses an interesting question.

Though undoubtedly a stylish and a decent-value proposition, can it lure buyers back to the good old ways and days when the wagon ruled the roost?

To find out we pitched the Sportswagon against the two biggest-selling medium soft-roaders, the locally built Ford Territory and the Japanese-built Toyota Kluger.

The Sportswagon comes only with rear-wheel drive and five seats, whereas the Territory and Kluger can be optioned with all-wheel drive and seven seats.

To make it a clean fight we stuck with five seats and two driven wheels (rear for the Ford and front for the Toyota). We also chose a price benchmark of about $40,000 to keep within a family budget.

There are several other obvious similarities. All have six-cylinder petrol engines, automatic transmissions as standard and aren't far off five metres long.

Our testing took in the usual interior examination and city, suburban and country driving. In recognition of the touring potential of these cars, we included a run down the Great Ocean Road and a tour of the Western District hinterland.

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I'll take the Holden Sportwagon. :) To bad it's not coming to the U.S as a Pontiac but at least we do get a hot sport Luxury wagon which is the new Cadillac CTS wagon. :cool:
 

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Interesting.
I'd love to see the 5speed auto filter down to the Berlina and Omega. Maybe VF?

How ugly is that Kluger? yeech!
 

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The Territory is really quite ancient now. Sad, one more car that Ford let slip, without any major updates.
 

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Always been a fan of the territory, Had some issues on built quality back sometime ago, But have always liked it..
But it is long in the tooth now, An update is needed soon..

Only thing against the SportWagon is height, Mums love the high riders, It's apparently safer?, They can sit on top of the world.. That would be the only thing against the SportWagon.
 

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The Territory is really quite ancient now. Sad, one more car that Ford let slip, without any major updates.
Might be considered ancient but i bet Ford are very happy with the sales its still doing every month, now that the new FG Falcon is out im sure there is a update for Territory due in next 6 months, maybe they might even rust proof underneath it this time, been so many bad reports of how bad they rust so early, big mistake from Ford to do that, hope Holden dont try and cheap out like that, neither of them can afford to lose customers due to crap like that
 

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Kluger? And I thought GM had problems choosing their vehicle names.
Kluger is one of the most horrendous names I've ever seen on a vehicle.

Much too reminiscent of Klunker... (Unless it's pronounced Klooger... Then it makes me think Loogie. LOL)

Though I'm willing to admit I find it the most visually appealing of the 3.
 

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Pronounced 'Klooger' and yeah a real clanger. For some reason it reminds me of that bumbling Seargeant Schultz in Hogans Heroes
 

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Good to see the Sport wagon get a respectible review, not sure how serious the backlash was but in some areas people were getting tired of suvs in general, the wagon gives respectable amounts of room without the stigma of being an suv.

I don't see Ford complaining too much about the Territory, definately needs some updating to make it look more fresh but at the same time it has done very well for them.
 

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Might be considered ancient but i bet Ford are very happy with the sales its still doing every month, now that the new FG Falcon is out im sure there is a update for Territory due in next 6 months, maybe they might even rust proof underneath it this time, been so many bad reports of how bad they rust so early, big mistake from Ford to do that, hope Holden dont try and cheap out like that, neither of them can afford to lose customers due to crap like that
I saw an updated version at the Sydney auto show in 2006 - the exterior didn't change much, but the interior was greatly improved. The interiors are really not very well put together. It has a good strong engine (4.0L I6) though. I'm sure Ford is happy with the sales, but it really needs a major overhaul.
 

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Kluger is one of the most horrendous names I've ever seen on a vehicle.

Much too reminiscent of Klunker... (Unless it's pronounced Klooger... Then it makes me think Loogie. LOL)
I believe it is named after a national park in South Africa.
 

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I believe it is named after a national park in South Africa.
Krueger national park?

Maybe Freddy Krueger (peadophilic serial killer that stalks your nightmares), Gotfried Krueger (the guy who gave us beer in cans), or Hardy Krueger (Semi famous actor from yesteryear).
 

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Supposedly named Kluger as the Japanese are impressed with precision German engineering. Evidently there is a famed gun or pistol called a Kluger (or similar) and Toyota want to evoke the precision image.
 

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Krueger national park?

Maybe Freddy Krueger (peadophilic serial killer that stalks your nightmares), Gotfried Krueger (the guy who gave us beer in cans), or Hardy Krueger (Semi famous actor from yesteryear).
Paul Krueger, former President of South Africa.
 

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This is a Luger

This is a Krueger


This is his car. :p:

Good to see a level handed review. On the Territory; it needs more than a refresh. Manufacture is a little on the questionable side. Open the tailgate and check along the top seam (where the roof panel meets the d-pillar) and see how well the sealant is fairng. Obviously in this price bracket, you aren't getting full LASER welded seams, but when you can push you finger in it (indicating that it is doubling as a gap filler), that's bad design. Considering its location, it is a bad weakness to have in regard to longevity. I can see many future second hand customers being very grumpy. I like the concept, even though it isn't up my alley, but I hate to think that Ford are going to end up with a deteriorated consumer confidence level because they skrimped on 3cm2 of steel. :(

The Kluger interior is well thought out from a showroom standpoint, but that removable centre seat on the second row, is flimsy as hell. When it slides into the front console, its plastic on plastic which means it will wear out rather quickly, eventually becoming one of those rattles that drives you nuts on the open road. Add the Wheels Car of the Year debacle, where ESP didn't cut in on dirt (resulting in an unfortunate roll over) and the Kluger is just a joke.

As for the Berlina, I'd skip it and cough up an extra grand (or more likely squeeze it out of the dealer) and drive off in an SV6 wagon with the 195kw 5A. Job done.
 
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