$63,990 – $67,990
Good: NOTE: DISCONTINUED IN AUSTRALIA SEP 2010. The WM Statesman has come a long way from the model it replaced; the exterior is stylish and modern and doesn’t seek too much attention PLUS there’s a great list of standard safety features. Many are used by Hotels and Limousine companies thanks to its appearance, ample rear leg room and comfort (& affordability).
Not so Good: Fuel economy is average even with the AFM system; choice of only two engines. The interior is nice but not ground breaking. Discontinued in September 2010 – with Holden retiring the Statesman brand name.
Design and Engineering
Good : A modern design with influences from its parent company GM. We like the bold front and the attractive short front overhang also means the engine gets positioned behind the front axle, therefore improving handling & weight distribution. The rear-end has presence on the road – especially when admired from side on. Plus, some nice touches on the rear including ‘Statesman’ engraved into the rear garnish and a chrome number plate surround.
Not so good: The 17-inch alloy wheels look too small for the 5m long & 2m wide Executive (however, bigger rims are only an option away!). The extra legroom comes at a cost as the Statesman is a bit on the heavy side weighing in at 1781kg for the V6 & 1822kg for the V8.
Interior and Styling
Good : A classy interior not overcomplicated with difficult switchgear; everything is easy to see, reach and operate. The leather-trimmed seats are very comfortable and supportive for long drives with excellent thigh support. Loaded with standard features. The dual-zone climate control performs exceptionally well on a warm day; the luggage capacity proves size does matter – with 535L of space, it’s big enough for the golf clubs and the esky.
Not so good : The optional satellite navigation LCD screen is out of direct view meaning more time is spent looking at the screen rather than on the road ahead (and the navigation graphics are starting to look very outdated). The switchgear around the centre console is clearly where development $$$ were saved, well behind the class best.
Good : Holden’s big 6.0 Litre V8 now features Active Fuel Management (AFM) system. Power and torque is reduced for the sake of better fuel economy and emissions; however the V8 still sounds impressive. Holden also offers a V6 engine which still offers more than adequate performance in this five metre long saloon.
Not so good : Performance comes at a price – this V8 still likes to drink; the six-speed auto transmission can be caught out selecting a gear too low or high at times; V6 prefers relaxed driving as it gets all too noisy should you spend much time with the tachometer pointed all the way around to the right…
Ride and Handling
Good : Very comfortable and less sporty than the more expensive Caprice. Around town it’s great to drive and handles inner-city traffic with ease. On the open road is where the Statesman really want to be; its long wheelbase and good-sized profile tyres means this car just floats over the harshest of bumps in the road. Steering dynamics are pleasing and still uses a hydraulic power steering set-up.
Not so good : This car is built for the daily commuter who lives out of town and for those that enjoy the long weekend drives; hard braking makes you notice the Statesman is nearly a two tonne car.
Buying and Owning
Good : This is a bit like Vegemite, there are similar products – but there also kind-of isn’t if you know what we mean; the Chrysler 300C is a more extrovert choice. Finding another vehicle with as much charisma or with as many features for the same price means you will have to sacrifice something in the nature of space and/or engine size. For long-term ownership keep in mind the Statesman is built locally and uses the same power train and componentry as the high selling VE Commodore – meaning parts and service costs are likely to be lower than luxury competitors…
Not so good : A significant number of sales go to taxi’s and luxury hire cars, which will likely result in a lower resale value than a number of Euro competitors.