Let’s get two things sorted straight off the bat, firstly, this isn’t anything at all like any Holden Commodore we’ve seen so far, secondly, this is without question the best car yet to wear a Holden badge.

Those points will be hard to take for the Aussie engineers and workers who built the car for 40 years on home soil, but it’s true.

It’s also a bitter pill to swallow for Holden fans and traditional Commodore buyers, because in terms of driving dynamics, refinement and safety, the new-generation fully-imported Commodore wins hands down.

Exterior

The European designers who penned this design had to please car buyers in many different markets, even on different continents, and I have to say they’ve generally got it spot on.

I’m not a huge fan of the front styling, I’m certainly not in love with the crease that runs down the centre of the bonnet. But I do like the side profile, and the rear – full marks here as far as I’m concerned.

2018 holden commodore interiorInterior

Despite the external dimensions being smaller than the superseded Holden Commodore the designers have managed to maintain similar internal dimensions – the only areas where there is a noticeable difference is in the width of the cabin.

The legroom front and back though is huge! Put the passenger seat right back and an average-sized adult male (me) can’t reach the firewall…even with toes pointed forward.

Legroom in the rear is also very impressive, especially when you take into account that the Commodore is now officially categorized as a mid-size car, not a large car.

The interior is generally a well thought-out place, though there are a couple of things that miss the mark a little.

These issues include the placement of the door grab handles (front and rear) – there is no way you can place your arm on the arm rest and your hand in the handle (unless your arms are the same size as a ten year old’s!).

A clue that this car was designed firstly for left-hand drive markets – the parking brake control button is on the left-hand side of the console.

I was disappointed to see that the transmission selector surround is similar to the now retired Holden Malibu. As the picture below shows, the chrome surround reflects sunlight directly up into your face and eyes.

The glove box falls onto your legs (i.e. you can’t open it fully when seated in the passenger seat), and the centre console bin is small.

Inside that centre bin is an inductive charging slot that worked perfectly with a colleague’s smaller iPhone, my iPhone 8 Plus didn’t fit.

You could also say that the new car has smallish sun visors that whe