Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Metro Machine or Bush Basher

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Metro Machine or Bush Basher

Article excerpt

Byline: EWAN KENNEDY

HOW MUCH?

Budget on paying from $3000 to $6000 for a 1999 Equipe V6; $6000 to $10,000 for a 2004 Acclaim V6; $8000 to $13,000 for a 2003 SV8; $11,000 to $17,000 for a 2004 SS V8; $18,000 to $26,000 for a 2009 Omega Sportwagon; $22,000 to $30,000 for a 2010 Berlina V6; and $36,000 to $48,000 for a 2010 Calais V V8.

HOLDEN'S big Commodore is well suited to Australian driving conditions, be they the harsh extremes of bush roads or the heavy duty commuting that's a part of many people's lives.

Ride comfort is good and this Holden is a genuine five-seat car, though the person in the centre-rear seat may find foot space compromised by the transmission tunnel.

Boot space is good in the sedan and excellent in the station wagon due to the latter's longer wheelbase. Note that the wagons in the VE range, not sold until September 2009, have the same wheelbase as the VE sedan so miss out on some of the load volume of its predecessor.

Be aware that many used Commodores will have been company cars in their early days and may have been driven hard.

Commodores can be divided into two distinct areas in the models being examined here. In August 1997 the VT series was introduced to critical acclaim. Commodore VT received a minor facelift and mechanical changes to become the VT Series II in June 1999. Commodore VX of August 2000 saw another facelift of the VT. The VX Series II arrived just 12 months later.

There weren't many appearance changes in the VX II, but there were big changes to the suspension, especially at the rear. These further improved the stability and handling and gave the Commodore a near sporting feel.

Holden introduced the VY Commodore in October 2002. This time around there were substantial styling changes. The VY II was a facelift and arrived in August 2003. Finally, the last of this long line of Commodores, the VZ series arrived in September 2004.

The introduction of the virtually all-new VE series Commodore in August 2006 lifted the image of the brand to a slightly more upmarket level, with a touch of European class in the styling and real enhancements to the ride and handling qualities.

Most Commodores prior to the VZ range have a pushrod V6 engine of 3.8 litres. There's also a supercharged variant of this V6, but it was never popular as performance car buyers preferred to go for one of the V8s. The supercharged six was discontinued in 2004.

The big news with the introduction of the VZ was a new six-cylinder engine. A forerunner to the unit fitted to the VE Commodore, it was an all-new, twin-cam V6 of 3.6 litres. This powerplant was sold in two formats, one with variable valve and intake timing for a greater spread of torque and improved power, the other a more basic unit.

This new V6 engine is not as smooth or quiet as it should be. …

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