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by Matt Brogan

All Holden VE & WM models (dubbed MY9.5) ordered from today will see a slight specification change with Berlina losing the optional V8 engine. It will now be offered, along with all Omega models, exclusively with a 175kW variant of the 3.6 litre Alloytec V6 coupled to a four-speed automatic. SV6, Calais, Calais-V, Statesman and Caprice models featuring the V6 will be afforded the 195kW version.


The Dual-Fuel variant of the Alloytec V6 engine will also receive some minor fuel economy improvements in the near future and V8 models pick up Active Fuel Management (or cylinder deactivation) – more on this in coming weeks.

A number of feature changes will also be introduced including a fixed (non-sliding) arm rest and open bin type door pocket (replaces hinged type) for Calais, Calais-V and Statesman. Additionally all instrument cluster needle illumination will be commonised to white.


Turn-by-turn Satellite Navigation will no longer be offered due to the low take-up rate but on the upside, Sportwagon models can now be optioned with a reversing camera across the range.

  • Duck

    “It will now be offered, along with all Omega models, exclusively with a 175kW variant of the 3.6 litre Alloytec V6 coupled to a four-speed automatic.”

    Surely you mean a 180kW variant of the 3.6L Alloytec V6 coupled to a four speed automatic don’t you? It’s still 180kW for both the Omega and Berlina, there not going down to 175kW, surely? You must have made a typo.

  • http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au Gift-Ed

    The HF version of the V6 improves fuel economy quite a bit, but with less power. Why do they persist with the ancient 4 speed if they are serious about improving the fuel economy?

    In performance terms this puts them even further behind the competition, although it closes the gap somewhat if fuel economy terms. With the 5 speed the VE may have equaled the Falcons economy figure.

  • http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au Gift-Ed

    No, it’s no typo Duck. :(

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    No wonder Commodore has difficulty holding any value, every few months somthing changes.

  • http://faster DanMan

    Your offical Media spin cutter DanMan to the rescue..



  • O

    hmm why are they getting rid of the hinged door bins they were so good and everyone was talking bout them in 2006 also why not ahve one yearly change instad of evry 2 months

  • Andy

    Gimme a D
    Gimme an I
    Gimme an E
    Gimme an S
    Gimme an E
    Gimme an L

    Whassat Say?

  • Tom

    Pretty insignificant updates.

  • Genie

    It will be interesting to see if the V8 cylinder deactivation is more successful at cutting fuel usage than Honda’s v6 engine in the new accord. Was surprised that it has an ADR/81 of 10L/100km, which is pretty much the same as the FG falcon with 6-speed auto, even though FG is a lot bigger and heavier, and without a lot of the technical wizardry.

  • Cupid Stunt aka No Name

    175 killer wasps. Ha Ha BMW’s 2.0 twin turbo has 150.
    Whats that coulour above “Lurid Green” Mmmm that should sell really well

  • Duck

    Wheelnut, help us here with some info about the specification changes.

  • Duck

    ^Please. You know what stuff that goes on at the Holden Plant! 😉

  • http://none Ra

    Since when did they start building commodores out of LEGO blocks?

  • Andrew M

    to be honest that was a funny little speil.

    whats also funny is that toyota is leaning more and more towards the sales tactics that holden employs.
    more and more special models keep coming from toyota nowdays, something that was once almost unheard of in toyota land.
    toyotas resale is up the creek aswell so its probably more than fair to say these frequent updates and special models dont help.
    please also say hello to “The Salesman” for me.

    No wait…… i think by just adressing one of you that i have addressed both. we all know you two are closer than you try to make out 😉

    Im prety keen to see what results the DOD brings from the upcoming V8 model.
    personally i think the whole idea is a bit of a W*nk.
    as already mentioned, if Honda cant make a lighter vehicle with a higher tech donk more efficient than a falcon, i doubt Holden can do much with the V8.

    Im tipping half a litre better at most, which wont go near the savings needed to cover the assumed premium that holden will charge.

    and on diesel……
    yet another lesson in false economy i reckon.

    to work round figures, a diesel falcon or commy would be cut from 10L’s/100k down to 8.
    and for what??
    an extra premium on initial purchase and at the bowser??

    there is a reason our “Big 6’s” dont sport diesels.
    its the poor consumer perception that demands it and has forced the hands of both ford and holden to deliver, nothing more….

  • jon

    The Salesman Says:
    October 21st, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    No wonder Commodore has difficulty holding any value, every few months something changes.

    Totally agree with that and the fact they have so many models,they should cut the amount of models and spend their money building something quality

  • http://integra Manly

    4 speed auto !!!! what a joke !! Could you imagine the onslaught of bad press if Ford had a 4 speed as standard in the FG petrol models ? you wouldnt hear the end of it !! The VE is way way behind the FG on refinement and fuel economy and …….well everything really and they “update” and leave a 4 speed auto with 175kw ?? Guess who’s run out of money ?? Anyone who drove a VE back to back with an FG and bought the VE is either an idiot or knows absolutley nothing about what a good car is…….also the fuel economy is alot worse on the VE in real world driving conditions………..drive an FG and you will buy one……….its as simple as that !!!1

  • http://integra Manly

    Isnt a Berlina supposed to be a “luxury” model ? 4 speed auto 175kw and a crappy plastic interior isnt really luxury in my book !!! The FG XT is way more luxury and it is the base model !! Go have a look at them both……

  • Realcars

    I want a 6.0 litre SS-V.

    So does everyone else.Excellent resale.

  • Realcars

    Get real Holden and make the 5 speed standard.

  • http://www.southcoastholidays.com.au/pages/south-coast-getaways-top-family-holiday-rentals/ Family Getaways

    Active Fuel Management or cylinder deactivation result in minor fuel economy improvements in the near future,is interesting.But 175kW variant of the 3.6 litre Alloytec V6 coupled to a four-speed automatic !!!!!!!!!!!!!



    175kW?!?! My 2 yr old 380 has 175kW and a 5 (count them, 5) speed auto. Sh1t! I just chose a VE Omega Sportwagon over a BF III wagon for the extra features, only to find out, there’s bugger all extra features, and even less power! Pathetic. Omega doesnt even have MP3 playback!

    Im gonna be stuck with this for 3 years! I probably wont even get the 60th Anniversary edition either. Bugger!

  • Richo

    this is just a “hang on a second” update before the VF is launched next year. The VF is where you will see some major updates like ditching the 4 speed and the 180kw V6 and the introduction of 6 speed auto’s accross the entire range and direct injection on V6’s. Theres also talk of direct injection on the V8’s but that is more likely to be around 2011 when a smaller capacity direct injection V8 is likely to come in, probably around 5.4ltr

  • Richo

    Also there is a strong possiblity that the a-pillars will get a serious trim up on the VF to get rid of one of the VE’s biggest criticisms, ie the big a-pillar blindspot.

    Also as most people know the FG’s dynamic advantage over the VE comes from the FG’s trickly dampers they use, essentially it provides greater damping rates then normal shockies. The VF is likely to get these too which will eliminate that gap. The VE’s chassis is actually better then the FG’s, it has better weight distribution, better rigidity and better front and rear suspension archetecture, but the tuning of the suspension is not nearly as good as the FG falcons, hence the falcons dynamic advantage. Holden won’t allow this to last forever

  • Richo

    I think the FG’s dampers are called monobloc or something? Can someone correct me… because i can’t really remember what they are called

  • Andrew M

    the Berlina was/is the equivalent to the Futura

    it sits in the poor mans calais section like the futura sat in the poor mans fairmont bracket

  • Andrew M

    are you saying the mcpherson strut set up in the commodore is as good as the falcons??

    the main handling improvements into FG came from adopting the territorys front suspension and the widening of the front track that had to take place to accomodate it.
    but in saying that, the BF wasnt exactlly a bad handler itself

  • Team Vodafone Endurance Experts

    Geeeezzzzz these wheel arch’s on the VE still look Hideous, the pictured commodore in green makes it look very outdated in design, I wouldn’t buy one based on this alone,…

    The FG is miles ahead in every department, especially refinemnet, something Holden has lacked since FJ day’s at least then they had to use real metal, now they just spend money on advertising and half baked looking vehicles to make a quick sale..

  • Joober

    Richo, lets hope GM continues the light of day by the time of the VF update, with the economic outlook today and foreseeable future.

    5 speed standard, lets hope its a 6 speed which should be the norm these days…

  • Wheelnut

    Joober – Motoring and economic experts have said that they expect most people between the age of 20-40 will see the end of the Automotive Industry in the USA before they retire.
    which includes Ford GM Chrysler and Toyota

    Even GMs Bob Lutz illuded to the possibility of GM pulling out of the USA all together and importing all GM Cars which would be made overseas… in either Europe and or Australia.

    Although GM President Prick Wagonner has denied this on several ocassions makes you think the more he denies it the more hes thinking about it and the more likely it is to happen

    Either way I think the future is pretty good for Holden given their involvement in the R&D of several GM projects such as the new Camaro GMC Denali Pick-Up and Pontiac G6.

  • Wheelnut

    I don’t understand why people criticise the Blind spot created by the VEs A-Pillar the A pillar in the Camry/Aurion is even thicker than the VE

    However aparently the VFs will have amore curved front windscreen [,ore aerodynamic] with the A pillars in a slightly different position an a different angle with a more curved windscreen.. thereby giving better vision

    In other areas The front bumper of the SS and SV6 will be similar to that of th Coupe 60 and the HSVs will adopt an airdam similar to the W427

  • Golfschwein

    That’s a major change to architecture, Wheelnut. Swapping an A-pillar mid-stream is huge biccies. You sure of it?

  • Sam

    OMG i had no idea Holden were still selling commodores with a 4 speed auto. Sounds like a 1988 VN to me. Im surprised they sell any. Six gears is the benchmark for the class, set by Aurion over 2 years ago.
    Also, with the right choice of diesel engine they could be achieving 7 litres per 100 km in the combined cycle and as little as 5 on the highway, which would make it a much more appealing of course. No good going for a new engine, diesel or other wise, which only takes a thin margin off the fuel consumption. If only Governments would force price parity for diesel, (whats left of)local car companies might be more likely to take the oil burners more seriously. It makes no sense that it is more expensive, isn’t diesel less refined?

  • http://www.littlepixiegifts.com.au Gift-Ed

    I’m sure the VF will be a great car. Unfortunately it can’t come soon enough as the current base power train just isn’t good enough for a best selling 2008/09 vehicle.

  • WVB

    Heard on the news this am that 4 adelaide parts suppliers (I didn’t even know Adelaide still had any) are facing grim with 2 likely to file for the big ‘BR’within months. yes yes, scaremongering I know but a likely result of Danman’s observations and probably others thoughts. Cost down and marketing spin are crtical and unavoidable parts of the evolution of a model’s life but steady on general not at the expense of the troops.
    As previously said, fairly tardy updates and pretty much just shuffling deckchairs…………….

  • Stevo the Devo

    1 billion dollars in development – and they still cant get a 5 star safety rating. By sourcing over a third of the car from china they will be having more recalls in the future.

  • Richo

    Andrew M – the VE’s front suspension Isn’t conventional Macpherson strut, is has dual lower wishbones as well and most of the motoring press say it has a better front end, in terms of steering directness and grip, then even the FG. The FG wins in suspension tuning, but the basic architecture of the VE is very good. The VE also has superior balance thanks to its 51-49 weight distribution which the FG falcon doesn’t come close too.

    The FG is most definitely a better car then the VE, but anyone who thinks holden put all of their lollies on the table when the VE was launched is kidding themselves, they still have a lot more up their sleeves with the VF. Will it be better then FG? Only time will tell!

  • sean

    Yes, there is no argument that the FG is a better proposition than the current VE in some of its technologies but Ford had to pull one out of the box for a car that is – design wise – half a generation ahead of its competitition.

    The facelift on the next Commodore will bring the US made 6spd auto on all models and DI on some. The HFV6 that’s now standard on Omega & Berlina will have significant upgrades and outputs will be more competitive, but probably not class leading.

    How many people will notice a 5kW and 5Nm drop in their daily driving? I doubt any Aurion driver uses all 200 of their killer wasps at any point in their daily commute!

    Don’t forget a 0.2l/100km saving in fuel across a fleet of 40 000 Commodores means a global saving of millions of litres of fuel and a significant reduction in greenhouse gases.

  • http://integra Manly

    Ford still have alot up their sleeves too………the new v6 with turbo and direct injection, LPG injection system ect…. and it is already a 5 star car ……..

    • Fred

      By alot do you mean not a lot, like atheist means not a theist?

  • Jim

    The Sydney International Motor Show should have been the showcase for VE series 2 featuring;
    5 Speed Omega 195 kw base
    6 Speed Calais/SV6/Statesman/Berlina 205 kw base with cyl deactivation
    revised tail lights, engine note, MP3/USB stereo and lighter plastics and fabrics.
    Holden need to be on the front foot, not 1-2 years behind ford with engine/transmission packages.
    VE should also have LPG only and a diesel on the way in the near future, not in 5 years time. Dumb arse company exec’s cant read public demand nor follow europe.

  • Daniel Dacey

    So translated this article said, we are keeping the things you like the least about the current Commodore volume sellers, like the gearbox and the V6 engine, detuning the engine and cost cutting the rest of the car.

    Should help sales no end.


  • AM fan

    I find it amusing that the “local” manufacturers are are minimum of 2 years behind with almost every aspect of car design. Some (a lot) better R&D on the powerplants alone would result in a lot more efficiency, and efficiency makes for more power or economy. Look at bmw and their power figures for the smaller powerplants they equal the ecotec for power yet are smaller and more efficient.

  • Bret

    All the details on Holden’s (Chev’s?) DOD V8’s has been on their news site for quite a while.

    Fuel saving is claimed to be “up to 1 l/100km”. It will only be available on autos as well.

    So 14 l/100km becomes 13 l/100km.
    Hardly earth shattering, and on it’s own you wonder whether its worth the trouble.

  • Wheelnut

    The Falcon may hae bertter engines or gearboxes than the Commodore however there is no speculation about the Commodore being replaced by an American built import or switching over to FWD is there?

    Yes the commodore may become more of a “compact” [like the TT-36 Torana] yet if this happens it will most likely be built on the same platform as the Opel Insignia which can be built in FWD RWD and AWD

    I expect that within a couple of years LHD versions of the commodoree [Pontiac G8] will be built in Canada alonig side the Camaro which also uses the VEs Zeta platform.. thereby giving Holden more space tobuild other cars at Elizabeth such as the New Torana

    When the Torana finally does make it into production there are reports that it could possibly be built as both a sedan and a coupe

    Holden are also planning to introduce a new Direct Injection Twin Turbo Optimised engine [DITTO] for the Torana as well as a Diesel

    So whilst the VE mighnt be as good as the FG in some areas Holden appear to have more plans in store to ensure there future in Australia
    Besides to make massive drastic changes to a car can be debtrimental to a companies sales – the AU is a classic example

  • Wheelnut

    AMFan the reason Australia is a couple of years behind Europe is because of the size of the market.

    Holden spent a billion dollars on the R&D of the VE yet because of the low volume of sales each year in Australia it would take Holden up to 5 years to recover the cost of tooling etc mainly because the Holden and Ford are relatively restricted to sales in the Local market

    Whereas it would only take BMW for example a couple of years to recover the amount of money that they invested in a particular model because they sell more cars in more countries


    gee…some of you guys just can’t resist putting the boot into g.m.(ah danman,sold any new echo’s without side airbags for 15.5k plus onroad yet,oh thats right,the new models got LOTS better headlghts).pity (big)fords resale is now where mits 380 was last year,ah manly…the revised 3.6ltr alloytec now simply has hardened valve seats so ANYBODY can fit a/m gas no problems…and yes,g.m.is continuing to cheapen up its range,is been going on since the 8.5’s(still miss the radiator cowling).d.o.d. will be a good thing but,a litre per hundred is better than nothing,and will cost nothing,so you will see holden yards doing everything to get out of old v8 autos….

  • Tim

    A shame that Holden can still get away with selling a ton of these ‘dinosaur’ machines, when the comparable Falcon/Aurion/380 are much further down the line with proper transimissions and engines. Especially when their ‘Billion Dollar Baby’ can’t get a 5 Start ANCAP safety.

    Oh and, is it me – or has the Omega aged horribly. Looks like such a dud with those tiny plastic wheels under HUGE wheel arches in silver…*shiver*

  • Nick

    I think the Datsun 120Y came with 4 speed auto …..

  • Bret

    With regards to the 4 speed auto, the current version, coupled to the 180kw engine achieves better economy than the 5 speed auto, with the 195kw engine.
    What will the new combination achieve?

  • http://skyline The Salesman

    No dealer is selling six cylinder anything, and i cant see that turning around.
    Now is the time for revolution, establish yourself as a environmentally fuel efficient car or get out.
    Holden and Fords market will be soaked up by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai – Kia, Mazda and some Europeans. Welcome to the new world people, were the V6 / V8 is a collector’s item…..

  • Minnow

    The VL commodore came with a 4spd auto… 22years later…time to update i think.

  • Golfschwein

    Tim, I think it’s just you. Plenty of folks like the VE’s flared look around the guards and the plastic wheel trims bit the dust about 4 months ago in favour of some (admittedly low effort, design-wise) alloys.

    I’m not batting for the General in other areas, however. Decontenting is a bad idea and the standard engine and tranny combo doesn’t cut it on paper, nor in real life, apparently.

    It’s sad that Holden hasn’t read the market in sufficient time.

  • http://dodge Marcos

    Anything less than a v8 in a holden is not worth buying at all. CLimate change my ass…
    can someone say “we have all been taken for a ride”..

    Yours sincerely Al Gore…

  • http://skyline The Salesman


    I know i speak for us all when i say, You are and Idi8t.

  • Falcodore

    Richo, falcons use ‘monotube’ dampers.

  • Andrew M

    the only thing i have read about the falcons front suspension dipping refers to the V8 model.
    The 6cyl models are rated as having a better front end than commodore though.

    and your 51:49 weight distribution counts for what???
    when the FG can handle better than the VE, its obvious that stat is on paper, and thats where it stays

    i think you are either having a lend of us, or someone has had a lend of you to come out and list structual changes to the VE update.
    as Golfie already said, thats big biccies for an update.

    all holden needs to do is give it an asthetic upgrade and the sales will continue to plod along as they are.
    Just ask Ford,
    actually putting thought and design into a car, doesnt sell them. I just read the Fords engineers won 2 awards for automotive engineering excellence, yet consumers still wont recognise it.
    it quite obvious though that their hopeless marketing staff arent excelling in their jobs though.

    Again, moving the A pillar???
    I doubt it

  • Wheelnut

    I was going off what I’ve heard from my mates at the factory.. I doubt they will make many major changes… However I suspect that all will be revealed around June next year

    As for the changes outlined in this article it appears that all Holden are doing is offering certain cars be it Omega Berlina or SS with a range of features based on what they have found to be the most popular Engine/Transmission and Interior combinations with customers who bought that car up to now.

    Which makes sense sure there are a few features which should be available across the entire range but why pay 50K for a V8 SS [for example] when the same engine etc is available in the Omega.. in a way it kind of ruins the image of exclusivity so Holden are just trying to restore some differentiation between the models make the basic models more basic and the luxury/spots models sportier

    I mean I wouldn’t be surpised if they have dropped the Coloured Dash option in the SS as it wasn;t that popular

  • Andrew M

    i kenw you would say it was just what you heard.
    no offence, but one must stop to evaluate what they have been told and cross it with a bit of common sense before passing it on.

    i agree with your other thought in culling the V8 in lower models.
    ford did that ages ago.

    V8’s were in lower spec cars in the first place because we never used to have top of the range sports models (XR8’s and SS’s, HSV’s and FPV’s).
    who wants a V8 if it doesnt look like a V8???
    the public already answered that with their swing away from optioning a V8 in non sports models.

    it does seem a bit weird to cull 5kw from the 6cyl though.
    emissions targets the culprit perhaps??
    they could at least have a 6sp auto as an option on lower spec.
    ford gave buyers that option.
    at least if its an option, those that care and may be turned away by a 4speeder, wont be

  • Richo

    Andrew M – come on mate your smarter then this, please READ and UNDERSTAND my comments before replying. If you do that you will see that I actually said that the ford was a superior dynamic car thanks to its suspension tuning. I said that the VE has superior archetecture (which is fact) however the FG beats it for dynamic abilities due to a) the monotube dampers and b) the superior suspension tuning.

    So yes your right in saying that the VE’s advantages are on paper only and don’t translate to reality, but don’t say it to me as if your the one who is pointing it out, because I was the one who very clearly stated all of that previously!

  • Richo

    And yes Andrew M it would be a big deal to change the a-pillars, but i do know for a fact that holden where considering it, but your right in that it may have to wait for the “major” mid-cycle update which isn’t due till about 2011. At this point the commodore will essentially get totally new exterior styling.

  • Richo

    on the auto thing, i’m sure if holden could do something about it right now they would, but they have to wait to the VF update mainly due to budget constraints. Thats the realities that GM lives in atm, they may know what they need to do to improve things, but things can’t just happen by snapping your fingers. Alot of engineering has to go into adopting new transmitions

  • Slick

    I’m thinking DanMan didn’t have his cereal the day he wrote, He has the fuzzes.

    Gentlemen, It’s called running changes. Ford did it across the BA/BF range, On minute you bought a Fairmont, Next minute a XR6 got a premium option that left the Fairmont in the dust, This happens all the time.
    Buy a BF XR8 at over $50,000. Next month it comes in new at something like $5000 off!.

    I tell you something, That old 4 speed is many things shit has come to mind. But on the side of fuel economy it has always been good. Now simple plan is to fit the 5 speed and instant fuel economy woohoo. But i don’t believe this to be the case. Why?, Base that on the Calais/SV6. They both get worse economy.
    The old 4 box had shorter gears and it made use of them as god as anyone could.

    One for the A pillar police. Holden never had the thicker A pillars in the VE. Then along came a 4 legged yank called Mooney. Cut cut cut. This architecture is as brilliant as anything you can think of dollar for dollar, But, There is so much that will never be seen because of this man. The flexibility of this platform is in-sain. And it will be wasted, Thanks in part to Mooney and GM.

    Cadillac wanted to build a premium car off it, And GM said no can’t afford it.
    Be nice if someone told GM once in a while they can’t afford anything there doing which is only wasting money since they don’t build shit.

    VF. I was told August late October. And i was told the biggest changes will be in your eyes. So I’m guessing looks. But then they talk about new motors, DI V6 and 6 speed. And if holden doesn’t ad the 5 speed to the base models, There F wits.

  • Bret

    The retention of the 4 speed auto has as much to do with suppliers contracts as much as anything else.

    And I think the 5kw drop in power is a search for better economy AND lower emmissions – simple the VE doesn’t meet the emmission targets of many fleets these days, and it will only get worse, with these targets getting tighter.

    A-pillar: Look for redesigned INTERIOR TRIM in this area, there will be no structural changes.

    And if you want to blind spots, have a look at the Kluger. The A-pillar on those, combined with the (unecessarly large) truck sized mirrors, it’s a shocker!

  • sean

    The factory where thr 4 speed is built is closing so the 6 spd auto will be the base transmission in the facelift model.

    We are all forgetting the economic times within which the VE was designed – there was wealth, prosperity and relatively affordable fuel. The whole ball game has changed economically and Ford had some lead time on this to get their product more suited for the market. They’ve leveraged off the Jag connection for buying power to get the ZF 6 spd, the original “control blade” IRS and a host of other detail design and technology cues.

    The VE is still performing strongly in the market place and that’s why we’re not seeing too much of a substantial change in its appearance, content or technology. If we’re astute enough to know that Ford has a few surprises up its corporate and engineering sleeves, we gotta realise Holden knows this too and will put something out there to leap frog that – in an economically rationalised, marketing strategy lead way.

    Watch this space because we will see a better, more economical, more competitive and 6spd transmissioned facelifted V car inside 9 months.

  • Golfschwein

    I hope you’re right regarding the better V car Sean. Things are pointing that way.

    The one counterpoint I have to your statement is that every car on the road today was developed in a different economic and fuel price environment to that which we have today, including my little chugger.

    That’s why the Aussie makers’ lack of foresight and slow reaction times are lamentable.

  • Richo

    Golfschwein – your right about everyone having developed cars in the same times, but the thing is that even toyota are struggling with their large cars, the euro’s too.

    It’s not like VW for example suddenly decided that the market was changing so they should build a smaller car called the golf, they where already doing that! It’s just that the changing times drew alot of people out of a larger class of car into a smaller class of car. It’s not that the golf has changed to suit the new environment we live in, it’s just that that segment of car has become more popular.

  • Wheelnut

    The funny thing is that over the years I’ve noticed what was once a small car has gradually gotten bigger to the point where a Corolla Civic or Barina is almost as wide/tall as a Commodore yet stuck with a similar sized engine as the original

    If this trend continues the small cars will become heavier and end up with worse fuel efficiency than a commodore as its too much weight for the 1.4 or 1.8 litre engine to deal with.

  • Bret

    Wheelnut, yes & no.
    Sure cars have grown, ofeten to the point where they are stretching the boundaries of thier class, but usually increases in engine capacities and outputs accompany that.
    EG Corolla,
    1985, 1.3 L, less than 80kw, 920kg
    2008, 1.8 L, 100kw, 1220kg
    – My haven’t the little suckers grown!


    hope your right sean…if you’ve driven the 5-speed box,it dead set feels alot slower than the 4 speed.love the way the box changes gears though,its almost as if the engine “cuts out”for a millisecond while it changes(no shift shock).bring on direct injection,and the 6 speed auto…oh and cut 200kgs out of it too….

    • Fred

      By alot do you mean not a lot like atheist means not a theist?

  • Bret

    Jeykl & Hyde,
    Both (?) of you are half right.

    Look out for:
    Reduced capacity (3.2L?), Direct injection and 6 speed autos.
    All in the name of getting Omega/Berlina under emmission limits & back onto the fleet lists.

    kinda’ indicates how holden see the Berlina too: Realy only as the upper spec fleet car.

  • sean

    I disagree that Australian manufacturers are slow to respond.

    The Golf and Corolla have been around for generations because their primary markets have always favoured small cars – that’s why they exist. Australian manufacturers develop and build what their primary markets want as well. Holden and Ford would be crackers – suicidal in fact – to have invested in developing a small car for the Australian market. Holden tried the downsizing with the original Commodore in what was also difficult economic times and suffered in the market as a result.

    I’m not being arrogant, nor am I defending either Holden or Ford. They are giving us what we want in a segment of the market that is shrinking. But what do we want them to do – abandon the segment? Make economically unsound decisions now that may threaten long term viability?

    Holden has a small car strategy in place that will make sense to us in the fullness of time. When Daewoo shut up shop in Australia and we then saw the small cars return as Holdens, we were morally outraged. The XC Barina did not sell well at all, the Vectra was dead in the water and the Astra Classic was propping up AH sales. In comes a cheaper Kalos based Barina which has consistently sold better than the XC Barina. The Viva initially sold well but is struggling a bit now after three years on the market with no freshening up or significant marketing. The Astra has one of the widest ranges available of any passenger car on the market (4 body styles, 5 engines, 4 transmissions, sports model, luxo model etc) and sits well behind the Mazda3 in sales.

    Next year we will begin to see the strategy fall into place. The new Delta based Daewoo/Chev small car will hit the market and in about 18 months, we will see a new Barina probably also coming from Korea but based on Corsa platforms.

    Responding to change is not and cannot be immediate. In the US where the buyers have demanded truck like vehicles that have pillaged the earths resources, manufacturers are cutting production and even mothballing plants. And what happens as a result of this immediate response to the market demand? They are hit with massive payouts to workers which then cripple the development of other core programs.

    History tells us that this market shift should have been predicted and the makers should be swift in their response. Well, they have been!!!!!!

    Just because we’re not getting a six speed diesel Commodore on the forecourts tomorrow doesn’t mean that Holden isn’t pulling out all the stops to get it to us. Same with Ford. Territory sales are flatlining – the vehicle has been on the market for more than 4 years without any significant update in appearance, equipment or technology. Ford hasn’t left the Territory on the shelf to gather dust. They haven’t had the resources to put behind it to facelift/update it every two years like Toyota has.

    Ford committed to the FG Falcon and Territory because that’s what the market was demanding. Holden developed the VE and WM because its what the market was demanding and at the time made global sense for them. We won’t be suffering with a yestertech VE for much longer as the car must compete on an international level – don’t forget it is only the home market that gets the 4 speed/175kW engine – because that is what the market will pay for until the costs of the more sophisticated technology have been amortised sufficiently for it to be applied further down the food chain.

    Basically what I’m saying is we have the cars we demand of manufacturers with the $$ we are prepared to pay for them. The reason the Corolla is now 87 Camry sized is because we didn’t buy enough squidgy little Corollas in the markets that liked big cars. Toyota’s current Yaris is bigger than the Corolla of the 80s and as a threshold car, the Yaris is just where the market wants it to be. If it wasn’t, Toyota would sell us its Aygo or iQ or any number of its other, smaller brand offerings. Toyota seems to be more nimble than Holden and Ford because it already has access to existing hardware found in other markets.

    When HOlden and FOrd bring in their offerings from abroad, we turn up our noses at them because they’re not what we want from those two brands. Remember when everyone was demanding Ford bring the new Mondeo to Australia? Well, its just languishing out there in the market compared with other mid-size offerings. The Fiesta is another great little car that we’re not buying enough of. The Focus and Astra are the matinee performers whereas the Corolla and 3 are the real performers. (By the way….where’s the whinging and carry on about the Corolla only having a four speed auto? must be on another forum)

    We get what we demand and now that we’re demanding more of our large cars, we will get it.

    Just not yesterday, and just not tomorrow.

  • Georgeo

    Hi I am thinking of buying a 60th annaversary ve omega or a SV6. Do this years VE’s have the same problems as the earlier models or have they been fixed.

  • Andrew M

    My apologies because when you said this…….
    “most of the motoring press say it (VE) has a better front end, in terms of steering directness and grip, then even the FG.”
    I thought you meant the VE has a better front end in terms of steering directness and grip then even the FG.

    i just dont know how to interpret that any other way, Sorry…..

    hang on your latest quote says
    “the ford was a superior dynamic car thanks to its suspension tuning. the FG beats it (VE) for dynamic abilities”

    talk about a contradiction, no wonder im confused

    to say the commodore efficiency has always been good with the 4sp auto isnt quite right.
    it would prob be fair to say it “used” to be good with the 4sp auto.
    that to me suggests the 4sp auto isnt totally to blame for the lower milage. sure another ratio will help, but I’d reckon the change in motor is more the culprit.

    sure it will cost holden more to give it a standard 6 speeder, but why dont they do what ford did and at least give it as an option on the entire range including the base runners??

    Bret, yes engine capacities in the smaller cars have risen over the years, but the weight of small cars are around 3/4 the weight of a large car, yet the engine size is still around half the capacity.
    I still find Wheelnuts comment relevant.
    I also find small car efficiency not really worth it. make a big sacrifice to save what?? 2L/100k if that…..

    interesting read in the RACQ Mag.
    they compared a diesel i30 to a petrol i30,
    they compared a Hybrid Civic to a petrol Civic and
    they compared an LPG falcon to a petrol falcon.

    they totalled up the cost of owning each for 5 years including servicing, depreciation, insurance, fuel costs etc etc,
    and they found the only worth while alternative fuel to be the LPG.

  • Richo

    Andrew M – i said that the VE has superior steering then the FG, absolutely, but that doesn’t mean that its better dynamically then the FG. The FG is more composed, better ride control, is more predictable, doesn’t have rear axle tramp under heavy breaking (which the VE does) and also has more lateral grip. It is a superior car to punt down a country road, it just happens that the steering on the VE is slightly better, but the rest of the handling package is better then the VE.

    So theres no contradiction at all there mate, and i think you know that. If your gonna suggest that because a car has better steering then another car then it automatically makes it dyanmically superior then your having a laugh and you know it. There is so much more to a cars dynamics then just the steering directness.

    To summaries just to make sure you cannot possibly miss-understand me

    steering in the VE is better then the FG

    ride control, composure, grip, brakes, and basically everything else about the dynamic experience with the possible exception of power down/drive out of slow corners, the FG is better then the VE

    Therefore, the FG is dynamically superior in all aspects other then steering, which supports what i was saying before 100%.

  • Richo

    Geezus Andrew, i can’t even PRAISE the FG falcon without you bloody jumping down my throat! lol

  • Andrew M

    lets go back to square 1.

    you said the VE has better handling and thats the point i am disputing.

    in the cone test which asseses steering directness and turn in etc, the FG came out on top.

    then i went on to say you may be right as far as the XR8 V SS models go as i have read reports that the XR8 tends to dip a bit on turn in due to the extra weight.

    this doesnt affect the 6cyl models.
    the 6cyl models have been proven to be superior in steering directness.
    i havent seen a cone/manouver test on the V8 models, but from reading reviews, the SS would prob come out on top.

    now ill have to try and remember where i saw the test. perhaps it was on drive because i also remember seeing the video to acompany the review

  • Forza M

    Richo and andy dont waste your breath lads both cars have limited life spans and won’t last the journey

  • Richo

    yeah but my main point Andrew is that the archetecture of the VE is superior then the FG, but the FG is better due to a) its monotube dampers and b) superior tuning.

    That point remains. Also maybe the FG gets through the cones better, i don’t know, but everything i have read says the VE “feels” better in the steering. As we all know the car that “feels” the best isn’t necessarily the fastest. Perfect example is how the current STI is actually quicker round a race track then an EVO X, even though the EVO X feels a million times better.


    gee andrew m,your mindset..richo is spot on with this stuff.holdens shocks are rubbish,1/2 the early ones have been replaced under warrenty,ditto the front sway bar bushes…have you driven a 50k ve…clunk,clunk,clunk.but please be fair,if you’ve got a fg and love it,great,but the ve’s steering is great,alot better than vz.the weight distribution makes the car handle great,the esp works great,the suspension if easily adjusted,front and rear,and now those expensive bridgestones wear flat as..oh,and front brake wear is outstanding(can’t say that about ANY big ford).my fearless predictions for vf.well how about hinged door pockets,glovebox light,centre console light,radiator cowling cover(all the stuff gm’s taken out of the early models),to make the next models look good…

  • Andrew M

    i think we have both arrived at the same route, except one of us took the country road, and the other the coast road.

    Everything is only as good as its weakest link.
    whats the point of having a more balanced chassis, if you arent going give it the suspension it deserves??

    and on the flip side, whats the point of great suspension if its not on the ultimate platform.

    the reviews i have read place the 6cyl Falcon range as the better steerer, but its the V8 models where the Commodore is rated as the better steerer.
    the commodore obviously deals with the extra weight of a V8 up front better due to having a lesser over hang and hence keeping the weight back further.

    for ford to tune a chassis that was designed some 15 years ago and have it more than competitive with a newly designed one is a fair effort i reckon.

    and on a side note,
    its not just the monotube dampers that have made the BF-FG transition better, its also the new steering rack and pivot front suspension taken front the territory.

  • http://caradvice.com.au JAPH8R

    Hey Manly, talk about fuel ecocnomy, the 6.0 litre V8 Calais V went from Melbourne to Sydney on one tank. Not bad for a car that when you put your foot down it will pass anything insight. 270 kw and fuel economy like a Camry, you can’t beat that. And as for the ugly XT, Ford just wait till Holden takes a step for them to follow. Holden took out alloys for the Omega, Ford did the same with the XT. Holden took out the Sportwagon, Ford will NOW do the same and take out a version of the FG. Yeah Ford really knows how to call its new model the FG GT, fancy putting that on your plates, everyone will think that your a FAGGET.

    And hey THE SALESMEN, what dealership do you work for, “JOES ROCKETS” that sells 2 cars a month, obviously you dont work for someone big, because if you did you will know that V6’s are still selling. And you think that Toyota will get Holden and Fords share of the market, what with its 4 cylinder Camry thats louder than a 6litre SS. Or with its electric car the Prius, which looks like a bar of soap on wheels and costs just as much as an SS. Or maybe with its ‘very safe’ Yaris, which is designed by someone smoking pot, its the ugliest thing out there. Dream On.