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  • Andrew M

    Im still not buying the E85 (or any E for that matter), but otherwise a good series 2 effort.

    Does 28% less energy mean 28% worse economy??
    If so it will end up costing the consumer more to fuel than convention 100% unleaded

    Also more water coming out the tail pipe means exhaust components will have a shorter life

    So what is the official economy on E85 CA??

    • http://www.facebook.com/leong.jon Jon Leong

      You know that you can run a E85 car with normal Petrol (E0) right?

      The word is compatible, The E85 cars are compatible to run on fuel with ethanol mixture up to 85%. Where as normal cars these days is compatible with ethanol mixture up to 10% (E10).

      E85 cars just give you an extra choice when filling up at the station… its not like it will use more fuel when run with Normal petrol because its compatible with E85.

      • Andrew M

        Yes Jon, I have been following the E85 and Commodore development, I know how it works.

        I never said it will use 28% more regular unleaded, I said 28% more E85 which in turn means its dearer to run your car on……..Re-read my comment.
        That brings me once again to asking whats the point of E85.
        Would have been better off developing a better LPG set up Like HSV did.

        • Shak

          Genius, who do you think developed the LPI system under the bonnet of the E3. HSV is a tiny tuning house owned by Wakinshaw, and i dont think they have enough R&D dollars to make it on their own. Hmm i guess maybe Holden helped them?

        • http://www.facebook.com/leong.jon Jon Leong

          The only point of having E85 is that Ethanol produce less CO2 per liter when being burned compared to normal petrol.

          So on paper, Its a “greener” fuel…
          Only politician and eco greenies are being fooled into supporting E85 as a Green alternative to petrol…
          completely forgetting the simple fact that a car need to use more liter per KM.

          However, depending on the type of crop, there are extra power gain… in Europe, Koenigsegg CCXR is E100 compatible. And if they run on Euro E100 (106RON) fuel it produce 1018hp compared to 806hp running 91RON petrol. (But it used a lot more Fuel in achieving that)

          Another good point is that Ethanol are made locally from agricultural byproducts, so you only sending 15% of your money to the Middle-eastern Oil billionaires if you purchase E85.

          So really its just a choice … Even Holden boss agree it wont save you Money… because E85 is not about saving money… Its a form of Supporting the local industry and creating less Carbon footprint(mainly in fuel production wise, oil drilling and so on).

          I would definitely want to give E85 a go if I have a car design for E85.. just to see how much extra fuel it use and how much extra money is need to support local industry.

          I gave E10 a go once… and it was shocking… averaging @ 14.1l/100km compared to 8.2l/100km on 98Ron… the money saving is no were worth it, an it was so Gutless…

          • Kim

            Just to make it clear. Why is E85 more environmentally friendly? Well it is produced from industrial, food and agricultural waste. That means, to a significant and potentially complete extent, the carbon in the ethanol originated FROM THE AIR, not OUT OF THE GROUND.

            In fact, this means that ethanol can be made to be totally carbon neutral. When made from something like sugar cane where the energy used to produce the alcohol could be sourced from burning the Bagasse (fibrous trash left over from extracting the sugar) making the entire process significantly greener than oil/gas/electricity.

        • Andrew

          if you followed the development of the e85 so well, you would know holden have been fitting stainless exhausts since the vt, unless a muffler breaks a baffle off or it gets damaged ive never seen a vt on system rust out… i know cause im a mechanic and look at them everyday

        • wayne

          Did you know the V8 Supercars run on E85, its the equvilent to 102 octane so you might get less milage but you get better performance and power.

          • Wayne

            sorry, its 110 Octane

  • Goodfa

    I usually get excited when a new model Commodore comes out but as much as I try to,this update does not excite me at all.The interior of the $25,000 Cruze looks more modern than the $50,000 Calais V.
    I cannot believe they did not change the steering wheel as it looks like it is from the 1990’s(should be smaller and more modern looking).They should of also changed the design of the rear lights.These are two little things they could have done which would not have cost a lot and would have given the car a more modern feel inside and easier to recognize from rear as a new model.
    They will have to discount these in 6 months to move them and I also believe the Cruze will outsell it within 12 months.

    • Andrew M

      Holden used to do the old tail light upgrade and hey presto, it looked massivly different.

      For eg VT, VX and Monaro tail lights are interchangable, yet such a simple tweek is a distinctive difference.

    • lazybones

      That is a what i call a very low key upgrade. To bad the didn’t do something about those rediculas front wheel arches. So now we’ve got the Flex Fuel, wheres the diesel??

  • Shak

    Wow up till now, i didnt know the Caprices had dropped that much in price. The new range is much better value, and i will definitely trade in My SS-V. Definitely.

    • nickdl

      I agree, I’m loving the idea of a Caprice V. I personally don’t have a problem with the new upgrade, I still think the VE is a good looking car. Full credit to the original styling team because it’s holding up well. It would be good if the A-pillars were thinner, but with all of these features, I hope it does well.

  • Ricky

    Congrats Holden on making standard dual-zone climate control and 16″ alloy wheels, both of which were standard on Accord back in 2003, 7 years ago!

    • sandy stone

      Congrats Honda on making wooden steering, roly-poly squishy suspension, and extreme understeer standard on the 2003 Accord 7 years ago. The Hyundai i45 has only just caught up.

      Here at the nursing home, those grand selling-points are prerequisites in a car. Which nursing home do you live at Ricky? You seem to admire these great traits as well as you do own an i45 which only took 7 years to catch up with the Honda.

      • Dave

        Well said, the other day I was very scared because I passed a honda accord going through a bend in the road, there was soo much body roll I though it would lean onto the other side of the road.

        • Shak

          Go and drive the current one. i drove it for my dad, and it is quiet accomplished, but it doesn’t pretend to be a spots sedan,

      • Sir Les Patterson

        Haha sandy , you hijacked my name , but i like your style .

      • James

        Try driving a 2003 Commodore along the great ocean road and you’ll know what body roll is.

        *car sickness bag not included

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1285962287 Declan Collins

    Errr, it’s dual zone climate or all models except high-spec which get tri-zone I beleive..

  • Justin

    Is there any mention of the energy input is much greater than energy output for ethanol? How about the forrest clearing as well? Just stick to the bio-diesels for the future, imagine if Holden learnt what the word diesel means, would be a great opportunity to distinguish themselves from everyone else in the large car segement

    • The Dude

      Diesel cars sound like trucks, they stink & only make sense in Europe.

  • Golfschwein

    Well, well…of all the new Holdens, it’s the Berlina that looks the most convincingly updated, I reckon, and not so grandfathery as you might expect. I like the idea of E85, too. Whatever the cost equation, if you want to fill your tank with a brew that’s only 15% dug out of the ground, the option’s yours.

    • Shak

      Really, i would say its the Omega, but each to their own.

      • The Dude

        I actually think the Omega looks the best of the bunch, nice & clean with a strong front-end. To bad it can’t be had with a V8.

  • E85 lover

    Even if E85 isn’t warmly welcome by the average mum,dad, forum/blog cowboy, from a performance/tuners point of view its a godsend.

    The octane is upto 110RON, meaning more timing advance/boost/air/fuel is available giving you more power. It has been described as “race fuel at the pump” by some.

    We have seen upto 20% increase in power and torque on turbocharged vehicles after just a tune on E85.

    Yes you will use more, 30% more. At 99cents if you add 30%, E85 will still be cheaper then a premium 98.

    Fuel for thought.

    • Andrew M

      Not cheaper than the compared 91 though. Dont forget that with 98, not only comes increased power etc, but also better consumption and less water going through your exhaust system

  • Sir Les Patterson

    TUK TUK anyone , thats what they call them in thailand .

  • Dave S

    You should have read the review first.

    I dont think that the Europeans have the monoploly on ‘yellow’ (that might be the Victorian/ New york taxis) or DRL’s

  • Banicks

    I really don’t you guys.

    So many people are knocking entry level cheap cars that Holden offer because they ‘look’ cheap. Barina, Cruze all look and perform better than equivalent Toyota’s, and they are competitive pricing.

    Then you guys go and compare the upper models like Calais and Caprice, to Euros like Audi, VW and Volvo? Considering the entry level price tag of those is upwards of 10k above the asking price of the higher end Holdens, and Fords for that matter, I think this is EXCELLENT value for money. Not to mention availability of parts anywhere in Australia at decent prices.

    Sure, servicing is pull your pants down prices, but what service costs aren’t. It is certainly alot cheaper than Euro servicing.

    I’ve sat in an A3, C30 and Golf – for what they are asking for in regards to price. You get very little in return, and it is logical to go to Holden or Ford, and purchase their high end car which costs the same and offers more than the base model Euros.

    Seems like many people here have more money than sense.

    Go Holden! Loving the changes and upgrades.

    • Stoney!

      Actually while I voted your post *thumbs up* I will correct you because the base model Passat is only $38,990 with a 1.8t engine that gets the passat to 100 in a very respectable 8.5s yet only averages 10.2L/100k’s in the city and a fantastic 6.2L/100k’s on the highway.


      • Shak

        Thats a bit unfair seeing as Holden dont have a mid sized contender, and VW dont have a full sized contender so we cant compare.

        • Stoney!

          wagon has a bigger boot than commodore!

      • Damian

        Not to mention the Skoda Superb 3.6L V6, which hammers the Calais V on the value front. You get AWD, DSG, bi-xenon headlights e.t.c, and it’s still cheaper than a Calais V.

        • Dave S

          Dont mention the Skoda in the same sentence as the calais V. The calais is stylish sports luxury. The skoda, is an eye sore! pay good money for a car – it should least be nice to look at.

        • Banicks

          There is a good reason Skoda are cheaper than Holden.

          I won’t bust your bubble though.

    • The Realist

      “Then you guys go and compare the upper models like Calais and Caprice, to Euros like Audi, VW and Volvo”

      It’s Holden’s own senior management that compare their cars to BMW, MB, Audi etc – so why shouldn’t the public?

      HSV’s managing director thinks his company’s big mac mobiles are equal to Euros – give me a break.

      • Banicks

        Why are you even bringing HSV into this conversation? I agree though, HSV don’t hold a chance against Euros. I mean, who are HSV to offer performance cars for between 60-90k. In comparison with Audi for example, who offer their sports models for upwards of 90k in the V8 range. Pfft, I noright?!?

        /end sarcasm.

        I sat in the R8 and TT, the build quality in comparison to 5 years ago is pathetic. It indicates to me they’re cutting costs to keep up with sales.

        But still, if you love your Euros, go for it. It’s apples to oranges, this is what Im saying.

        People with sense will go Holden or Ford, or Toyota – they are something to be reckoned with now. People who think they know something, go Euros.

        Simple fact is, Holden has raised it’s build quality game to the euro standards of yesteryear – it wont be long until you see it to the current Euros styling. And its got the Euro’s feathers ruffled, and fanboys by the looks.

  • bangel

    MMM you sat in them , great conclusion .

    Some of us are into style, quality , handling ,economy , and very importantly resale value .

    Probably why they used to sell 6000 commers a month in the 90’s and not now .

    • Banicks

      Yes I drove them too mate. Sorry I didnt give you the whole days transcription.

      They have a higher resalevalue because their purchase price is higher genius.

      60k less 2 years market price to 55k is 5k lost.

      40k less 2 years market price to 35k is 5k lost.

      Doesn’t mean your euro is worth more mate.

      Please feel free to link me where your getting your statistics from ey. Coz last I checked, Toyota was first for sales last year, follow my Holden and Ford. Euros were a bit further down the bottom from memory…funny that.

    • The Dude

      Resale value? German car? I don’t think so. Maybe if your lucky a teenager with more money than sense will buy your second hand euro for top dollar. But most people with common ‘car’ sense know. You only buy a second hand euro if you’ve got money to burn on expensive up-keep & repairs.

  • Karl Krankschaft

    Saw 9 VE IIs on the back of a truck a few days back. Looked aloe better in real life especially the Ss wheels. Redline on SSV for $1500 :0 Do Want

  • Dave S

    Good review, a lot of it already covered in recent VE II reviews. Importantly this one, told us how the car drove.

    I think it is great that we will still be driving Australia’s number 1 car a long way into the future. Greaner and cleaner than ever. Sound like the E85 capable V series, drive even better than before. great news for any motoring enthusiast.

    Clean E85 over dirty diesel. I dont want a diesel Holden Commodore that sounds like a tractor.

    Good job Holden

  • no

    “a single 6.5-inch, full colour, touch-screen LCD interface beneath two circular central air vents.”

    In the pictures shown, the central air vents are rectangular?

    • Mikey_94

      As I told Luke Skywalker earlier:

      “Circular air vents are present on the sports models, with regular and luxury models sticking with the rectangular vents (see pictures).”

    • Dave S

      Regardless of which vents are used, all models looks great. They have such a clean and uncluttered dashboard.

      We are seeig way too many modern cars with far too many button. VE II: Way more features – less buttons. cleaner look. Well done!

  • no

    that was as explosive as Nagasaki John!


  • Model T

    A bit of forward thinking (or just window dressing?) with the fuel. But one problem remains – it’s still a Holden. Unreliable rubbish with a dealer network to match. Once bitten. Never again.

    • Andrew

      things are a bit different now to that old vc you owned 30 years ago


      Sorry to hear you had trouble, but I’ve had my VE SSV for three years know, and I have not had a problem with it. It’s an awesome car.

      and my previous car was a VN commodore with a V8 5ltr and that was a reliable car too, with just a minor trim issue as it got older.

      I found Holden very helpful and reliable, even though dealership services are dearer than Ultratune, I was happy with their work (WA)

  • Daniel

    Did they fix the Auto Gearbox??????

    Or is it still dumb, slow and generally awful?

    • The Dude

      You’d be interested to know that very few cars actually have great gear boxes. Most people wouldn’t know the difference between a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ transmission anyway (except for Renault, they really do suck). To many people read reviews & then think they’re transmission connoisseurs, the VE’s gear box is fine, as for the finer points of shifting, let the car journo’s have something to write about because in the real world few people will appreciate the difference, unless it’s an LS 460 Lexus etc…

  • Luke Skywalker

    I thought the same regarding the ‘circular’ air vents but have a look at the pictures. There is at least one model which does have circular air vents – no idea which one though!

    • Mikey_94

      Circular air vents are present on the sports models, with regular and luxury models sticking with the rectangular vents (see pictures).

  • MK

    So they were called Dinosaur VE Series IIs before becoming extinct?

  • Bob

    Thats one tired looking design!

  • Nick K

    Yawn… Is this the best that Holden can do? I’d get exited over a diesel version or a liquid injected LPG version with a conformable tank slung under the car, or how about a 7 seat version of the Sportswagon. Add Holden’s patchy quality and reliability = no thanks to this unessarily big dinosaur.

  • davie

    I am no holden fan and am not in the market for a large sedan, however I read some posts claiming the the current commodore as a dinosaur etc and really wonder why.

    Yes, I do agree that this was absolutely correct in the past. Engines, suspensions, transmissions were old tech, cars were poor quality and the car handled poorly.

    But this is now September 2010 and I think a few people need to lose their grudges and ignorance/arrogance on this subject.

    This car costs around 40k, not 200k. It does weigh 1.8 tons because its a LARGE CAR not made of aluminimum, it costs 40k remember.

    This base car in V6 guise is a modern design with
    – 4 wheel independent suspension
    – 5 star crash rating
    – direct injected engines
    – twin cam vairable valve timing
    – fuel consumption under 10L/100km
    – Ethanol, LPG compatible
    – 6 speeed transmissions
    – touch screen info centres in all models
    – interior with good materials
    – airbags everywhere

    With all that, it still does the stuff its target market audience likes such as:
    – Tows big things
    – Seats 5 very comfortably
    – holds lots of stuff
    – Cruises easily on the highway.

    Note that I said “IT does what its TARGET AUDIENCE likes”, not what some one-eyed armchair warrior snob (who would never buy a family sedan in a million years) decides that it should do to satisfy them.

    The Ford and Toyota share most of these traits as well.

    It might hurt people to overcome their own self-imposed ignorance but its simply not a bad car.

    • Luv Local

      Finally some common sense, post of the month 😉

    • Shak

      This is what us so called Holden fanboys have been trying to say for four years now, but obviously many dont seem to agree till now. Beaut post mate.

    • The Dude

      Very well put my man. Overseas car journalists have been very impressed with the VE from day one, especially in performance guise. Seriously how many cars in the VE’s price bracket worry about things like 50/50 weight distribution or actually care how the steering input feels. The VE is a car made by people who actually care about the “driving experience”. No serious car enthusiast can deny this fact, especially considering the shoe-string budget GMH had to work with compared to other “drivers cars” manufactures eg, BMW. The VE is truly an achievment in the world of car manufacturing, a world where it’s all about trying to mould people into a certain demographic & then making a car for all the lemmings out there… hatch-backs & SUV’s anyone?

  • Chris

    I like the VE Commodore, I really do, but they shouldn’t be adapting Daewoo aesthetic’s on the best car Holden offers. It should be the other way around, I feel sorry for the Commodore because it’s a fine sedan, it doesn’t deserve to be Daewoo-fied.

    • Dave S


      Please show us a Daewoo, which runs E85 with a touch screen and seat 5 in comfort. There is none.

      • The Dude

        Maybe the front end on the Calais? it does look a bit Daewoo-ish, although that interior is really nice.

  • Dom

    To the haters, grab a recent copy of VFACTS and check the top selling car in the country. As a matter of fact, check the past 10 odd years while you’re at it. Obviously Holden are doing something right, and the VEII is a certainty to continue the dominance.

    • Robin Graves

      Check the record sales charts Dom. Justice Crew. Last ten years? Brittany, Lady Gaga etc. Cheap, trashy, tarted up rubbish that sells. Kinda like the Conformadore. Just because it sells doesnt mean its any good.

      • Chris

        So if I buy a “luxury” hatchback (VW Golf etc) or an entry-level euro SUV am I making a better choice than if I buy a Commodore? Or am I just conforming to another market demographic? The VE Commodore is very well engineered, safe, comfortable & won’t bankrupt you if a problem arises. These other currently popular cars make sense also… especially if you live in Europe. This new fad concerning small hatchbacks & small SUV’s actually makes no sense in countries like Australia & America. We have proper full sized roads & often travel long distances – why would you compromise your comfort & safety? Remember, a larger car always fares better than a small car in a collision, and 5-star safety ratings are relative.

        • bangel

          I think you hit the nail on the head , hatch backs and suv , people are over sedans , they want more practicality.

          I had never owned any thing but sedans until 2002, my last 3 cars a hatch and two wagons , would never go back .

          Whats this about oz and usa and big cars , thats rubbish , the whole market world wide is drifting down , more mid sizes are sold than large in oz , economy is the go , small turbo petrol or diesel with tork punch, thats the future .

          Reality might bite when the falcon goes ecoboost next year .

          • Dave S

            People still love sedans. The Commodore is still number 1. The Holden Caprice is still number 1 in its class.

            A sedan is way more practical than a hatch or SUV. Who wants to fold seats down to make make larger items fit in? Neither will have the boot floor space of a big sedan.

            Good luck with small turbos in big cars – all i can see is increased servicing costs.

    • bangel

      But the numbers are down dramatically on 10 years ago like half , market is diluted by more mid size models taking more market share between them .

      The large car market is shrinking rapidly .

      • Jack

        …and mid size sedans have grown to the weight (size) of a full size car of 10 years ago…

  • Sam

    Trivial upgrades aside, the SS Redline is looking like becoming the bang for your buck buy of the year. Chuck in some breathing mods, get the GEN IV tuned PROPERLY on that E85, stir in with factory Brembo’s & FE3and VOILA!…the perfect recipe to hose off those pesky Coyote’s, all without a supercharger!

  • JM

    What a lacklustre effort. Yes, I know it’s been a tough few years for the chaps at Fishermans Bend but 2 panel changes is simply waaaay too little for a mid life makeover. If Holden is serious about maintaining Commodores #1 passenger car sales position it should have put more funds towards cosmetics since this is what punters notice first and foremost. Holden is effectively asking buyers to fork out $40k for a new car that looks just like the 4 yr old model sitting in the local caryard for $16,990 drive away. Holden’s decision to limit sheetmetal changes to a bare minimum is also surprising in the wake of competition from fast growing segments small and small-medium segments.

    The E85 fuel application is in line with what GM is doing globally and Holden towing the company line. Australia doesn’t even have any meaningful infrastructure to support E85!!

    Good job with the multi media though.

  • Robin Graves

    Change a few fuel lines, add some maps to the ECU, throw in a new radio / nav system. Not much of an update is it? GM have never made a decent diesel, even Daewoo have to get them from VM Motori (which are rubbish as well). Seeing the sheep still buy them its probably a smart business move by GM to polish the turd a little more as they still sell to the rednecks and bogans who think they are the best things since sliced bread.

  • Jack

    I would have liked to see panel changes to the A pillars, to enable vision. A 1971 HQ Kingswood smokes this car in this important passive safety aspect. Also the front wheel arches are massive on cars not equipped with the sports rims – why not a separate tooling, after all there were special pontiac parts?

    • Golfschwein

      It’s a primary safety matter, not passive safety. The HQ blazed the field in its day on windscreen pillar width and passive safety in general, but failed dismally in another key primary safety aspect: handling and roadholding.

      Whilst good in its day, its slo-mo performance in a modern day crash safety video would be pretty ugly.

  • Shak

    I feel a bit silly asking this question. But why do manufacturers quote aero improvements that improve fuel efficiency. Off course in the real world they help, but isnt the ADR 81 fuel consumption test done on a rolling road in a lab? So wind resistance shouldnt exist, right?

    • cjg22

      After the engines are tested, a calculation is applied taking into account the weight of the vehicle and its COD.

      • Shak

        Thanks. But you just posed another question for me. if they are going to measure the COD, dont they have to put it through a wind tunnel anyway? And how does weight factor into this equation?

        • cjg22

          these days COD can be worked out using CAD and I guess they figure that the heavier it is, the more fuel it uses.

          • Shak

            The COD makes sense, but that weight explanation is a bit iffy. Some cars are heavier in successive genrations and they still produce less emissions and use less fuel.

          • cjg22

            yes, cars are getting heavier, but, as we’ve been saying, aero and engine improvements are offsetting that weight gain. Sorry to put the comment here, it wouldn’t let me respond directly to the below comment.

  • Chris

    Can the SS-V be optioned without that daft rear wing?

    • Dave S

      Dont like the rear wing?
      How about a Calias V then (redline).

      • Chris

        Maybe if the front-end looks better in real life, than the photo’s might suggest. I was hoping for a meaner looking update to the Calais, much like the VY Calais series 2 update. Maybe colour coding the chrome grill would help? I actually think the Omega has the best look of the bunch.

  • Save it for the track

    My original comments are for some reason missing, howvere a few seem to have replied to my ‘rectangular’ and ‘circular’ comments. Originally I only saw the picture in the main body of the review, which shows the ‘rectangular’ vents, I did not look at the rest of the pictures.
    The new stereo and sat-nav seems like a good thing, however I maintain that in v8 guise the 6 speed auto is not too good, the A-pillars are too large (and in other cars, such things are called ‘sloppy design’, why not such comments for the VE?), the interior plastics appear the same, and in SS Commodores particularly in the area around the handbrake feel cheap and nasty(unless it has changed), the handbrake design is poor and not user friendly compared to more traditional placement and design, and why do Holden persist with placing the window controls in the centre?? Why can’t the master controls be on the driver’s door? Having the controls up on the driver’s side door has them more easily to hand for the driver if any adjustments are needed. Having the controls in the centre that Holden have persisted with for years can have passengers inadvertently pressing the wrong buttons and can lead to unwanted adjustment of mirrors etc.. Not only can such things happen by the front seat passenger, but in that centre position rear seat passengers can also reach and adjust those centre controls.
    I maintain that the VE has been overrated from the start, no doubt it appeals to many Australians, and with the ‘magic’ of the Holden PR and advertising machine wil continue to sell well, along with many buyers not even bothering to look at anything else because they are ‘a Holden person’.
    I would like to see a model by model comparison of VE Commodore versus Ford Falcon. I can only comment first hand on SS versus xr6t, and in my opinion a BF Falcon xr6t is better than a VE SS, let alone an FG xr6t. Base models, not sure, but I suspect that in engine and performance terms (excluding fuel economy), the torque of the base Falcon would still see it to be a better performer than the peaky v6’s on offer in the Commodores. I find it interesting that in teh Ford Falcon xr6 review in march this year on this website that a comment was made about the inetrior plastics of the handbrake and gearshift of the xr6, yet no mention is even made in this review of the Commodore. Yet I know that the plastics in that area of the Commodore feel worse than what are alleged to be poor in the Falcon. I also note that this review conducted by an alleged ‘safety advocate’, makes mention of the v8 ute being “It’s a really great drive – inclusive of loose bitumen. Correction: make that especially on loose bitumen “. Now I can draw a conclusion of this statement, but i would like clrification on just what it is supposed to mean. What exactly makes the v8 ute such a great drive especially on loose bitumen as compared to a comparable engined sedan? Does the ute sit more securely on the road? (unlikely given less weight), or is it able to be ‘thrown about’ a bit more? Suggesting some exuberant non-safety related driving by the reviewer. I know that different correspondents do different reviews, but when a review of a competitor is conducted only six months prior and mentions alleged interior plastics deficiencies, and a review of an upgrade makes no mention of similar concerns in a comparable model. I would like to particularly see a reviewer get straight out of a falcon automatic, after using the shifter and handbrake and get straight into a Commodore (say an xr6t versus an SS) and hand on heart say that there is no discernible difefrence in plastic quality or ease of use of the respevtice handbrakes. As a matter of fact, why not in controlled conditions, switch off the respectice traction controls and try and do a handbrake turn. Whilst one is fumbling to try and grab the awkwardly shaped, poorly positioned and cumbersome to use Holden design, the Falcon will be snapped around and on it’s way in the other direction.
    Consistency in review contect will lead to more credibility of the website. Would it be too much to ask that before a review, a potential CA reviewer does a basic search of their own website to see what was mentioned, highlighted or focussed on in reviews of comparable models. Would it not be an expectation that potential buyers might want to be able to compare features/faults/comments or similar size/segment models such as in this case, Falcon, Aurion to Commodore?
    The mention of bootspace (or lack of) in one review (as an example), plastics, a/c, audio etc. in one review and not mentioned in a comparable competitor review seems an oversight at best, and possible favouritism at worst. It has happened in other segments such as SUV’s etc. and is a consistent bugbear of the site. If measurements etc. and subjective matters like plastics are included in one review, why not all?
    Just some suggestions.

    • Shak

      Firstly, if you have read any Commodore reviews from around the first four years of VE production, you would notice that the A-pillars are always criticised. I read a review of the VE II drive yesterday on GMinsidenews and they mentioned that a Golf has a similar problem with the A-pillars, but no one ever mentions it.

      Secondly, maybe the reason no one is criticising the VEII for interior plastics is because they have been improved in quality. You are simply judging from Photos, so your view would be very biased. The reviewers were able to experience the cars in real life.

      Also with the design of the handbrake, doing a handbrake turn proves nothing. the Commodore is a family truckster, so most people would much rather the handbrake do its job of holding the car rather than being comfortable and grip-able while doing a handbrake turn. I agree that it is a silly design currently, however its placement is perfect.

    • steven427

      umm, plastics the whole ford interior is plastic (tell what isnt), holden unlike ford use real pressed, brushed aluminium across the dash (calais, caprice), and around door trims for caprice.

      • Shak

        I think the metal strip around the dash is now metal on all models. I think im not sure though.

    • Rocklord

      “I maintain that the VE has been overrated from the start, no doubt it appeals to many Australians, and with the ‘magic’ of the Holden PR and advertising machine wil continue to sell well, along with many buyers not even bothering to look at anything else because they are ‘a Holden person”.

      Hate to break it to you but plenty if not all motoring journalist world wide that have sampled the VE love it. What exactly do you mean by overrated? It’s fine well proportioned styling, excellent handling & ride comfort, good cabin insulation (superior to the falcon btw), performance v8’s that rival cars costing twice as much, good steering feed back, stiff chassis with almost 50/50 weight distribution, reasonable running/servicing costs, a model for every budget… As for interior ergonomics the VE is one of the easiest cars on the road to adjust for oneself. The hand brake is perfectly placed as are the power window buttons, my left hand rests there perfectly as I would assume for most other people. Power window buttons on the drivers door are actually a little less naturally accessible, in some cars it’s even a little awkward (usually smaller cars). The current Falcon is a good car & I look foward to the Coyote v8. But the VE was designed new from the ground up, so compared to the current Falcon (which still has underpinnings from the awful AU in it’s DNA) it’s a step ahead… not by much though.

      • Who Knew

        “the current Falcon (which still has underpinnings from the awful AU in it’s DNA)”

        Please tell us what significant parts the FG Falcon has in common with the AU. It is not engines, suspension (front or rear), transmissions, body panels, interiors or anything else. So what is the common DNA to which you refer?

        The VE carried over the engines, most transmissions and front suspension. The engines and transmissions are now different and still are behind the Ford on performance, economy and shift quality.

        • Who Knew

          I neglected to make clear that I was referring to the 6 cylinder engines only.

          PS Antispam “Holden”

  • Jabba the Hutt

    I can’t believe they didn’t go for a headlight/ tail light change. The new territory (soon to be released) has adopted the headlights from the XR6 and it immediately looks like a new model front on. Not good enough holden.

    • Goodfa

      I agree Jabba.

      They would have had to change the mould anyway for the front lights so why not go a but further so it is more recognisable as a new model.
      If they did not want to change the mould for rear lights they could have at least changed design so you can recognise it as a new model drom the rear.
      Like it or not it is a fact that most people when they buy a new car would like their neighbour see them in the latest thing on the block but with 2011 VEII most people could not tell it apart from the 2006 VE.

      • Shak

        Thumbs up. I dont understand why they would do that little flick of the front lights and not do anymore. They would have had to change the moulding process for the front bumper anyway, so why not more there. Ok the rear is sort of understandable, but c’mon do some more. Unless the VF is not as far off as we think.

        • Andrew

          although they seem the same the headlights are actually quiet different in shape, they slant back further in the lense where as the original ve is more flat faced, and angle up the guard more

  • doli

    the other day a mate went to trade in his BFII XT that has a smooth 6 speed ZF.
    He went to take a spin in several models of this range, he was greatly disappointed and almost became violent towards the salesman who kept on degrading the performance of his BFII.
    He then took a GPS device, took the stupid salesman in for a spin and it gave his BFII 7.11s 0-100km/h.
    they took the VEII SV6 for a spin that has 210kW SIDI, it did 7.8s 0-100 with him and a salesperson in a car with worst time of 8.5s one the SV6 became heat soaked and very lumpy performance wise.
    the test car was 15,000k, his BFII 192,000k.
    he decided to keep his BFII 4.0 ZF, and totally proved wrong to the salesman who was a liar what can ya expect from salespeople liars in every way!

  • doli

    a fifteen grand second hand 2006 Aurion will beat this, it even has mirror indicators and projector lights, not like this crap , i expected this new VEII to have at least 1x projector light in each light set, it has none of that, very boring, i may just get a nice twenty grand second hand berlina 6.0l VE and take it for a mafless tune and get it to 300rwkw.

  • http://caradvice Andrew

    I agree re the Caprice V sounds great. Its obvious the Statesman is now the Caprice with a V6 only.
    I would like some more photos of the Caprice V and not of the 06-10 model (old low mounted front screen). Looks like the A pillar is still the same
    With the LSD option, sports FE2 can be ordered to lower the MRC. After market is about $2500, I think the Caprice still sits about two cm too high over the wheels.
    Hope we can see the red, and gun metal grey soon. go Holden

  • http://HOTMAIL Andrew

    I agree re the Caprice V sounds great. Its obvious the Statesman is now the Caprice with a V6 only.
    I would like some more photos of the Caprice V and not of the 06-10 model (old low mounted front screen). Looks like the A pillar is still the same
    With the LSD option, sports FE2 can be ordered to lower the MRC. After market is about $2500, I think the Caprice still sits about two cm too high over the wheels.
    Hope we can see the red, and gun metal grey soon. go Holden.

  • Dave S

    At the end of the the day no one want to get stuck trying sell an old BF2. I am sure performance was a ‘cover story’

    Oh, and Aurions are crap. Even TRD models. They might be a bit quick but they dont handle like the Locals. Toyota\’s big marketing department just cant do anything with them. Does not matter though retirees will still buy them.

  • freakson

    BFII is still better car, might take you back 3 years, but engine , the torque it has and the torque converter locking 6 speed ZF that locks in all gears makes it feel like a 220kW/446Nm GENIII and as smooth as a 250kW/470Nm last variant of a GENIII 5.7L V8.
    You can pick a fairmont ghia variant for like 18 grand nowdays and its a better deal, of course it wont have some electronics as this new VEII, again 2010 versus 2002-2008 cars, but engine wise no match.

    • Andrew

      clearly you havnt driven a direct injected alloytec,

      bf11 might be a good car if your looking for a second hander, but that has no relevance when your looking at new cars

  • Marcus of Hobart

    Just been driving an SV6 wagon, can’t believe Holden can spend a billions dollars on a car that has a dash board design that can have reflections so badly you can’t read the speedo or tacho dials at all. Then when there are no reflections you have a job to quickly read them anyway due to white writing on a light grey background. Such bad design and obviously no testing to check these safety defects. Come on Holden lift your game!!!

  • Craig

    About to purchase a series 11 SV6 Wagon new for $39 990. Comparisons with ford are meaningless for me now that they don’t do a wagon. I think the features is similar to cars of around the $55-60k mark so good value.

    Basically, if you need a vechile with lots of luggage space for surfboards etc inside, and dont want to go SUV (which has smaller luggages space anyway)there are very few options anymore.

    Would consider the Skoda except it just doesnt look very good.

    Drove a commodore and think it goes well. If it can just hold together a bit better than previous Ford’s and Holdens i have had, then Il be happy.

    • Goodfa

      Thats not a bad price Craig considering they are advertising them on special for $41,990 drive away.

      Is it a 2010 or 2011 plate?

  • Craig

    Hi 2010 plate, hence the price i assume. Dealer has ‘MY 2011″ on the quote so could play hard and hold him to it, but they have to make a living too so will take a my10. I saw one for that price on carsales and local dealer matched it. Still lose $5k driving it off the lot but a good deal i think.

    What changes will be made come August, anyone know?

    • nickdl

      It’s just a new dedicated LPG engine, E85 on the 3.6 and a minor styling tweak I think.

  • Andrew

    My friends VY has a nice designed interior, but not so goood quality materials and whilst certainly a manageable car for day-to-day commuting not that refined by modern standards. Then to sit and ride in his VE MY10 SS-V disregarding the SS-V extra bits, such a refined well-riding car with a step up in material qualities but build looked like a bunch of squares and bits put together. My gripe with the original VE’s was the 3.6L engine which despite only having been in the commodore for 2 years at that time already was getting negative reviews and was even said to not necessarily be a worthy upgrade from the old 3.8L, not to mention the VN-era 4 speed auto. Now with the MY10 V6/Auto drivetrain upgrades and this nice reshaped interior VE II is well and truly back in the game offering well-over-sufficent motoring for a very good price. Now hard to pick between Falcon and Commodore very hard, the Falcon maybe just due to the ever-lasting 4.0L i6, 6 speed ZF (now as standard across the range) and the all-round refinement. But what to do, both brillant cars but still lagging behind the rest of the world so their future may never be comfortably certain. Their cost probably is still the main benefit but that is just the cost, experience is the final judge of almost any owner.

  • Mick

    I’ve owned Commodores for most of my driving life, including the VK, VL, VT SS, VY & VE SV6 Series 1. The VL & VE Series 1 were the best of these cars by a long way – until now. I now drive the new Series II SV6 Wagon and am blown away by the difference from the original Series 1 SV6.

    I’m no technical expert or mechanic by any means, but the driving experience of the Series 2 is close to the best of any car I have driven (including Audi & BMW).

    Holden have finally delivered a gearbox that doesn’t sound like its about to fall out when you put your foot down, it accelerates smoothly & quietly, and has enough interior features and creature comforts to rival many higher end vehicles.

    I was considering swapping to an XR6 after the Series 1, but when I drive a Falcon, I feel like I’m in a Taxi. I can’t recommend the Series 2 highly enough.

  • David

    There is not enough cosmetic differences to differentiate a Calais V from all of these new ‘limited editions’ Holden is releasing… Apart from larger rims and some chrome accents on the outside and fancier perforated leather seats on the inside the car looks exactly the same as te lower models… Maybe the introduction of wood grain or a carbon fibre look material and a few more interior colours would do well to differentiate, as well as a standard sunroof…

Holden Commodore Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$12,540 - $14,250
Dealer Retail
$14,060 - $16,720
Dealer Trade
$10,000 - $11,400
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
318Nm @  2400rpm
Max. Power
175kW @  6500rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
14.2L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:2100  Unbrake:1000
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
245/45 R18
Rear Tyres
245/45 R18
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Control & Handling
Traction Control System
Trip Computer
Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Pass Side Windscreen
Country of Origin