At the time of purchasing in December 2016, my 2010 VE Commodore Omega had travelled 134,000km. At the time of this review, it had just hit 150,000km.
During my ownership, I have had to attend to little outside scheduled maintenance, except for a leaking air-con condenser. Maintenance costs have otherwise been minimal.
For my situation, the main drawcard was fuel economy. I wanted a large car, and for it to be fuel efficient as I commute over 30,000km to and from work yearly, plus travelling outside work.
The 3.0-litre six cylinder is good on fuel (there are other, larger capacity engines that are more fuel efficient), however, the lack of torque and the transmission calibration is its main downfall.
The LF1 engine is good for 190kW, but a meagre 290Nm torque, and when faced with any hill greater than a modest incline, it will almost certainly shift back to fourth and scream at 3000rpm until it’s traversed.
I travel about 80 per cent at 100km/h motorways and B-roads and the rest in mostly flowing traffic, and get 8-8.5L/100km which translates to around 800-850km from a tank. In itself, that result isn’t bad, especially when upgrading from a 15-year old Mitsubishi Magna that achieved closer to 10L/100km; however, when compared to our other family hauler, a 2007 Toyota Aurion, it pales in comparison considering its larger engine.
The ride is relatively sedate, and can become wallowy when at high speeds over undulations in the road, or low speed cornering, especially on stock 16-inch wheels and tyres, This has improved somewhat with the fitment of 18-inch factory alloys from a later model Commodore.
Interior room is where the Commodore shines – it’s in abundance. Its decor, however, is staid, with swathes of grey upon grey with the exception of the centre stack containing the radio, which is silver.
The seats are accommodating in their size, but offer no real support, though can be compromised upon, with available four-way adjustment. The upper door trims are a hard plastic you’d expect in a no-frills commercial ute, and the dash is little better.
The Omega features call-only Bluetooth and a 3.5mm Auxiliary connection, which I found somewhat lacking on a 2010 built car. I had hoped for perhaps Bluetooth streaming capability, or at least the availability for such as a factory accessory, but alas. I have made do, for the most part, with a phone cradle and use of the 3.5mm Aux jack.
You will find, after researching, that options to upgrade the factory radio are very limited and rather expensive, due to the integration of the HVAC controls in the centre dash.
It may sound like I’m trashing the Commodore. It’s an inherently decent car – it’s roomy, fine for long distance driving, mechanically reliable and does the job I ask of it without too much fuss – but there’s no hiding its fleet-spec roots and the lack of user-technology.
If creature comforts and decent torque are important to you, as I have found, maybe save up for a Series II 3.6L-powered SV6 or similar.