In October 2016, I heard some speculation about a special send-off model of the Commodore. As time went on about what it might be, I thought to myself I had to have it. At the time I was unemployed, only on my Ps, and the model hadn’t even been announced. I took the risk and put a deposit down at my dealer at the time. Fast-forward to today, I have my first car, I have my full licence, and I have a job that helped pay for this car in full.
Since spending a house deposit on a car, and also my first car, I haven’t looked back. I took a huge gamble putting a deposit down and being unemployed, but luckily it went through. Since a young age, I have always wanted a Commodore, and seeing as this would be the last opportunity to get a true Australian made, rear-drive one – and a limited-edition one – I couldn’t pass it up.
The first time I jumped in and started it up, I knew it was going to be something. The big bucket seats, the sound of the LS3 V8 and the most powerful car I’ve driven, it was going to be something. It is a nice car to drive, extremely smooth and compliant, quiet and refined. The steering is very direct and on centre.
When selecting from Tour to Sport modes, you instantly hear it get louder and the ride firm up to FE3 firmness. The noise is so satisfying, and with the manual it is easy to keep it that way. When selecting Performance mode, it is instantly firmer and flat through corners, and the exhaust has many more gurgles and pops.
On the street, it turns heads with its decals and exhaust note, and sometimes unwanted attention, especially considering my age in a car like this. It stands out with its red decals, mirrors and daytime running light surrounds, big 20-inch wheels with red details, and in my case a big spoiler.
The power delivery is very smooth and there when you need it, especially when overtaking. In any gear it has more than enough power to make a move, and not only does it sound good when the revs build, but it also becomes lethal. The good thing is that even though it’s a V8 and has a lot behind it, it's not as easy as you think to speed unless you purposely downshift and put your foot down.
The technology is well sorted with a decent 8.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Bose audio, electric heated front seats, self-parking and all the usual including forward collision, lane departure and blind-spot warnings.
The infotainment feels dated and Bluetooth takes a while to connect after turning on, but otherwise is well sorted. There is no AUX port, which I find strange to get rid of. Otherwise, the only other thing I can really pick would be the cupholders are awkwardly positioned if you rest your forearm while changing gears. Otherwise, there is a lot to like.
The Aussie-made Holden Commodore will be missed, especially if you have had a chance to own or drive one. It can be a big family sedan one day and a big, loud and powerful sports car the next. Easy to live with, drive and maintain, the only thing is the fuel economy, which can get up there in traffic. But you don’t buy a V8 for the fuel economy, especially if it is the last Aussie-made one.
For me to justify to my family and friends spending $70K on a first car was one thing, but when turning up with it, no word had to be said as it was immediately justified, being one of the last Aussie-made cars and a piece of history. This is something too good to go, and I am glad I haven’t let it.