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Used Holden Commodore review: 2004-2007

The VZ range offered the Executive fleet model including the Acclaim and Calais, and a sports model, the SV6 (pictured).

The Holden VZ Commodore was the last hurrah for the generation that began with the VT in 1997 and served Holden well.

By any measure the VT was an attractive car, but by 2004 when the VZ was launched it was looking a little shabby even with the best efforts of the Holden designers to refresh it with some fairly minor cosmetic changes.

The major changes occurred under the skin in the form of a new V6 engine, new transmissions, new safety features, and a new six-cylinder sports model. After 16 years Holden decided it was time for an under-bonnet change and replaced the faithful old 3.8-litre OHV V6 with an all-new, all-alloy double overhead camshaft 3.6-litre V6 with the latest technology.

There were two versions of the new Alloytec V6; one with 175 kW and 320 Nm that powered the mum-and-dad models, and another with 190 kW and 340 Nm for the new SV6 sports model. Both engines delivered more performance than the old V6 and Holden claimed they were also two percent more fuel efficient on average.

There was a small performance improvement for the 5.7-litre V8, which continued in the SS until the Series II upgrade in 2006 when it was replaced by a new 6.0-litre engine. Along with the engines Holden also revealed new automatic and manual transmissions.

The 190 kW V6 was linked to an all-new five-speed auto with paddle shifting on the steering wheel, the regular V6 was bolted to an upgraded four-speed auto without the paddle-shifting feature. There was also a new six-speed manual gearbox that was available with the 190 kW V6.

The VZ range began with the Executive fleet model, and included the Acclaim and Calais, while there was now a sports model, the SV6, in addition to the V8-powered SS. Holden continued to offer two body styles, the sedan and wagon.

IN THE SHOP

Now up to seven years old the VZ is showing its age with odometer readings as high as 200,000 km. The message from that is that it needs to be approached with caution. The VZ was sturdily built and is generally proving to be quite durable if properly maintained, so look for a service record that shows what servicing has been done. Check for oil leaks around the engine and gearbox, inspect for coolant leaks, and examine the body for poor crash repairs.

IN A CRASH

The Commodore's safety arsenal was boosted by the addition of Electronic Stability Program on some models, including the Acclaim. It was part of a larger package of safety systems that included ABS braking, Corner Brake Control, Electronic Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, and traction control. ANCAP ticked four out of the five possible safety boxes.

UNDER THE PUMP

Holden worked hard to extract as much fuel efficiency out of the Commodore as possible, but there was no escaping the fact that it was a large and somewhat heavy car. The company claimed an average of 11.0-11.6 L/100 km for the V6 and 14. 0-14.5 L/100 km for the V8. The VZ is not the car for you if you are concerned about fuel economy. If that is your concern and you want a large car perhaps look at the dual-fuel version, which came from the factory with a quality IMPCO system.

AT A GLANCE

Price new: $33,160-$50,090
Engine: 3.6-litre petrol V6, 175 kW/320 Nm; 3.6-litre petrol V6, 190 kW/340 Nm; 3.6-litre dual-fuel V6, 175 kW/320 Nm; 5.7-litre petrol V8, 250 kW/470 Nm; 6.0-litre petrol V8, 260 kW/510 Nm
Transmission: 4-speed auto, 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, RWD
Economy: 11.0 L/100 km (175 kW V6), 11.5 L/100 km (190 kW V6), 14.0 L/  100 km (V8)
Body: 4-door sedan, 4-door wagon
Variants: Executive, Equipe, Acclaim, Lumina, SV6, SV8, SS
Safety: 4-star ANCAP.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2007 $3,400 $15,180
2006 $2,600 $14,960
2005 $2,400 $10,120
2004 $2,300 $10,010

View all Holden Commodore pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$4,989
Based on 204 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$900
Highest Price
$19,988

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Acclaim 3.8L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,700 – 6,050 2004 Holden Commodore 2004 Acclaim Pricing and Specs
Berlina 5.7L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $4,600 – 7,370 2004 Holden Commodore 2004 Berlina Pricing and Specs
Equipe 3.8L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,100 – 5,280 2004 Holden Commodore 2004 Equipe Pricing and Specs
Executive 3.8L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $2,900 – 5,060 2004 Holden Commodore 2004 Executive Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist

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