Used Holden Commodore review: 2006-2009
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The all-new VE Commodore was heralded as the car that would keep Holden ahead of the pack when it was released in 2006.
Holden invested more than it had ever done before in developing the VE and was looking to the new car to maintain its premier position in the market. Sadly for Holden, and Ford, the market has undergone a seismic shift in the last year or so and big cars, like the Commodore and the Falcon, are now on the brink of extinction.
While that might be the modern reality cars like the VE Commodore can still represent good value for money if you prize might and power. The attractive sedan and wagon are roomy, comfortable, refined and well equipped, with lots of space to carry the family and the gear a family takes when they hit the road.
Holden offered a choice of V6s, there were two versions offering different output, a big beefy V8, and an option of a dual-fuel V6 to save a few bucks at the servo. With 180 kW and 330 Nm the base V6 was plenty powerful enough for anyone, but for those who felt they needed more there was the 195 kW version available in the sporty SV6. For even more the option of a V8 was there in the SS.
Transmission options varied between models, starting with a four- speed auto and ending with a six-speed self-shifter. There was also a manual gearbox although that wasn't a big seller, at least in the cooking models. On the road, the VE handled well, the ride was well controlled and comfortable, and performance was brisk no matter the engine. Fuel consumption was a concern, however, and an average ranging between 10 and 14 L/100 km was disappointing.
While the VE was generally well built and solid there are issues that affect it and these make it a questionable used car purchase. It's been well documented that the previous 5.7-litre V8 was troublesome, it rattled on start-up and used oil at an alarming rate; the troubles haven't gone away with the introduction of the new 6.0-litre engine.
Owners still report rattling noises and there are also reports of high oil consumption. Unfortunately it seems the 3.6-litre V6 also has some issues. One member of the trade recently contacted us to tell us about his experience with the engine, which he says can become clogged with sludge between the 15,000 km service intervals with the result that it can be severely damaged to the point of needing to be rebuilt.
All carmakers have been stretching service intervals with the object of saving the owner a few bucks on servicing costs, but in this case it would appear that the interval is too extreme and anyone with a Commodore V6 should consider having their cars serviced at 10,000 km intervals. The V6 also consumes oil and there appears to be no fix from Holden, and listen for timing chain rattle, as they wear and become noisy.
We have heard of timing chains breaking. Anyone thinking of buying a VE V6 would be well advised to have a trusted mechanic give it the once over. Other areas of concern are worn suspension bushes, listen for clunking and banging from the suspension, and electrical gremlins, check that all systems are working.
Appealing on the surface, but can be troublesome and should be approached with caution.
|Year||Price From||Price To|
Range and Specs
|Acclaim||3.6L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$1,758 – 6,990||2006 Holden Commodore 2006 Acclaim Pricing and Specs|
|Berlina||3.6L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$2,985 – 9,990||2006 Holden Commodore 2006 Berlina Pricing and Specs|
|Berlina Dual Fuel||3.6L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$5,830 – 8,250||2006 Holden Commodore 2006 Berlina Dual Fuel Pricing and Specs|
|Executive||3.6L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO||$800 – 6,990||2006 Holden Commodore 2006 Executive Pricing and Specs|