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Holden Monaro CV8 2004 Review

The "two door Commodore" as some choose to describe Monaro, has a sexy profile and really looks the business. When you lift the bonnet on the CV8, the effect continues – wow, a hulkin', heavy breathin' high-output V8 engine.

Holden upped the ante on its Gen III V8 with the Series II Monaro by increasing power to 245kW while torque stays the same at 465Nm. It was a minor recalibration job rather than serious engineering changes.

What it means is a bit more zip, easier cruising and coincidentally, better fuel economy.

The six speed manual still struggles to maintain a given speed up hills because it is so high geared.

The four speed auto doesn't suffer in this area.

In the first five gears, the manual CV8 has excellent performance coupled with a resonating exhaust rumble. The big V8 engine sees the svelte coupe through a 0-100kmh sprint in quick time – we estimate about 6.5 seconds.

It has superb roll-on acceleration from just about any speed and if you want more, just shift down a cog and it really, really gets going. The manual box is firm but fairly accurate and the clutch is light in operation.

It's firm suspension gives CV8 a somewhat jiggly ride but the upside of that is confident cornering, complemented by large, sticky tyres, strong brakes and firmly weighted, direct steering. It is a good dynamic package and thankfully, the traction control is switchable.

In terms of luxury features, the CV8 misses out on very little. The audio even has a sub-woofer and six in-dash CD capacity.

But there are some compromises with the coupe body – rear seat access for one and the low roofline can be annoying when getting into the car.

The front seats have an electric retraction system to make rear seat access easier but there is no return unless you push a preset button. The four seats are big and comfy featuring leather upholstery and lumbar adjustment.

CV8 and some other Commodores now have active head restraints to reduce the chance of whiplash injury. For the 60 grand ask, Monaro CV8 has few competitors. There might be a few smaller V6 coupes or front wheel drives but nothing with rear wheel drive and a big V8 engine. It is an alluring combination.

Pricing Guides

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Range and Specs

CV8 5.7L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $15,999 – 32,000 2004 Holden Monaro 2004 CV8 Pricing and Specs
CV8-R 5.7L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $14,410 – 18,920 2004 Holden Monaro 2004 CV8-R Pricing and Specs
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