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Holden Monaro V8 2005 review

The pleasure of being behind the wheel of the new Holden Monaro V8 is a serene sense of having nothing to prove.

There are not many times in average driving that one really needs the sort of muscle these cars have, but it is sweet to know it is there. I adored it on Willunga Hill where I was barely touching the accelerator as I hummed effortlessly up the outside lane. I am not sure that the car actually noticed the incline at all. And it was novel to be watching the speedo, not for changing down gears to continue the climb, but to make sure one was not exceeding the limit. It is nice to have that extra oomph for an overtake on a country road, too.

But, in day-to-day life, the V8 has to do what ordinary cars do – go to and from work, manoeuvre into tight parking station spots and generally play among the city cars.

The Monaro plays very nicely, indeed. I was tickled pink to be given a "devil" yellow one. I have always yearned for a yellow car – and this one was a picture of sporty emancipation. I couldn't wait to hit the open road.

Ironically, the first thing I did hit was my head. One has to learn a certain way to get into these low-slung beasts. But once inside, it is five-star comfort. Unless one is in the back, which is not easy to achieve. The leather trimmed seats slide electronically back and forth, and tip forwards, but it is still a tight scramble even for a bag of shopping.

But the Monaro is not that sort of a car. It is a spoil-me car. It's a single woman thumbing the nose at convention car. A divorced woman's revenge car. A retired woman's claim to equality car. And a fun car. The Monaro nips around the city like a dream and slips easily into tricky parking spots. It has a neat turning circle and one of the best steering wheels I have ever handled – leather, sporty and artfully moulded with bulges for grip.

The dashboard with its glossy piano black fascia trim, is nothing less than divine – mirroring the car's cheeky yellow with a slightly muted colour-coded instrument cluster in the centre as well as the usual dials. The airconditioning system is state of the art, climate controlled with outside temps and inside temps, and air flow temps, breeze speed and you name it. Easy to set.

In fact nothing at all is difficult about the Monaro. It has reversing beeps, excellent cupholders, a fair amount of console storage, a small but reasonable boot, excellent lighting outside and in, a top sound system ... the only thing lacking would seem to be a roof hand-hold bar for the passenger. No, he was not nervous. He just wanted something to hang on to.

Best of all, with the nostrils flaring, so to speak of the bonnet scoops, it gives one that smug feeling of being so strong and smart that the last thing on earth one needs to do is to show it off.

Verdict

Love it, Leave it

Holden Monaro

Love it

Sporty leather steering wheel. Colour-coded instrument clusters. Comfortable seats. Smug feeling.

 

Leave it

Hitting my head on door frame. Lack of passenger hand grip.

Pricing Guides

$39,990
Based on 15 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$28,999
Highest Price
$66,890

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
CV8 5.7L, PULP, 4 SP AUTO $20,020 – 25,410 2005 Holden Monaro 2005 CV8 Pricing and Specs
CV8-Z 5.7L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $28,999 – 65,000 2005 Holden Monaro 2005 CV8-Z Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$25,000

Lowest price, based on 15 car listings in the last 6 months

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