The locally-built Holden Commodore was kind of like Australia's girl next door – we fell for it almost as soon as it arrived in showrooms back in 1978. And just like the girl next door who grew into a beautiful woman, the last Australian-built VF II was the best Holden ever made.
However, the end of local manufacturing means that the current ZB Commodore isn't from next door, but from the other side of the planet. The German-built model's current prices range from $33,690 for the Commodore LT to $55,990 for the Commodore VXR.
In a weird way, it kind of works; the original Commodore was basically a reengineered version of the Opel Rekord, so the circle has been completed.
To confirm current colour availability, please check the manufacturer's website.
Holden Commodore Models Price and Specs
The price range for the Holden Commodore varies based on the trim level you choose. Starting at $33,690 and going to $55,990 for the latest year the model was manufactured.
The model range is available in the following body types starting from the engine/transmission specs shown below.
I can’t see why not, Peter. The 1996 and 1999 are more or less identical cars so there should be a high degree of interchangeability. While manual versions of the Commodore Ute form this era did, indeed, change gearbox types as the years progressed, the automatic version stuck with the same unit, so the gearbox and all its ancillary bits and pieces should be a straight swap.
And how good is a ute with a bench seat for three and a column-shift? Car makers should revisit this layout as it makes so much sense.
The standard differential on this vehicle was a non-LSD (non-limited-slip) unit with a final-drive ratio of 3.08:1. Some owners changed the gears in the diff for more acceleration, although this was more commonly done in V8 models where owners were chasing performance at the expense of a little fuel economy.
If you’re in doubt, you can put the car on a hoist, mark a spot on the driveshaft and then turn the rear wheel a full revolution. By counting the number of times the driveshaft rotates during that process, you’ll know the ratio. In this case, one full rotation of the rear wheel should equal 3.08 rotations of the driveshaft.
The early VE model Commodore V6s certainly had all sorts of dramas with stretched timing chains that could run into thousands of dollars to fix. Holden changed the design of the chain and while it did help, we’ve still heard of later post-2008 model Commodore V6s exhibiting the same problem.
The problem is made worse (accelerated) by poor servicing, so if the vehicle in question doesn’t have an absolutely up-to-date service handbook with evidence of every scheduled service being carried out in full, we’d be walking away. Same goes for a car that rattles on first start-up, won’t idle properly or has a check-engine light illuminated on the dashboard.
A car with a little extra ground clearance is great for camping as it often allows you to get a little farther away from the masses in their caravans who tend to huddle around the shower block at bush campsites.
The Subaru Outback is a good, solid choice and if you can find an independent workshop to service it, you’ll avoid the cost of dealership prices. And you’re right, the all-wheel-drive would be great for gravel roads. Another vehicle to look at would be a late-model Ford territorydiesel which is big and clever inside and has the option of all-wheel-drive. The diesel engine is a plus on the bush where that fuel is more readily available (in really remote areas) and gives you more range for big holidays in the mulga.
Don’t rule out things like the Mitsubishi Pajero, either, which won’t be as around-town friendly, but is a proven quantity and is absolutely tremendous off-road. The same goes for a Toyota Prado or Nissan Pathfinder prior to the current model (which is a bit less hard-core adventure).
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The Holden Commodore is available in a number of variants and body types that are powered by Diesel, PULP and ULP fuel type(s). It has an estimated fuel consumption starting from 5.6L/100km for Hatchback /Diesel for the latest year the model was manufactured.
The following Holden Commodore is available with five seats. The LT variant comes with Jet Black cloth seat trim. The RS variant is available with Jet Black cloth and Sportec seat trim. Jet Black perforated leather-appointed seat trim is available on the RS-V, VXR and Calais-V variants. The Calais comes with Jet Black leather appointed trim.