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.
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).
A problem like this could be caused by any number of things, James. Electronically interrogating the on-board computer is a wise first step, as the error codes that will result will possibly lead you straight to the offending component.
In cars like yours with electronic fuel-injection and engine management, there’s an array of sensors that need to send the correct signal to the car’s on-bord brain for everything to function properly. Replacing these sensors one by one until you fix the problem is a very time and cash consuming way of proceeding. Have the car scanned instead and see what fault codes show up.
Meantime, if I had to venture a guess, I’s say the problem sounds ignition related. An engine will often idle properly with no load on it, but when you select a gear, there’s suddenly load applied and, if the ignition system is not spot on, the engine can suddenly do all sorts of crazy things, including dropping cylinders. The other thing that occurs to me is that your battery might be low on charge. Injected engines absolutely do not like a lack of volts.
These late Commodores (the very last of the locally-made Commodores, actually) do, in fact, have a history of fuel injector problems. Holden has claimed that poor quality fuel is the cause, but some technicians disagree, arguing that it’s a problem inherent in the injector’s design. Some owners have been told that it’s better to run these cars on 95 or 98-octane fuel, even though the LS3 V8 is rated to run on 91-octane ULP. But it seems even cars that have been run on the pricier brew are still recording problems with the injectors.
The faulty injectors send the engine into a potential lean-mixture situation, at which point the on-board computer intervenes and sends the car into limp-home mode to avoid engine damage. That’s why you’re seeing all those warning lights on the dashboard, while the injectors themselves are what’s causing the rough running you’ve reported.
There’s been no recall on Holden’s part, but the word on the street is that a Holden dealer will replace the injectors free of charge if you present the car at the dealership with the symptoms in evidence. Holden’s announcement that it will cease to trade in Australia should not affect this situation.
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.