Holden Monaro Review
Holden has been surprising us from the very beginning of their journey. It’s probably one of the reasons why whenever we hear the name “Holden”, we know exactly what people are talking about and Holden surprised everybody yet again with their unveiling of an elegant new coupe concept at the 1998 Sydney International Motor Show. At that time, it was simply called the Commodore Coupe.
While there was some struggle to the name inside the company there was no contradicting public pressure and it was finally decided to reprise the Monaro badge. A modern day classic was born. And the whole world knew it as Monaro!
It was back in 2001, when the first Monaro was launched and started the era, although the new generation Monaro wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t as good as the old ones!
When the signature series of Holden arrived in showrooms, its popularity started growing even more rapidly. There were two variant models. The base-model, dubbed CV6, used the supercharged version of the old Buick-derived V6 to make 171kW of power interconnected solely to a four-speed automatic gearbox. Priced from $47,990, the supercharged, 3.8-litre, V6-powered CV6 included front and side airbags, ABS, traction control, a four-speed auto, air-conditioning, alarm, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, CD audio, fog lights, leather upholstery, powered front seats, power windows and a trip computer. However, many of the buyers wanted a manual transmission and the v6 was punitive and noisy! So, it lost its market value eventually. The CV8, which used the 5.7-litre V8 engine as seen in the Commodore SS, however lived up to the expectations of the people. Power was 225kW and while the engine itself was no epitome of smoothness or low-down grunt, it made the right noise and had the right number of cylinders. CV8 was indeed the most desirable Monaro – despite its unnecessarily tall gearing. CV8 prices started at $56,990.
Equipment upgrades from the V6 included the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox, dual climate control, 18-inch wheels (the V6 had 17s) and a 10-stacker CD player. Underneath, the Monaro was familiar to the Commodore, with MacPherson Strut front suspension and semi-trailing arm independent rear suspension. Brakes were discs all round, and ABS was standard along with traction control. This was all about the first lot of Monaro. In December 2002, the second series arrived along with 10 kW and 5 Nm boost to the V8. The CV8 also gained rear parking sensors and restyled alloy wheels and dash. The prices also increased to $49,450 for the CV6 and $58,750 for the CV8. The CV8 was getting the spotlight but the CV6 sales were still going the wrong way. With no other way to turn around, Holden decided to axe the CV6 in 2003 and introduced the series III CV8, power climbed to 245 kW and the price rose to $59,350.
The final version of the Monaro came in in September 2004, with twin bonnet scoops. Priced at $60,490, the new VZ CV8 officially ran until July 2006. Although a special edition came out as last of the line in 2005-06, The CV8 manual was still the best and a worthy long term investment !