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Sifting through the rubble: the Holdens that we would buy

By Tom Fraser, 03 Mar 2020 Car Opinions

The Holdens that we would buy

Thinking about buying a superseded new Holden? Here's what the WhichCar staff would buy

Holden as a brand is sadly dead. But that doesn’t mean that its cars are immediately worthless. In actual fact, the time to find extra value in its range of cars is now.

Ripping deals on Holden’s current stock are being widely reported, and even more than that, at a discounted price they’ll be a wise buying decision even now that Holden has pledged to support current owners through the next 10 years.

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We’ve had a whip around the WhichCar team to identify some of the cars we’d put our money behind and why.

 

Tom Fraser
Staff Journalist

Holden Commodore Tourer Calais

As a self-confessed wagon aficionado, how could I look past the Commodore Tourer Calais as a go-everywhere daily driver…

Read next: The Bend aims to break largest Holden convoy and gathering record

All-wheel drive, big naturally-aspirated 3.6-litre V6 that outputs 235kW and a comfortable-sized cabin that can fit people as well gear in the boot, there’s a lot to love about this high-riding soft-roader. Sure it mightn’t go as far off-road as segment heroes like the Subaru Outback, but consider the smart interior, Apple CarPlay-equipped infotainment, advanced safety tech and long list of features and there’s a good deal to be had here.

Pricing already begins at a sharp $45,990 (before on-roads) but considering the fact that this car has now been in run-out since late 2019 you should be getting an even sharper deal now. I’ll take mine in the $550 Darkmoon Blue prestige paint for $38,000 including on-road costs and be extremely happy with my choice. I’d try hard for a few genuine parts and accessories to be thrown in as well - what else are they going to do with them?

 

Tim Robson
WhichCar editor

Holden Colorado LS-X (Crush Orange, black interior)

The reality of buying a Holden now that the factory has shut its doors is that there’s not a lot of choice when it comes to buying your choice of Holden, if you get what I mean. For example, if I had the readies and my accountant said ‘go buy a car’, then this is the one I’d probably buy in good faith.

Read next: Holden Colorado LS-X review

I’ve always liked the way the Holden Colorado dual-cab 4x4 handles itself in the city, thanks to its Commodore-derived steering and tuned leaf rear end, and the LS-X has my basics – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, auto-down windows from the key fob (I’m a simple guy), cloth interior and decently rugged exterior looks (hey, I’m a bit shallow too).

Holden Colorado LSX review feature

Getting one in the Crush Orange paint might be tough, but I’d take this one in any colour, to be honest. Price? Last month they were selling for $46,990 before on-roads, but I reckon I’d try my luck at offering $40,000 on the nose. That’s not bad for a 3.5-tonne towing ute with an old but decent engine, good towing manners and decent off road manners.

 

Tony O’Kane
Senior Journalist

Holden Commodore VXR

Yes, okay, everyone loves to rage against the ZB Commodore, but consider this: the Commodore VXR is a family four-door that’s got some clever tech and will shame most hot hatches. No, it’s no SS replacement, but sensible people will know that the ZB was engineered to be a different kind of beast from the outset. Adjust your expectations, banish your prejudice, and the VXR suddenly looks like a pretty decent thing.

Read next: Should I buy a discontinued Holden?

The 3.6-litre atmo V6 may seem a bit hamstrung in this day and age, lacking the modernity and torque of turbos and the displacement advantage of a big V8, but 235kW and 381Nm ain’t nothing to sneeze at and it’s a swift mover. Wheels got a 6.2-second 0-100km/h sprint out of it which is deep into fast-hatch territory (it’s a couple of tenths faster than the Golf GTI, for example), and given you’ll probably get one now for similar money to a GTI or even an i30 N it’s compelling value from a performance point of view. Call it $42,000 with a few accessories chucked-in as a bonus. 

And with that capacious cabin it’s a fair whack more practical than any hot hatch. Clever all-wheel drive and a fancy-pants torque-vectoring rear differential means it’ll handle corners smartly too. As a fast and spacious execu-sled, the Commodore VXR makes a hell of a lot of sense. It’s also the best-looking ZB by far, thanks to that sporty bodykit and big wheels bringing out the best of its long and sleek sheetmetal surfacing.

 

Dan Gardner
Senior Journalist

Holden Astra RS

The Astra RS hatch is wildly underrated and doesn't get the attention it deserves. Warm hatch power, matched with a sharp chassis combines for a surprisingly good driver's car but doubles as an efficient and well-equipped runabout to boot. All that for a sharp price too.

Read next: Holden prices slashed as final fire sale starts

The list price before on-road costs is $27,990 but I’d be pushing for as close to $20,000 as I can and would be after the Absolute Red paint.

 

David Bonnici
Senior Journalist

Holden Acadia LT AWD

 

If Holden was going to have a future it was going to be on the back of rugged American-built GM product and the company started that ball rolling by re-badging the GMC Acadia, which brought a brutish point of difference to Aussie large-SUV market.

Read next: 2019 Holden Acadia LT review

In an alternate Holden-loving universe the V6-powered Acadia would have sold incredibly well alongside Aussie-built Commodores, with a lot to like for anyone moving up from big family sedan.

The Tennessee-built Acadia is incredibly spacious inside but not too wide to make parking difficult. The third row fits two adults comfortably and folding it down brings a massive 1092-litres of boot space, which is bigger than any dedicated five-seater.

2019 holden acadia interior

Despite its American-truck looks it has car-like handling that’s a result of an extensive local suspension tuning program by Holden engineers. 

Its 231kW/367Nm 3.6-litre V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission make light work of its 2.0-tonne heft and offers a nice rumble to complement its macho aesthetic.

IN DETAIL: 2019 Holden Acadia Range Review

The base-spec Acadia LT AWD retails for $46,490 and, while it misses out on some of the bells and whistles of the upper-spec variants, brings plenty of SUV for your dollar even before you score a good closing-down deal. I'd swing for the fences and try for $10,000 off its list price, driving away in an LT AWD for $35,000.

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