It might be the last laugh for Australian sports sedan buyers who have been fobbed off by European car snobs – the humble Holden VE Commodore is largely outperforming performance BMW offerings from the same era, according to the used-car market.
Given that October 20, 2017, is the day that Holden’s rich local manufacturing history comes to a close, it’s no surprise that the company immediately sold its final Motorsport, Director and Magnum limited editions, and has banned discounting all V8 VF Series II models.
But it also appears that the 2006-2013 VE Commodore – arguably even more ‘Aussie’ than the VF generation – is experiencing a resurgence of values, at least with V8 versions.
MOTOR caught wind of the story when a New South Wales dealership advertised a 2009 Commodore SS manual with 70,000km for $20,000 and refused to budge on price, arguing that it would sell. It did, the following week.
While three 6.0-litre V8-powered SS models each built between 2006 and 2009, and with 125-150,000km on the clock, are currently advertised from $13,000 in the classifieds, low-kilometre examples are asking more than twice that price.
Another trio built in the same period, but with between 2900km and 37,500km showing, are asking between $27,000 and $35,000 online.
Compare the humble Holden, which retailed from $45,290 in manual trim in January 2009, to the likes of the BMW 135i and 335i, at more than 50 per cent the price new, or $79,644 and $115,450 respectively.
We found four 135is built in 2008 or 2009 and with between 96,500km and 130,000km on the clock, wearing $20,000-to-$22,000 stickers. While the high-kilometre end of town is now bang-on 50 per cent of the Commo’s used-car price, it’s a different story elsewhere.
A 2009 135i manual with 67,000km is asking $25,000 – just $5K beyond the SS manual at the dealership, of the same year and identical kilometres. In the same year a 135i automatic with 48,000km is asking $32,000 – right in the ballpark of the equivalent SS.
Perhaps it’s an even harder downfall for the 335i of 2007 and 2008. Both automatics, one example with 149,000km wears a $20,000 pricetag, while the other boasts 33,000km but asks $41,000 – hardly $10K more than the equivalent Holden.
Both Munich maulers used a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine with 225kW/400Nm, the 135i claiming a 5.3-second 0-100km/h while the 335i needed 5.7sec. The Commodore SS of the era used a 6.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 with 270kW/530Nm, with a MOTOR as-tested time of 5.2sec.
So, BMW value or pay a premium for a Holden? Bet you haven’t heard that one before.