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Car reviews - Holden - Commodore ute - Omega utility


Holden goes for style with its new VE Ute, which impresses, even in Omega guise

19 Dec 2007

NEED a ute? For years, both Ford and Holden have obliged. But since 2000 the latter has strayed from the traditional workhorse pick-up with a series of sleek, performance-orientated 'sports coupes' that have gained a strong male-dominated urban following. Now that the utility version of the $1 billion VE program is here, the Holden Ute has diverged even more from its humble beginnings, gaining car-like steering, handling, ride, comfort, refinement and safety qualities to match the rakish styling. Even in base Omega automatic guise, we expect you will walk away mightily impressed by how far the Aussie coupe-utility has come. Don’t expect an out-and-out workhorse, but its 794kg payload means that the cheapest Holden Ute is also the least lazy.

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Model release date: 1 October 2007 to 1 September 2009

Previous model

VZ Commodore Ute

Released: Aug 2004
Ended: Sep 2007
Family Tree: Commodore ute

The final version of the VT Commodore-based VU Ute was the VZ, introducing the Australian-made Alloytec 175 3.6-litre DOHC 24-valve V6 engine producing 175kW of power and 320Nm of torque, and allied to a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox. Interestingly, from early 2006 the engine output dropped to 172kW, only to rise to 180kW from August 2006 when the VE Commodore's Alloytec 180 arrived. As an end-of-model series, Holden increased the standard specification of the VZ, but this model struggled to haul back Ford’s popular BA/BF Falcon-based Utes, despite having coil-spring rear suspension and more coupe-like styling. Payload was rated at 780kg.

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