Make / Model Search

Car reviews - Holden - Monaro - CV8 coupe

Launch Story

11 Mar 2005

WHAT a difference! VZ Monaro is by far the best example of the breed to drive – particularly in manual form.

The cam and exhaust changes have delivered 93 per cent of peak torque from 2300rpm to 5300rpm and an extra 40Nm across the range. Combine it with those shorter gears and all of a sudden the whole performance persona of Monaro changes.

There’s a far less peaky nature to the engine and no sign of moon-shot gearing that combined to make this engine feel a tad breathless below 4000rpm.

Whisking along some hurdy-gurdy roads during the launch was a joyful experience, the meat of the rev range never too far away.

And the sound! Not only do you feel the engine is working for you, you can hear it pumping along as well, creating a mechanical song that brings a grin to your face.

All that’s aided by the vastly uprated traction control. No more tap-tap-tap on the throttle foot and sudden halts as spark is cut. Now the whole process is far more subtle and progressive.

Not invisible mind you, but good enough to make speedy progress a far more linear experience.

The improvement of the traction control system allows the chassis and suspension to shine brighter. Always one of the better handling Holdens, the Monaro now feels like it has taken another significant step forward.

And this is all happening well before the all-new car and its Zeta platform arrive in 2006, replacing the basic MacPherson strut front-end and semi-trailing arm rear suspension with double wishbones and a true multi-link system.

There’s no doubt about the improvement to the brake system either, which over a series of crash stops held up strongly against fade. This is another recognisable advancement from the old Monaro.

Any improvements in the four-speed auto are less easy to decipher. It’s such an old ’box now that its lack of ratio spread and semi-manual mode make it a dead weight compared to the changes for the better in the rest of the package.

If you have a sporting bone in your body and buy a Monaro auto, then prepare for disappointment. In this day and age it is simply not up to par. The changes continue to jar, it will jump between ratios too easily and will dull the driving experience simply too much in the trade-off for self-shifting.

So put the auto in the familiar category, along with the interior. But thankfully the latter doesn’t need the sort of attention the transmission does. It’s a comfortable place to be if you are up front and liveable for a while if you are in one of the two rear pews.

Interior presentation remains just on the gauche side of loud.

Which brings us to those bloody bonnet scoops. If you love the pure and simple shape of the reborn Monaro, then you won’t be won over.

Sure, they’re well executed and somewhat menacing when another Monaro is following in the rear view mirror. But as for many of us, I fancy the best thing about them is we won’t be able to see them when we’re driving.

And the driving is certainly the really exciting part of the VZ Monaro story.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new Monaro

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here