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The Mercury Cars Guide : July 17th 2010
Saturday, July 17, 2010 Classifieds 62 300 400 carsguide.com.au ---11 USED Car of the week Family staple as safe as houses GRAHAM SMITH looks at the 2008-2009 model VE Commodore Sportwagon HOLDEN'S VE Sportwagon was an attempt to breathe new life into the station wagon just when it seemed dead and all but buried. Wagons were once the staple of families throughout the country. They were the practical all-rounder for the family that needed to carry extra gear on their travels. But in recent times they have fallen out of favour with the SUV becoming the family favourite. The SUV has become something the wagon could never be --- an aspirational vehicle with the practicality of the traditional wagon. The wagon's cause wasn't aided by the rather grey image it acquired when it became the choice of the country's sales reps. If it was to sell, the wagon had to offer more than mere practicality and the Sportwagon was Holden's attempt to make the wagon cool again by giving it a stylish makeover. model watch Before the Sportwagon, Holden wagons boasted a longer wheelbase than the regular Holden sedans. But its new-age wagon differed in that it was based on the same wheelbase as the sedan. It was a sign of the tough times that the only way Holden could justify a wagon program was to build it on the sedan platform. But it was an important addition to the Commodore range that expanded its appeal to a broader market. Gone was the traditional boxy style that has been employed on wagons since the year dot. In its place was a rather swoopy shape that gave the Sportwagon a sportiness never before seen in the class. The shortened body and sweeping roofline did, however, cut into the available rear space, which was down almost 40 per cent on the VZ wagon it replaced. And that was with the rear seats in their normal position --- when folded flat the rear load space was still 30 per cent less than the old wagon. A 60:40 split/fold rear seat provided flexibility in the rear allowing objects of various shapes and sizes to be accommodated. Under the swoopy new skin lay the same mechanical package as that of the VE sedan. There was the choice of two versions of the 3.6-litre Alloytec V6 --- one that delivered 180kW and 330Nm in base form and one that boasted 195kW and 340Nm in a sporty SV6 guise. There was also the 6.0-litre V8 in the SS and SS-V that peaked at 270kW and 530Nm. The base V6 was only available with a four- speed auto, the SV6 came with a five-speed auto while the V8 models were available in standard form with a six-speed auto or the option of a six-speed manual. The suspension was largely carried over from the sedan with some alterations to enable it to carry a heavier load in the rear. Apart from the rear seat, the interior was a familiar VE style --- neat and tidy with all controls logically laid out and readily at hand. The Sportwagon range was quite extensive --- it included the base Omega; the Berlina; the luxury Calais and Calais V; and the sporty SV6, SS and SS-V. on the lot Pay $20,000-$25,000 for an Omega Sportwagon and $24,000-$29000 for a Berlina. For a sporty drive pay $28,000-$32,000 for an SV6 and $32,000-$38,000 for an SS. For a luxurious ride pay $32,000-$37,000 for a Calais and $40,000-$44,000 for a Calais V. in the shop Overall there are few concerns with the VE. While owners have reported the odd issue, there is nothing that appears widespread. The engine, gearbox, diff and suspension all seem rugged and generally reliable. The one issue that some owners have raised is the rather large A-pillars that can obstruct the driver's view when turning. The size is largely determined by the airbags the car boasts, but it is something potential owners should note and check to see if it affects them. The degree of obstruction can be affected by the seating position, so move the seat and see if that helps. It should be noted that the Sportwagon carries a space-saver spare. Even though the Sportwagon has only been on sale for a year or two, it's wise to check for a service record to make sure the engine oil has been changed. in a crash ANCAP gave the Sportwagon a five-star rating --- the highest rating it can give a car. It featured a comprehensive safety arsenal including front and side airbags (with brake assist), anti-skid brakes, brakeforce distribution, as well as traction and stability control systems. VE Commodore Sportwagon look for Sporty style Limited rear cargo space Sedan performance and handling Practical family transport without the size of an SUV also check Subaru Outback (2008-2009) Ford Territory (2008-2009) Holden Captiva (2008-2009) bottom line Sporty shape makes the wagon more appealing with minimal loss of traditional practicality 85/100 267 ARGYLE STREET, HOBART | www.co-optoyota.com.au Used Vehicle Sales 6230 1966 12531 New Vehicle Sales 6230 1957 DON'T MISS THIS!! 253 NEW AND USED CARS MUST BE CLEARED! WE ARE READY TO DEAL ON ALL OUR STOCK TO HELP US ACHIEVE OUR TARGETS! EVERYTHING MUST GO! GET IN QUICK!! BRAND NEW COROLLA FROM ONLY $20,990 DRIVE AWAY IVE CAMRY HYBRID 2.9% FINANCE RATE* BRAND NEW HIACE FROM ONLY $32,990 DRIVE AWAY BRAND NEW HILUX 4X2 FROM ONLY $21,990 DRIVE AWAY LIMITED RANGE OF DEMOS AT RIDICULOUS PRICING! USED CAR PRICES SLASHED TO CLEAR! ALL MAKES AND MODELS!! 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July 10th 2010
July 24th 2010