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For those of you eagerly anticipating the U.S. arrival of Holden's rear-wheel drive Zeta platform in the form of Chevy's revived Camaro and the Pontiac G8, take heart that it's officially proven itself in the land down under. Word has come from the other side the world that the Holden VE Commodore has won Wheels magazine's 2006 Car of the Year award. Wheels magazine is a big deal in Oz, and the VE Commodore, which is based on the Zeta platform, battled fiercely with the Toyota Aurion (Australia's better-looking version of the Camry) and BMW 3-Series Coupe to win this year's honor. A field of 34 new cars were eligible for the award and were judged based on their function, value, safety and technology. The VE Commodore wasn't a slam dunk, however, because of its merely average fuel economy, a fault that has been called out enough already that Holden has promised to put the car on a diet as soon as possible. Hopefully in Chicago we'll get a peek at a Pontiac-badged version of the Commodore destined to become the next Grand Prix.

[Source: Wheels]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Looks like an old Opel. The more aggressive styling of the current generation Astra would look good on this car.

      Opel should evaluate whether this car would be an easy way to come back with cars above the Vectra.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The VE is a fantastic car. If an australian automotive manufacturer spends a billion dollars and 6 years developing an aussie car, how could WHEELS magazine be cosidered biased for doing a special edition on the VE. In the last 10 years of WHEELS COTY awards, 3 of these are holdens and 2 fords - holdens direct competition, so if they`re being payed to addvertise holdens, they`re not doing a very good job. The VE won because the car is refined, has a fantastic interiour fit and finish, is great value and doesn`t look to bad either. The base omega and berlina with the standard 175kw motor take only 8.1 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint. The 195kw motor in the SV6 does 7.4 seconds for the same test- doesnt sound like a car that cant move its own weight.
      For the record the omega weighs 1690kgs(sorry I dont know the the imperial conversion)the top of the range calais V with a V8 on board is 1825kgs. Official fuel consumption is at 10.9 liters per 100 kms, which is very realistic. About those 2 recalls, one was a fuel hose clip only on the imported motors V8(V6 is aussie made)The other recall was the seat buckle-none ever failed but the maker of the buckle suggested that holden do the recall but it wasn`t essential.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The VE Commodore is a good looking car. Let's hope Pontiac retains most of the great styling when the North American version is released.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The design already looks old...
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's also worth pointing out that all large cars have had declining sales in the past few years due to increased petrol prices and a trend towards small cars and SUVs. Since it's release in September, the Commodore has increased its share of the large car market by around 5%, though overall annual sales are still down, and will probably continue to do so until they stabilise. Pointing out that the Corolla outsold the Commodore is pretty much comparing apples and osterriches.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Ah sorry AdinCoss but Wheels have never awarded the Neon anything... all winners are listed below. Helps to know the facts first....

      1963 Renault 8
      1964 Morris 1100
      1965 Ford Falcon (XP)
      1966 Ford Falcon (XR)
      1967 Chrysler Valiant (VE)
      1968 Holden Monaro (HK)
      1969 Holden Torana (LC)
      1970 Renault 12
      1971 Chrysler Valiant Charger (VH)
      1972 Award withheld
      1973 Leyland P76 V8
      1974 Volkswagen Passat
      1975 Holden Gemini (TX)
      1976 Volkswagen Golf
      1977 Honda Accord
      1978 Holden Commodore (VB)
      1979 Award withheld
      1980 Mazda 323
      1981 Mercedes-Benz 380SE (W126)
      1982 Holden Camira (JB)
      1983 Ford Telstar and Mazda 626 (joint award)
      1984 Mitsubishi Nimbus
      1985 Mitsubishi Magna (TM)
      1986 Award withheld
      1987 Honda Prelude
      1988 Holden Commodore (VN)
      1989 Mazda MX-5
      1990 Lexus LS 400
      1991 Honda NSX and Nissan Pulsar
      1992 Mazda 626 and Ford Telstar
      1993 Holden Commodore (VR)
      1994 Subaru Liberty
      1995 Honda Odyssey
      1996 Mitsubishi Magna/Verada
      1997 Holden Commodore (VT)
      1998 Subaru Liberty Wagon
      1999 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
      2000 Subaru Impreza
      2001 Holden Barina (XC)
      2002 Ford Falcon (BA)
      2003 Mazda RX-8
      2004 Ford Territory
      2005 Mazda MX-5 (NC)
      • 8 Years Ago
      I am sure Toyota, BMW & Mercedes never spent advertising dollars in all these magazines. Whenever a GM car wins whiners come out of the woodwork well. Get over it. I was there in Australia last couple of months on vactions and holden is making some great cars there. GET OVER IT.
      • 8 Years Ago
      welcome to the holoden showroom, we'd like you to show you to something called the nineteen-nineties
      • 8 Years Ago
      Let's see if they can make a Pontiac out of a beautifully done generic-mobile.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't know what's with the hate on the Holdens, can any of you seriously purchase the current grand prix, accord or camry over this in terms of looks? in Caprice or SS trim this is a fine clean looking machine that kicks ass.
      • 8 Years Ago
      No surprise here. Wheels is commercially tied to new Holden product releases because it publishes special edition magazines about new models. Holden is also one of the largest advertisers and commercial supporters.

      I'm not usually one to accuse media companies of bending to advertisers as I've worked in the industry before, but what Wheels does is plain wrong.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Well, the car looks ok, but for years cars from oz, have looked just that... ok. The Monaro/HSV looked nice but was not in line with the rest of the Vauxhall/Opel models. I feel I agree with M's comment about the car looking like an old Opel. The facia does in fact look like an old Vauxhall/Opel Astra. This seems like 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I feel that it would have been advantageous if the styling was in keeping with the current VXR range: http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/vx/vxr/flash/index_main.html
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