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ZB Commodore Review Australia | Features, Specification, Price

ZB Commodore Review Australia

The name Commodore has come to be associated with power, rear-wheel drive, and locally manufactured. For this reason, it means a lot to Australians. The previous Commodore ranges have been favorites here, with thousands of vehicles sold in the country and globally.


Sadly, the ZB Commodore is none of the above. It is not manufactured in Australia since the time Holden closed their operations here. But that is not such a bad thing. Before you start a negative tirade about the new range, read our full ZB Commodore review to reach the final conclusion.


It was decided back in 2011 by GM and Holden that the next-generation Commodore range, the ZB, would not be built on the same platform as the VE and VF. They were built on the Zeda platform, which was liked by the masses, but it did not prove to be successful from a business point of view.


Therefore, the new range was not only built for the Australian market but designed in a way to appease the US, European, and Chinese markets as well. It is sold as the Opel Insignia in Europe. In China and the USA, it is sold as the Buick Regal GS.


Another big difference is that the ZB Commodore V8 is not available this time. The range offers till V6. That is due to the successful sales of the V6 variants as compared to V8. Holden did not find it feasible to include a V8 engine variant this time around.


If the car is not available in a V8, and it does not come in rear-wheel drive, should the ZB still be called a Commodore? That is your call, your opinion.


Trim Levels and Engine variants:

The good news is that the new ZB Commodore range is available in multiple trim levels. The bad news is that there are 15 varying models, which would surely make it difficult to wrap your head around and choose the best one for you. Nonetheless, we provide a short summary of the main trims.


The range starts from the Commodore LT, which is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine. It is capable of producing 191 kW of power and 350 Nm of torque. ZB Commodore LT Sportwagon follows the same engine and is slightly pricier.


The LT version is also available in the turbo-diesel option. It offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 125 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. Next is the ZB Commodore RS, which is the sportier version for the range. It comes as a Liftback and a Sportwagon variant. The RS is available in a V6 all-wheel-drive terrain.


ZB Commodore Specs and Features:

Let us start from the Commodore LT. It applies the following standard features:

 ✓ Nine-speed automatic transmission

 ✓ Old School halogen lights

 ✓ 17-inch alloy wheels

 ✓ Push to start button

 ✓ Remote start

 ✓ Rain sensing wipers

 ✓ Adaptive Cruise control

 ✓ Adjustable driving seat


The Commodore RS has also the above features and adds some more above those, including:

 ✓ 18-inch alloy wheels

 ✓ Ambient interior lighting

 ✓ Sports front seats

 ✓ Side blind zone alert

 ✓ Rear cross-traffic alert

 ✓ Sports leather steering wheel


The Commodore RS-V has added the following features:


 ✓ Adaptive all-wheel drive

 ✓ HiperStrut front suspension

 ✓ Sports rear bumper

 ✓ Leather upholstery

 ✓ Heated front seats

 ✓ Sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles

 ✓ Bose premium stereo


The Calais is the luxury model so you can expect some additional features. Most notable are:

 ✓ Multi-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels

 ✓ Front fog lamps

 ✓ Electric mirrors

 ✓ Leather seats

 ✓ Rear cross-traffic alert

 ✓ Satellite navigation

 ✓ Digital radio

 ✓ Eight Speakers



Following are the prices for various trim levels:

 ✓ Commodore LT - $33,690

 ✓ Commodore RS - $37,290

 ✓ Commodore RS V6 AWD - $40,790

 ✓ Commodore RS-V - $46,990

 ✓ Commodore VXR - $55,990

 ✓ Commodore Calais Liftback - $40,990

 ✓ Commodore Calais Tourer - $45,990

 ✓ Commodore Calais V Liftback - $51,990

 ✓ Commodore Calais Tourer - $53,990


ZB Commodore Problems:

Overall, the ZB Commodore offers consistent performance and solid build. However, there are still some issues that have come to the mainstream. It has been noted that there are minor issues with the calibration consistency and engine refinement.


The series also offers value for money, which means that the build quality is not completely robust. The petrol engine is expensive when it comes to fuel economy, which is another downside.


Fuel Economy:

From the ZB range, the Commodore LT Liftback diesel variant offers the best fuel economy. It uses 5.6-liter of diesel for every 100 km. The rest of the vehicles are thirstier than this. The ZB Commodore wagon achieves 5.7-liter/100 km while the Calais diesel uses 5.8-liter per 100 km.


The petrol engines are less fuel-efficient with the most economical engine giving 7.4-liter per 100 km and the least economical at 8.0-liter per 100 km. Naturally, the V6 engine utilizes the most fuel, with the economy ranging from 8.9-liter per 100 km to 9.3-liter per 100 km for the different trims.


Key Safety Features:

Holden has always managed to score high when it comes to safety ratings. All the variants come standard with top of the line safety features including autonomous emergency braking and collision alert. The whole range has received a five-star rating from ANCAP, their highest.


The driving dynamics and crash avoidance capability is further improved due to the superior traction possible due to the all-wheel drive. The ZB Commodore is also found to be safe during any kind of terrain.



 ✓ Vast range with plenty of engine options

 ✓ Features many new tech and features that have not been seen before

 ✓ The All-wheel drive system is impressive



 ✓ The Liftback models are not as attractive as some of the competitors

 ✓ No V8 available

 ✓ No rear-wheel drive available


Our Verdict:

The ZB Commodore is an important car by Holden. In terms of drive, chassis, and room, this car is simply great. However, there are various other options in the same class against which the ZB has to compete against.


It is good to compare with the other competitors. That being said, Commodore vehicles are known to be competent, with a mix of style, features, and design. That too with a value for money that is seldom found anywhere else.

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