The newest ute was launched by Holden in 2007 as a replacement for the old Commodore based VE model.
The new generation continues to keep the standards high and is considered by many the best ute ever built by the company. Continuing to be based on the high class Commodore passenger car, the new VU is more like a sedan with a tray at the back than a classical utility pickup.
The cabin offers s superior level of comfort while the road manners are also part of the first class.
The base model is named Omega and under its bonnet you’ll find a 3.6-litre V6 which can be mated on both manual and automatic transmissions.
The Omega is the base version of the Commodore VU pickup and is devoid of some exterior features found at the superior trim levels. Though, the Omega looks great nevertheless.
The front overhang is combined with a low ground clearance and set of flared wheel arches which give the vehicle a fairly sporty look, despite its utilitarian nature.
The new grille looks more modern than the old one and we also like the modern headlights which further enhance the dynamic look of the ute. We also like the sloped windscreen and the long bonnet which offer a low coefficient drag.
From the B pillars back, the VU is fitted with a liner-clad tray which features a wide opening tailgate at the back.
Unlike its main competitor - the Ford Falcon – the VE features a unitary body construction which is directly derived from the sedan, offering a better torsional rigidity.
The Holden VU Omega weights around 1700kg, being slightly heavier than its sedan sibling.
Step inside and you’ll be welcomed by a roomy and comfy cabin which offers plenty of head and leg-room.
As it was expected, the plastics and materials were selected with maximum attention and respect the highest standard of quality and refinement, being at par with what you’ll find at the Ford Falcon ute.
The build quality is pretty solid and the cabin looks ready to endure harsh working conditions without whining.
We especially like the deep cushioned seats which offer great support and adequate side bolstering.
Continuing the tasty lines of the dashboard, the center stack looks modern too and it’s laid out in an intuitive way, putting accent on functionality. Surprisingly, the electric window and mirror controls aren’t mounted in the driver’s door and are located in the centre console, so you’ll need some time to get used to them.
The sporty look of the cab is also underlined by the modern instrument cluster which glares in an aggressive red light. The gauges and indicators can be read without too much fuss and we also like the center information display which keeps you posted on various vehicle stats.
The ergonomic steering wheel is one of the best looking units found in this segment and offers a confident grab, being also available with some useful adjustments.
The cabin received a fair amount of storage places so you’ll have plenty of spaces to keep you things. There are twin cup-holders, door pockets, net-fronted cubbies behind each seat and a big glovebox. The central armrest bin features a 12V power socket and its lid contains pen and card clips.
Engines and performance
The Holden VU Omega ute is powered by a 3.6 liter DOHC engine which cranks out 175 kW and 320 Nm of torque achieved at 2400 rpm. The VU Omega’s 73 liters tank offers a driving range of 570 km and its manual transmission is a perfect match for the engine.
The four speed automatic transmission however is a bit lazy and sometimes it will have a hard time to figure out the proper ratio to match engine and road speeds with a load.
With a serene driving mode, you’ll be able to score a fuel consumption of 12.3lt/100km which is far from being impressive.
Holden VU Ute Engines Specifications
|3.6 liter DOHC||175 @ 6000||320 @ 2400|
Ride and handling
The ute rides great offering a good balance between comfort and stability. During hard cornering however, it can be felt the oversteer effect, but it will be successfully kept n check by an unobtrusive stability control system.
A long list of electronic nannies is there to keep you safe and come in gently when needed, without affecting the pleasure of driving.
Needless to say, that the handling and steering are also part of the sporty class delivering great performances regardless of how hard you push the vehicle’s limits. Overall, the Holden VU’s driving dynamics are slightly ahead of the Ford Falcon, mostly due to its unibody construction which gives it an edge over its rival.
The Holden VU Ute has a bright future and its sporty performances are among the best you’ll ever find around in a commercial vehicle.
The build quality is top notch while the plastics and materials found inside are part of the high class as well. The engine is sporty enough to keep you satisfied and the ride and handling abilities are the best in class.
The vehicle is also reliable to the core and the price tag is at par with what you’d usually find in this class.