COMMODORE OMEGA REVIEW
There are few external styling changes to the 2011 Holden Commodore Omega. The major changes are under the skin.
The centrepiece of the interior redesign is Holden’s clever touch-screen iQ information display. There are also significant changes under the bonnet with a new ‘flex-fuel’ E85-compatible SIDI 3.0 litre V6.
- Quality: The dash and interior trim is well put together and well-designed (if not cutting edge). The reshaped centre-stack looks ok but the hard plastics from the 2010 model carry over, and the silver dash trim still casts an annoying reflection on the instrument cluster.
- Comfort: Both front and rear seats are designed for full-sized bods; long squabs, and wide cushions provide decent support for long-haul driving. Rear A/C outlets also help with passenger comfort.
- Equipment: Holden's iQ system is the standout feature in the new Omega. Features include a 6.5-inch colour touchscreen, iPod and memory stick inputs and CD player. Our vehicle was fitted with the optional sat-nav pack, which includes the ability to rip music CDs to the internal storage.
Auto-on headlamps, a trip computer, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth and power windows/mirrors are also standard.
- Storage: There’s 496 litres of boot space, however only the centre seatback can be folded forward.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: The Omega's 3.0 V6 isn't lacking for power, although, when pushed, it can sound a little harsh.
Performance of the six-speed automatic is also mixed: it gets the best out of the engine’s torque for fuel-efficient driving but can occasionally hang onto a gear too long or leave you in the wrong gear.
On E85 fuel, thirst rises significantly: we averaged 11.7 l/100km on E85 (compared to our 9.8 l/100km average).
- Refinement: There is a solid robust feel to the Omega on the road; it’s relatively quiet at highway speeds but transmission noise can spoil the interior ambience.
- Suspension: The ride is composed over most surfaces, only large bumps and potholes will disturb things. It handles gravel well; the ESP calibration is also pretty right for loose roads.
- Braking: The pedal lacks feel, but disc brakes front and rear have no trouble slowing the Commodore's 1690kg kerb weight.
- ANCAP rating: 5-Stars
- Safety features: Six airbags (front, front side and full-length curtain), three-point seatbelts, ABS, EBD, stability control and traction control are all standard.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: Three years or 100,000 kilometres, whichever comes first.
- Service costs: A complimentary inspection occurs at 3000km/3 months with service intervals every 15,000km/12 months. Holden does not provide dealer servicing cost guidelines; before purchase, speak to your dealer about scheduled servicing costs.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Ford Falcon XT ($40,290) - The Falcon has the best interior, a 60/40 split fold rear seat and a powerful 195kW/391Nm in-line six. (see Falcon reviews)
- Toyota Aurion AT-X ($35,990) - The Aurion is well-finished and sharply priced and its 200kW 3.5 litre V6 is a pearler. (see Aurion reviews)
- Nissan Maxima ST-L ($33,990) The least powerful here (with a 2.5 litre V6) but also the least expensive. Nissan's well-featured Maxima often gets overlooked, but not through any fault of its own. (see Maxima reviews)
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
The Commodore Omega has traditionally been a popular choice for fleet buyers, but, thanks to substantial spec upgrades and a robust ‘built-to-last’ feel, it now has significant appeal for private buyers.
It's roomy, has adequate power and reasonable fuel economy for such a large, heavy car. At under $40k plus onroad costs, it is value buying but, iQ system aside, it lacks some interior refinement.