What defines a new Commodore?

Riley Riley

What makes a Commodore?

What defines the car that has dominated Australian roads for so many years.

Is it the name? Is it local design and build? Is it because the rear wheels drive the car? Or is it the roar from the V8 when the lights go green?

When Ford wound up local production in 2016 it decided to retire Falcon, one of the longest running nameplates in automotive history.

A year later when Holden closed the doors of its factory in South Australia it made a commercial and, some would say, fairly cynical decision to keep the Commodore name alive.

Fast forward and Holden is on the verge of launching the all new 2018 NG Commodore, a car based heavily on the German made Opel Insignia.

We’ve seen the pictures, we know the price and they had a launch event for the car In Melbourne last week  — this Commodore will even be available for purchase online via Holden’s new store.

But what exactly are people being asked to buy?

This Commodore is not built in Australia. It comes from Rüsselsheim in Germany, but it’s not the first Opel to make this journey. 

It all started with the Gemini way back in 1975, a small car based on the Opel Kadett

In fact, the original VB Commodore, introduced in 1978, was based on the Opel Rekord — but with the front from the Senator added to accommodate the larger Holden six and eight cylinder engines.

Then there’s been a string of others — Barina, Astra, Vectra, Cascada and of course the Insignia itself — all of them from Opel.

None of the cars have sold particularly well, at least in recent years, so it begs the question: why will this car fare any better?

The new Commodore comes as a hatch, wagon or Adventra style off road wagon — there’s no sedan if you missed it and certainly no SS (at least for the time being, they say).

The car is powered by 2.0-litre turbo or V6 petrol engines, with front wheel or all wheel drive and a starting price of $33,690 — $1800 less than the VF it replaces.

The ‘Australianisation’ of the car has focused on the suspension and steering, along with minor details such as fine-tuning radio and satellite navigation reception.

Nothing’s been left to chance.

Does the new Commodore have what it takes?

You the buyer will have the vote . . .


Holden Commodore


Opel Insignia


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