2012 Vauxhall Maloo review

  • Vauxhall’s 6.2-litre V8 pick-up
  • Blasts from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds
  • Priced at £51,500
2012 Vauxhall Maloo
2012 Vauxhall Maloo
The 2012 Vauxhall Maloo is unashamedly a niche vehicle, with even Vauxhall describing it as the only performance pick-up truck sold officially in the UK.

It’s hard to profile a buyer for the 407bhp, V8, rear-wheel drive, two-seater, flatbed pick-up that can accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to 155mph, but Vauxhall believes there are enough to make it worth importing the Maloo from Australia.

The Maloo wears a Holden badge in Australia, but Vauxhall has added plenty of its own branding for the UK.

What’s the 2012 Vauxhall Maloo like to drive?
The Maloo is capable of acceleration that no vehicle this big and practical should be capable of.

The 407bhp 6.2-litre V8 pick-up blasts from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and on to 155mph

As you might expect, a straight road is the best place to utilise this acceleration, but the Maloo is also remarkably handy in corners.

The steering isn't sharp enough to compete with similarly powered performance cars, but it's significantly more responsive than most pick-ups. The Maloo is easy to drive, but simply not as enjoyable as you might hope.

The biggest disappointment, though, is the noise – or lack of it. The massive engine sounds rather muted and the note is significantly less outrageous than the Maloo’s looks.

2012 Vauxhall Maloo
The huge engine sounds significantly less outrageous than the Maloo’s looks

What’s the 2012 Vauxhall Maloo like inside?
While the Maloo's interior has been given a thorough makeover by the Vauxhall VXR department, elements of its Holden heritage are still evident.

A Holden badge in the middle of the steering wheel is the most obvious sign of its birthright, but there's more evidence with the indicators and windscreen wipers located on the opposite stalks to almost every other car on sale in the UK.

The slightly cheap feel to the interior is another indication that the Maloo wasn’t originally destined for the European market. Otherwise, though, it comes with supportive and comfortable VXR sports seats, plenty of room for passenger and driver, and decent visibility out of all the windows. Equipment such as sat-nav, climate control and parking sensors mean the Maloo is far removed from the usual pick-up truck.

Naturally, the loadbay comes with vast amounts of space – 1208 litres in fact – and there's a lockable lid as standard.

2012 Vauxhall Maloo
Despite its VXR makeover, the Maloo's cabin has a slightly cheap feel

Should I buy one?
With a sensible head on, there is no way the Maloo could be recommended as a good purchase. At more than £50,000, it's competing with performance cars such as the BMW M3, and it's not as entertaining to drive as almost anything else in its class. In short, it is ridiculous.

That ridiculous nature is precisely what will appeal to its buyers, though, and we suspect they'll rarely fail to walk up to, or away from, the Maloo with anything other than a huge grin on their face.

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What Car? says…

Tom Webster

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