We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Power and performance that don't cost a fortune

Against A little too crude and unsophisticated next to European rivals

Verdict Monaro has a brash Aussie charm to counter its dynamic drawbacks

Go for… 5.7 V8 VXR

Avoid… 5.7 V8

Vauxhall Monaro Coupe
  • 1. Watch for signs of abuse and crash damage
  • 2. Check that tyres are evenly worn - rear ones are especially expensive to replace
  • 3. The cabin is bland and uses too much cheap plastic, but it's spacious
advertisement

Vauxhall Monaro Coupe full review with expert trade views

It’s best to think of the Monaro as a simple, effective and affordable alternative to BMW’s M3. Its 5.7-litre V8 comes in three states of tune, from 'just' 328bhp all the way to 381bhp. Then there’s the 6.0 V8 VXR with 397bhp that’s good for 170mph.

In other words, there’s no such thing as a slow Monaro. It just depends on how quickly you want to get where you're going and how much fuel you want to use in the process.

What's not as impressive as the performance is the cabin, which uses too much cheap plastic. Still, it’s got plenty of space, and it's comfortable thanks to the supple suspension. The Monaro also makes a fine long distance machine thanks to the big V8 engines’ lazy power delivery, relaxed sixth gear and good refinement.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Big bruiser of a coupe. Good value muscle car

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Our choice is the most powerful of the 5.7-litre V8 models because there are enough of them around second-hand and their performance is only a fraction behind that of the even more potent 6.0-litre. The 5.7 version also has fractionally better fuel economy, although no one ever buys a Monaro to save the planet.

That said, even the 328bhp Monaro is a very quick car, and all models come with a rumbling V8 soundtrack for free.

They also all have spacious cabins and decent equipment, but the VXR models look a little more aggressive and less ‘jelly mould’ than the standard models. However, the VXR’s repositioned fuel tank does mean its boot is not quite as large as the standard model’s.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Very specialised market, but great value especially loaded with options

James Ruppert
Used car guru

After buying your car, the two biggest financial considerations will be insurance and fuel. All Monaros are in the top group 20 insurance bracket, so getting cover will be costly, and many mainstream insurers will not deal with it, so you may have to look for a specialist company.

After that, fuel economy might not be such a shock, although it's still sub-20mpg in normal driving for all models. Even with the lightest of right feet and a clear motorway, you'll still become very familiar with the petrol filler cap.

What's more, the rear tyres wear quickly, so budget for these every 10,000 miles - or less if you like to use the power all of the time.

That said, it’s not all doom and gloom, because the Monaro can be serviced at most Vauxhall dealers, which means reasonable labour rates. And, parts' prices won’t break the bank, either.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Big bruiser of a coupe. Good value muscle car

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The Monaro’s engines are understressed, even in the most powerful VXR models, so they're unlikely to give trouble. And, the car has been around in Australia for many years with no reports of mechanical problems.

The main things to watch for are signs of abuse and crash damage. Make sure the car sits straight and true, the tyres are evenly worn and there are no scratches or dents on the underside from where the car may have gone off the circuit on a track day. The rear tyres are pricey to replace, so check their tread depth.

Apart from that, there’s little to worry about with a Monaro other than carrying out the usual history checks and insisting on a full service history, which most cars will have. Also make sure the car is an official UK import.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Very specialised market, but great value especially loaded with options

James Ruppert
Used car guru
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014