Quite simply, for the money, I challenge you to find a car that's more fun to drive than the Monaro.
Cabin quality is not exactly Audi-esque, but is more than adequate, and everything comes as standard. Having owned German cars in the past, it comes as a nice surprise to find out that the list price is not £6000 below the delivered price once you have added wheels, electric windows and so on.
The torque has to be experienced to be believed, and this can lead to problems delivering the power, particularly on a wet day. However, the engine keeps on pulling through the rev range.
Driven hard, you get the mileage you would expect from a 5.7-litre V8, but due to that torque, you can drive at 90mph doing a little over 2000 revs, which means a return of 24mpg on a long haul.
Space inside is good, and whilst access to the rear seats is a little tricky, you can fit proper people in the back in plenty of comfort.
Acceleration is as savage as the initial depreciation, which only makes the second-hand option more attractive.
All in all, it's more fun for your pound than anything else I can think of. Drive one through a tunnel, then try not to buy it!
This car is simply awesome. The performance, the soundtrack, the looks, the long-distance cruising ability, the comfortable leather seats... all of it makes this car an absolutley fantastic proposition for proper petrolheads.
If you want fiddly electronic 'safety' systems, or good economy, or if you don't like the badge, get another car. If you want to be stunned, then get this car. On the road it is very good, exceptionally comfortable but still massive fun in the corners. Nothing I've ever driven has come close to the way it pulls in each gear, powering you to even more outrageous speeds.
And thats before we've got onto the tunability of these engines. Just with simple exhaust and intake modifications along with a tune, you can very quickly jump from 330bhp to 430bhp, and with better economy to boot. These engines can develop lots of power from everything from simple computer modifications up to superchargers and turbochargers for more than 500bhp.
The only area of weakness on this car is the brakes. They fade far too quickly and I would highly recommend you upgrade them, preferbly to a set of six-pot AP Racing brakes.
Overall, it's a brilliant car that you have to drive before you make judgement - I guarantee you'll love it.
Inside this car, there's loads of space, and the front seats really good. The rear is not very easy to access, but very comfy. It has a fine stereo, climate control, parking sensors,amd so on. Generally, it's well made - there are a few creaks when cold, but otherwise it's solid.
As for driving it, it's a big car but only when parking or washing it! The controls are weighty but it all comes together brilliantly. Allow time for gear changes, especially from cold, and remember the gearbox is built to take serious horsepower. Tuning is certainly on the cards. It settles nicely into corners and is surprisingly good when you throw it around.
With respect to styling, I appreciate the subtlety. Look closer and the compound curves are really rather nice. It turns the right sort of heads.
Practically speaking, there's a big boot (but not on the later model), and the doors are wide. Fuel consumption, however, is bad - there's a honking great V8 under the bonnet, so don't expect much even on a steady run. My best was 25.6mpg cruising back from Scotland, my worst of 15mpg included some time in London. I average 17.5mpg (incidentally, only 4mpg less than my Subaru).
When it comes to selling it on, my guess is that it won't hold value like the BMW 330Ci I was considering. My guess is also that I've had much more fun than I would have in a common-as-Mondeos BMW.
It's not a back-street screamer – leave that to hot hatches – but show it a twisty A-road and it's great. It'll als
I've owned the Monaro (2005 Model V8) for two weeks now and I'm very happy with it.
The car is good to drive and the sound of the V8 makes you want to drive everywhere with the windows down.
The handling is good for a car of its size - it's firm round the corners but comfortable in a straight line over all but the largest potholes.
It comes as standard with everything you could possibly want (leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, a trip computer, electric memory seats, a Blaupunkt six-CD changer with 10 speakers) with the exception of satellite-navigation.
There is also plenty of room inside for four adults in comfort. The reduction in the size of the boot, due to American regulations requiring the fuel tank to be relocated from beneath the boot floor to behind the rear seats for the Pontiac GTO, is a little disappointing but not competely impractical.
On the downside, the car doesn't feel well made, the switchgear feeling standard Vauxhall fare.
The engine, at idle, throbs and rocks the car as if trying to burst from the engine bay, something some people could find annoying in time. It has long gearing, which means that leaving the car each gear much longer than most drivers are used to and changing up later.
The gearchange is notchy and long-throw, which rules out quick changes. Fuel consumption for city driving is awful at around 13mpg.
Overall, is it worth the money? Yes! I challenge you to drive a Monaro and not love every minute of
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