Used Vauxhall Monaro Coupe 2004 - 2007 review

Category: Sports car

Monaro has a brash Aussie charm to counter its dynamic drawbacks

Vauxhall Monaro Coupe (04 - 07)
  • Vauxhall Monaro Coupe (04 - 07)
  • Vauxhall Monaro Coupe (04 - 07)
Used Vauxhall Monaro Coupe 2004 - 2007 review
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Steve Huntingford
Published01 January 2006

What's the used Vauxhall Monaro coupe like?

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.


Monaro has a brash Aussie charm to counter its dynamic drawbacks

  • Power and performance that don't cost a fortune
  • A little too crude and unsophisticated next to European rivals

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.

Ownership cost

What used Vauxhall Monaro coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Vauxhall Monaro coupe?

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.

Our recommendations

Which used Vauxhall Monaro coupe should I buy?

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.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Monaro coupe?