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Attributes of the ZB that make it Special

Badgerdog

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The way the ZB is so often talked about on here that its not a real commodore makes me wonder what it is that the sceptics simply aren't getting ?

So after owning one for a bit more than a year here are some of the nuances that I think the masses of people who think "If its not made in Australia its not a real Commordore" don't understand.

So here's quick tour of the ten things I think the die hard Aussie blokes don't get about the new ZB.

1. The engines are stronger than the numbers suggest. Although the peak torque number is not huge, the amount of torque delivered at low r.p.m. is significantly enhanced by the engines being both port and direct fuel injected. Port direct injection really enhances very low down r.p.m. and makes the engine perfectly happy to toddle around at as little as 1200 r.p.m.
The engine gearbox combination means the ZB is never found wanting in any given situation. Simply apply the amount of throttle you want for the intended purpose and it goes about its business with so little fuss it makes a hot knife going through warm butter feel like hard work.

2. The gearbox is a world class bit of kit. The first 6 gears are very closely spaced, (I can toddle around town in 7th gear at 55 k.p.h. and about 1200 revs quite happily) which really enhances the ability to get the most out of the engine. Gearbox changes are super smooth and very quick and its in a completely different and vastly better league that any gearbox equipped on any Commodore before it.

3. Upper end models have 95%+ of the technology in a high end European car that sells for 3 or 4 times the price. They want for nothing.

4. The AWD system is a honey. Its on demand so most of the time you have the efficiency of a 2WD car but when there's slippage of any kind the haldex system kicks in and you're in 4WD.

5. Torque vectoring really works and makes the ZB a real back road weapon with superb handling. There's a real difference between normal mode and sport mode in terms of how quickly the torque vectoring kicks in

6. The 190Kg's weight advantage of the 2.0 liter powered version, just over (1500 kg's) makes them far lighter on their feet and more nimble handling than any commodore before them. The 2.0 liter version really is a great drive and needs to be experienced to understand how especially good it is.

7. The 2.0 engine is a fuel efficient car with genuine performance credentials. There's not much in it in outright performance between the 3.6 V6 and the 2.0 turbo and many independent reviewers have stated they prefer the 2.0 engine which in my experience is so smooth its like a turbine.

8. Its German assembled with typical German assembly quality significantly tighter and better assembled than any Australian assembled car I have owned.

9. The shape. I really like it and it grows on you. Its incredibly fuel efficient too with a coefficient of aerodynamic drag of just 0.26, so its very slippery through the air.

10. Its the last Commodore. A lot of people, (myself included) are not into driving old cars and can't be bothered with any of the deep cycle maintenance involved with that. If you're not going to upgrade to a ZB but want to upgrade to a newer car, none of the alternatives are any better in this price range, most are not even close.
 
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Holden17

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I’m not one to bag the ZB but re point8...none of the 6.5yo VF1 Calais V sedan, 3.5yo VF2 SV6 ute nor the 2.5yo SS wagon I own/look after have the squeaky, rattling dashboards that many ZB owners complain about. Hopefully for the sanity of ZB owners the inferior Aussie techs can fix what the superior Germans couldn’t get right to start with.
 

Badgerdog

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No issues with the dashboard on my car. No issues with rattling timing chain, gross oil consumption, piston slap, mismatched paint colouring of bumpers and metal parts or orange peel on the paint either.

Brakes are very good too.
 

figjam

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I have read here that you Kiwis love the ZB, and there are quite a few around.
Yeah, I know ….. I was only in NZ for a week, but the only ZBs that I saw in Auckland and up to Kerikeri were Police cars.
When I enquired at the Auckland car rental place as to what I was likely to get, I was told an Arcadia. When I looked at my mate and stuck my finger down my throat, the rental lady looked a bit bewildered. Next day I got a Highlander.
 

StrayKiwi

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4. The AWD system is a honey. Its on demand so most of the time you have the efficiency of a 2WD car but when there's slippage of any kind the haldex system kicks in and you're in 4WD.
Have to correct you there mate. My last car had a Haldex AWD system in it, the Twinster AWD system in the ZB is a quantum leap ahead in design and uses a lot more than just wheel slippage to determine when to apply power to the rear.
 

UTE042_NZ

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The way the ZB is so often talked about on here that its not a real commodore makes me wonder what it is that the sceptics simply aren't getting ?
Every real Commodore except the ZB has the following features:
1. Rear wheel drive.
2. V8 option.
3. Blokes over 5'9" can sit comfortably in the back seat.
 

Derekthetree

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The way the ZB is so often talked about on here that its not a real commodore makes me wonder what it is that the sceptics simply aren't getting ?
Most people on here are probably classed as "enthusiasts", for better or worse.
You can see from most Members Rides that the majority of active owners here have a V8. This is what the ZB was missing, a genuine performance model. I'm a recent import to Aus, and could have bought a brand new ZB and got a lot of change for what I bought my VF for. I didn't even consider it, because it didn't tick the boxes of noise and power for me.

For the general public, it also lacked a economy model to compete with the Camry. I had a rental hybrid driving through hilly north NSW, and it did 4.8l/100km no problems. I don't see the ZB touching that.
It tried to straddle two already small markets, reducing its selling potential.
 

Badgerdog

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I used to own a VX V8 Calais back in 2001. It sounded good with the Remus exhaust. That was the end of the good things about it.
Piston slap from its Mexican assembled V8 engine, gross oil consumption, graunching diff, one electrical problem after another after another after....well you get the picture. Rated at 225 kw through an ancient 4 speed auto.

The 235 kw's in my ZB through a highly efficient 9 speed auto means its not only faster, its a vastly better bit of kit, as you'd expect given that technology has moved on so much.

Real Australian made cars, in my opinion have real Australian made engines. Nothing is more authentic or beatable than an FPV F6 with the mighty turbocharged Barra inline 6 engine, which in my opinion is the greatest Australian made performance car of all time, although the last of the Ford XR8 Sprint's with their supercharged V8 making 400 kw's on overboost as standard also had about a 50% Australian engine content and are a great bit of kit.
 

Holden17

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“10. Its the last Commodore. A lot of people, (myself included) are not into driving old cars and can't be bothered with any of the deep cycle maintenance involved with that. If you're not going to upgrade to a ZB but want to upgrade to a newer car, none of the alternatives are any better in this price range, most are not even close.”

So in a couple of years time what are you going to “upgrade” to...I dare say for similar money it’s going to have to be a Camry or Mazda6.

Horses for courses..again, for what the ZB is, it’s a great bit of kit but for me it’s not an upgrade on the VFs. I’ve owned every series Commodore since the VT and in some series both the series 1&2.
I always considered I was upgrading because it was giving me what I wanted.

Sure the ZB has great features but for me the ZB couldn’t deliver what for me would be an upgrade:
SV6 ute...great for tip runs and hubby & wife weekends away ..irreplaceable with anything similar
V8 RWD wagon...great for interstate runs with 4 or more adults plus luggage onboard ..irreplaceable with anything similar
V6 CalaisV...looking after it for another family member so not mine to give away...but it’s a full size family sedan that has more creature comforts than I need

Yes, I can see that the ZB is special in its own way but not in a way that I ever considered it an upgrade for me. Yes, others might and it’s not for me to say they’ve made a mistake. Horses for courses and each to their own...
 

lmoengnr

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It must be a 'special' car, it only seems to appeal to 'special' people...
 
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