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new member, new RS-V wagon, new look at an old name...

Discussion in 'ZB Holden Commodore (2018)' started by arsevee, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    Hi All,

    As many of you have also done, I just ordered a 'demo' (ex-GMH) ZB.

    It's a May 2018-built, November 2018-complied RS-V wagon, so has just over four years warranty left. In Absolute Red...

    I came to the ZB the 'long-way 'round' - I drive between Brisbane & Hervey Bay every week and I'm currently doing so in a 2015 Golf hatch; if you've never had a Golf out for a good thrash, I highly recommend you do so - they're an absolute scream to drive. While they're a great 'city car', they're not so good on the crappy roads north of Gympie, which are broken, pot-holed and on some sections have no centre line markings (on 100Km/h zones FFS!), so I decided something with a longer wheelbase would probably be better.

    As the car was only ever going to be a 'flogger' to go up & down the Bruce highway once a week, I was after something 'affordable' with a bit of warranty left.

    I started with Holden Astras (2018+), but they're not much bigger than the Golf, so while a nicely specced car, no real advantage over the Golf - from there I was looking at Mondeo wagons - problem there is that the base models are all ex. lease, high Kms and flogged - a mid-range Trend only comes in diesel (not doing that again) and the Titaniums are fiercely expensive. Mazda 6 wagons are also expensive and thirsty on fuel.

    I spotted a Commodore LT liftback on a private sale for $20k with only 20,000Km on it, then another with 42,000Km which eventually went for $19000Km, so I started looking at ZBs...

    Much like Matt ( MattSAU2XR8 ), I drove a couple of different models; initially an RS liftback, and then an RS-V Wagon. I tend not to buy base models of anything as there's more of them, so you tend to get less on the resale.

    I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the RS was to drive - I'm fully aware of how peppy a modern turbocharged four can be, but the ZB RS liftback was a revelation! :)

    The only negative for me was noticeable torque-steer in anything but a straight line.

    The interior was great, the fit & finish was as good as anything in it's price range - a nice package all-round.


    My first mistake, though, was to drive the RS-V wagon!


    Yes, I know the V6 only puts out forty-odd KW more than the four-pot and weighs more, but steering feels much more planted with the AWD and the engine sound put a smile on my face. Quite a big smile.

    Coupled with the leather interior, LCD instrument cluster, bigger infotainment screen and HUD that pretty much sealed the deal for me...


    Anyway, I pushed the 'go button' last week on a car from Victoria, and it went on the truck this morning (only as far as Altona, but it's a start). This would be the fifth car out of the last six I've bought interstate - the Brisbane dealers treat you like a mug, and I guess there's less competition up here, so they charge what they like. In this case, the exact same spec, but with more Kms and less warranty is $8k more. Don't tell me there's no money in used cars...


    So, as I've watched pretty much every ZB Commodore / VauxOpel Insignia / Buick Regal video there is on YouTube, there's not much left to do but sit & wait...

    Cheers.
     
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  2. kos

    kos Active Member

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    Good on you. Did you get it from Brighton Holden or another dealer?
    I live in Qld too and the Vic prices are in most cases much better.
    Do you think the awd system might make r @ m costs a bit higher than the 4cyl fwd zb.
    I reckon in fuel there is not much in it as the v6 takes 91 and the 4 cyl costly 95 fuel or although I wonder if the 4 would tolerate United e 10.

    Anyway congratulations it sounds the right car for what your driving needs are. I am looking at buying a zb but probably a 4 cyl as the r and m cost on the v6 plus the awd makes me nervous although i note your comment on torque steer could be nasty in the wet.
     
  3. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    I got short-shrift from Brighton Holden - they were quite dismissive - ended up going through Watson's who slightly bettered the deal (although there's now one with slightly fewer Kms for a slightly higher price: https://www.carsales.com.au/cars/de...e-rs-v-zb-auto-awd-my18/OAG-AD-17647685/?Cr=0 ).

    For me, the AWD is more about safety than handling (although by all accounts it helps on the twisties, which I'll certainly be trying out at the first opportunity :) )

    Rego will be slightly dearer on the V6, but if you break it down to a 'weekly cost', it's bugger-all really.

    I'll be using E10 from United - theirs is 95RON and I've used it on a few 'premium-only' four-pot Euro cars and found it to be great - I strongly recommend it if you do go with the four-pot.
    Mobil/7-7Eleven's E10 is lower at 94RON and the 'mainstream' companies such as BP, Shell & Caltex sell 91RON which is usually more expensive than United's and, frankly, is garbage.

    So, yeah, the V6 consumes more fuel than the i4, but can use cheaper fuel, so it's six of one and half-a-dozen of the other. And for long journeys at highway speeds, I prefer the 'laziness' of a bigger engine...

    Why does the AWD make you nervous?
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  4. kos

    kos Active Member

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    Yes a few other posters on this forum are complaining about premature tyre life wear on the AWD.
    Possibly the setting not right ex factory.
    Maybe get a wheel alignment at Jax when you get the car?

    Yes agree with you on United E10 my current turbo 4 loves it but on the rare occasion I use 711 e10 it chews it but very economical on United e 10.

    Its good to see you are a car person. I had the displeasure of driving a Ranger double cab last week a pos ride rough rear got lost in the wet at moderate speed on a left turn 11 litres per 100kms don't understand the love for double cab utes.
    The car you have bought sounds terrific.
    Do you reregister it once it gets to qld?
     
  5. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    Hi Kos - yeah, I've seen a few references to the tyre scrubbing, so as soon as it's registered, first stop will be to get the new wheels on and a full alignment, just in case...

    I 'switched' to E10 a few years ago (there was a video on autoexpert that went into a bit of detail about it) and as soon as I figured out United's was 95RON, I was sold on their fuel. It seems to burn 'cleaner' as well - the exhaust pipes on my other car don't seem to get dirty quite as quickly, but that may just be the fuel quality rather than the ethanol.

    Definitely a 'car person' to be sure, and I've wanted an AWD for ages, but most of them are 'on-demand' systems and I've had a couple of light SUVs with the Haltech AWD, and frankly it doesn't amount to much - it's a reactive system, so only engages after there's a problem. I've been recommending Subarus to people for years for their constant 4WD system, but the styling of their cars just doesn't appeal to me.

    The Twister system in the ZB is very similar to the Focus RS system albeit without a drift mode. They've proven to be very reliable so far and aren't just used in the Fords & GM vehicles. I guess you're fully aware of the Twinster by now, but the fact it's a 'proactive' system is exactly what I want ('cos I do like a bit of 'spirited driving' when the popo aren't looking...) :)

    I agree with the dual-cab thing - they're a vehicle for Tradies, not a passenger vehicle. I want handling & performance, not high clearance and a tray. I've done the SUV thing a couple of times, and while the visibility is better, and they're a lot easier to get in & out of, the floaty ride, the body roll in cornering, the worse braking (and in my case, as the majority of the driving will be at highway speed, the fact you're also having to push more air out of the way) has brought me right back to sedan/wagons. Better fuel efficiency, better dynamics.

    Buying interstate isn't such a drama as long as you do plenty of research and sound out the dealer fully. And get everything in writing before you sign a contract - and make sure everything is written on the contract exactly as you want it.

    One of the biggest catches is ensuring you get the exact build & compliance dates; in Qld. if a car is built in, say, 2017 and first registered in 2018, it's still a 2017 - most states allow sellers to advertise the cars as 'first registered', so in Victoria for example, the 2017-built car could be sold as a 2018. When you get it back to Qld. it's a 2017 car...

    I've bought one car each from NSW, ACT and Tasmania over recent years and the dealers have shipped them registered to Qld., so as long as you register them in Qld with two weeks, you can drive them here. The only exception so far is Vic. - a friend and I have both bought cars and on both occasions they've been de-registered. You can ask the dealer to organise a temporary pass - mine is good from 5/10 to 11/10 for 'one journey' from Melbourne to Hervey Bay (so part of the journey will be to get the roadworthy certificate and then to the Dept. of Motor Transport).

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  6. StrayKiwi

    StrayKiwi Active Member

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    Hi arsevee, welcome aboard.

    Some questions. Can you tell us about how you came around to buying a ZB? Did you consider other cars, and if so, which ones and why did you choose to buy a ZB over them?

    Some comments about the AWD system. I came to the ZB from a owning Haltech car which I loved, but the Twinster system in the ZB is next generation by comparison. It's been a very wet winter over here and it has not once given me a moment where I thought I was at the limit of grip. I know a lot of the credit goes to the Michelin's but the system is seamless, you'll never feel it working until you really chuck it into a corner and you feel the rear come around instead of the front pushing wide.
     
  7. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    Pretty much as I mentioned in my original post - I was looking for something reasonably inexpensive (hah!) with a longer wheelbase than the Golf for the weekly drive from Brisbane to Hervey Bay & back. I originally wanted to sell the Golf for around $13k and chuck in another $5k in savings, so I was looking for an Astra R+ or RS, but they're not that much bigger than the Golf, so I started looking at MD Mondeos - by the time you get anything decent you're into the low $20ks.

    So, just by searching around on Carsales for anything around the $20k+ price range at 2018 or later a couple of LT sedans popped up; didn't really think much of them until a friend (who has a VF SV6 Black edition) told me he'd had a couple as hire cars when travelling and reckoned they were ok. After a bit more research, I found that you could pick up an RS liftback, albeit with 30,000+ Kms for $23,990 so I was pretty much sold on that.

    Then I thought that for a couple of grand extra I could get into a low KM RS wagon which would be handy for a weekend run to Bunnings :)

    So I took an RS liftback for a drive - was quite impressed with it and then made the mistake of driving an RS-V....

    The rest is history.
    (and I'm only $12k over my initial budget - but realistically, where else are you going to get a German-built V6 AWD for around $30k?). :p

    (car should arrive early next week)
     
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  8. kos

    kos Active Member

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    Why did you go RSV over RS. What extras do you get on the rsv that made you go that way.
    I guess you will get it Wednesday so post next week how you find it. Are you picking it up from (Ceva) yard or did you use the other coy that bought out Tolls car carrying a while back.
     
  9. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    I went the RS-V over the RS purely for the extra toys: I like the leather seats (but TBH I think the cloth seats in the RS look better because of the two-colours), I like the digital instrument cluster, the bigger infotainment screen. Not too fussed about the HUD - I've had it on a different car and turned it off).

    You also get the upgraded HiPer front suspension on the front and a five-link rear which can't hurt.

    I was always going to go for the V6, not just because of the fact it's a nice, simple normally-aspirated lazy motor, but I've done the high-output four several times now, and while they're great on fuel economy, have a nice, flat torque curve etc., you have to thrash them to get the most out of them. This car is purely for relaxed, long-distance driving. I was also attracted to the Twinster AWD system for the crappy roads I drive at night.

    And the RS-V gets flappy paddles :) Mind you the gear change on this box is as slow AF.

    The car I originally had my heart set on was a V6 AWD RS liftback, but for the extra $5k for the RS-V wagon with less Kms and more warranty, it was a bit of a no-brainer...

    -
    The car's being shipped via Prix Cars. The car I got from Tasmania came up with these guys and it didn't arrive undamaged, so I'm stressing a bit about it...

    They were supposed to pick it up on 26/09 (so I should have had it in time for the long weekend), but they didn't turn up until 01/05, so I won't see it until Tuesday at the earliest.

    I 'negotiated' door-to-door delivery, which is a lot easier.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2019
  10. kos

    kos Active Member

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    Yes Prix Car they bought out toll Car carrying. An odd name and low key livery but the major player in car carrying interstate.

    Good call on the RSV. Cant understand why Holden have just given up on ZB. Surely the buyers of Lexus BMW Merc sedans -some wish an alternative that's better value but nearly as many features. Why don't Holden advertise it run some ads in say Wheels or Modern Motor one of the last homes of drivers or car enthusiasts.

    What does Hi per front suspension mean and do.

    What you have told me is not good. I,m starting to think about buying a V6 zb rather than a 4 cyl. Not too much more expensive more features lazier easier drivetrain runs on 91 or e 10 rather than 95.
     
  11. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    I don't think you're going to cross-shop a ZB against a premium Euro, but you're certainly going to compare it to the Mondeo, Mazda 6, Subarus etc. - as I keep telling people - where else are you going to get a year-old German-built V6 AWD for under $25k ($30k for the RS-V wagon).

    -

    HiPer strut is 'Hi Performance' - it's a modified McPherson strut that isolates the up-down movement of the wheel from the turning of the wheel hub - keeps the steering geometry more aligned throughout it's travel and provides better tracking - just Google it:

    [​IMG]

    -

    If you're in Qld. and do go with the four-pot, use United Fuel's E10 - it's 95RON and works really well - I've used it for years in several Euro fours with no issues - a lot cheaper than the usual 95RON. I'll be using it in the V6 anyway as it's a good quality fuel and United are an 'independent' group.
     
  12. kos

    kos Active Member

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    Thanks for that info. I use e 10 from United in my current turbo 4 loves it.

    But I still dont understand why Holden have given up on ZB , its a great car.

    Maybe they don't make any money out of it as Opel is owned by PSA now.
     
  13. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    Honestly, I don't think they gave up, I think at a Dealer level they're just lazy...

    At H.O. level, they're making more money on SUVs so focussing on the 'easy-sell' & think they're avoiding the 'mistake' they made by not calling it an Insignia...

    If they promoted the car properly they'd probably sell more, but remember the buying public has gone away from large sedans, so it's going to be a hard sell whatever happens.

    Personally I think they should focus their efforts on the Sportwagon.
     
  14. kos

    kos Active Member

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    I read that the Vauxhall sports wagon :insignia has stopped production.. due to poor sales.
    With the euro market being mainly left hand drive maybe this spells the end of zb sports wagon in oz.

    And while Holden might be focussed on Trax Acadia and equinox commodore sold 412 last month the 3 suvs sold bout 200 each. Sure the zb is probably all low margin fleet sales.

    I dont understand people lady at work 3 kids got a ve wagon time to trade up. I said have a look at zb. They bought a 2.5 Nissan x trail for 25 and she loves it. Reckons it’s got plenty of grunt on country roads lol reckon not.
     
  15. _R_J_K_

    _R_J_K_ Well-Known Member

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    I think you've missed the main demographic of people that would buy BMWs and Mercs, not to mention the brand whoring. ZB just doesn't compare (or have the ability to) performance wise to those cars either. It's going to take more than some advertising to change peoples brand perceptions and proven results of other similar car lines that were released over 10 years before the ZB came to market, particularly when new ZBs are far and away more expensive than similar cars they're competing with.

    Have you driven one?
     
  16. kos

    kos Active Member

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    I take your point but how does a 4 cyl merc c class for example compare in price and performance vs zb rs 2 litre?
    Surely zb in 4 and v 6 is the value proposition.

    No I haven’t driven a Nissan in 17 years when I gave up a company car maxima 3 litre v 6 as I changed jobs.
     
  17. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    They sold over 80,000 Opel/Vauxhall Insignias in 2018...

    But it seems PSA are deliberately slowing production of ALL Opel/Vauxhall vehicles - seems as though they're trying to shift buyers to the Peugeot & Citröen brands in Europe.
     
  18. kos

    kos Active Member

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    I read because of Brexit the car factories in the uk that build some Vauxhall models are on thin ice.

    But the insignia is built in Germany. PSA bought the plant from GM when they bought Opel.

    But the market fail of zb in Australia will be an interesting study for marketing students in a couple of years. GM cocked a lot of things up.
    Zb is another cock up as far as marketing sales and planning goes. If it had a Toyota badge it would fly out of the showrooms ditto if it had a Mazda badge.
     
  19. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    You're not gong to cross-shop a ZB Commodore with a C-Class or a 3-series, you're going to be comparing it with Mondeos and Mazda 6s - at which point they are price-competitive; I've just been through that exercise...
     
  20. arsevee

    arsevee Active Member

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    Most UK manufacturing in the UK is on thin ice ATM, until they sort out Brexit...

    Not sure why you say the ZB is a 'market fail' when it's consistently outselling every other brand apart from Toyota - much of the problem (apart from the negative sentiment brought on by using the Commodore name) is the fact that the mid-large sedan marketplace, which for decades has been the mainstream in Oz, has now almost totally shifted to SUVs. The same thing is happening with Opel/Vauxhall/Buick - it's not just a ZB issue...
     

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