Holden Commodore Omega Series II 2012 Review

Holden Commodore Omega Series II 2012 Review

Sales of large petrol sedans are under pressure with people moving to smaller vehicles and diesels. However, these petrol-powered cars still have their place in the fleet and for the family and the Commodore Omega Series II keeps the segment competitive with some improved fuel economy and an appealing feature set for under fifty grand.

The Omega sits in the comfort end of the Commodore range. You can expect easy cruising with a torquey 3-litre direct injection six-cylinder motor, a six-speed automatic gearbox and compliant tyres wrapped around 16-inch alloys. There’s nothing

sporty about the Omega, except that 10 years ago you would have found its 190kW and 290Nm of torque in top-of-the-line HSV models!

This power, coupled with the Omega’s weight, gives you the ability to tow up to 1600kg on a braked trailer

I had the Omega back-to-back with the Toyota Camry SX (read review – opens in a new tab). The Camry is a car that is a similar price and size, so the comparison was interesting. The Omega felt solid and heavier to drive. The accelerator, brake and steering all required more input than with the Camry. It made a much better engine noise with its 3-litre V6 compared to the Camry’s 4-cylinder 2.4-litre engine.

Comfort was excellent on a longer drive. On fairly straight roads the Omega cruised along, relatively unflustered over uneven surfaces. When there are tighter corners to negotiate – for example, in the city – the heavier steering is noticeable, although not obstructive. The same goes for the brakes – the four-wheel discs (ventilated at the front) provided plenty of stopping power but there was a bit too much brake pedal travel followed by not quite enough assistance. Again, unless you are an absolute weakling this is just a case of getting used to it and by the end of the week I was.

The usual safety features are present: electronic stability control (ESC), anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EDB) and traction control system (TCS).

Combined fuel economy is quoted at 8.9l/100km, which is a figure we almost matched in our test. Obviously with a 3-litre V6 you’ll be using more than a four-pot. However, the new engine in the Omega is significantly more frugal than my personal car (which has a 2.7-litre V6) – somewhere around 30-40%.

Being the base model of the range the interior is a little bland and inoffensive with a sea of grey plastic, some light grey fabric seats and a steering wheel with buttons to control the audio and Bluetooth phone integration.

In-car entertainment is also controlled through a large touch screen in the centre of the dashboard. This screen also displays the optional reversing camera image and the optional integrated satellite navigation map, the two of which bump the price up to around the same as the Camry SX.

There is dual climate control for the front seat occupants, however the heater was very average and when sitting stationary seemed to cool down rather than stay the same temperature. This might be a fault on this particular car as it’s an unusual problem.

Rear seat passengers are treated to plenty of leg room. You will see in the photos that my seating position, despite being six foot, left a good deal of space for the passenger behind me. Overall the Commodore’s ride was comparable with the Camry’s, though it did feel a lot heavier at the front.

If you’re doing a straight comparison between theToyotaand the Holden, the Holden looks the better deal in terms of features, although they do boost the price by $4000. Fleet drivers will appreciate the muscular looks, the easy reversing camera (and reversing sensors), integrated satellite navigation and the compliant ride. Families will appreciate the passenger comfort levels and the towing ability.

Price: base model $49,990. Plus options: satellite navigation + upgraded radio ($2500), reversing sensors/rear camera ($1500)


  • Powerful and versatile
  • Excellent passenger comfort
  • Sensible price


  • Some interior design looks a bit dated
  • Feels heavy
  • Heater didn’t work very well (might only be our test car)

To look at new and used Holden Commodore Omega models check out Cars for Sale NZ.


Engine Specifications: 3.0L 60-degree Double Overhead Cam V6 with 4 valves per cylinder. Twin knock control sensors with individual cylinder adaptive control. On-board diagnostics. Spark Ignition Direct Injection (SIDI)

Capacity (cc): 2986

Power: 190kW @ 6700rpm (ECE, kW)

Torque: 290Nm @ 2900rpm (ECE, Nm)

Transmission: 6-speed auto with Active Select

Fuel economy (L/100km): 8.9 L/100km

Fuel economy based on ADR 81/02 testing for combined urban/extra urban driving. These figures are provided to assist you in comparing the fuel consumption of this vehicle with other vehicles. Fuel consumption depends on factors such as traffic conditions, vehicle condition, vehicle load and your driving style.

CO2: 203 g/km

Recommended fuel: E10, E85, ULP or PULP

Fuel tank capacity (L): 71

Brakes: Four wheel disc. Ventilated discs – front and rear. Twin piston alloy front caliper, single piston alloy rear caliper

Towing capacity (kg): Maximum towing with automatic transmission: 1600. Holden approved 1200 and 1600 towing equipment is available. See your Holden Dealer for details.

Service: The complimentary inspection is due at 3,000km or 3 months (whichever occurs first). The first service is due at 15,000km or 12 months (whichever occurs first) and then every 15,000km or 12 months (whichever occurs first) since the last service. Additional services may be required under certain driving conditions such as when towing (refer to owner’s handbook).

Control and Handling

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

Traction Control System (TCS)


16″ alloy wheels (x4)

Tyresealant and air compressor kit

Steel spare wheel and tyre (petrol only) Optional


Power side mirrors


Cloth seat trim

Adjustable lumbar support – driver & front passenger

4-way electric adjustment of driver’s seat


Cruise control

Trip computer (single display)

Multifunction steering wheel

Steering wheel with height and reach adjust

Multifunction driver display

Automatic headlamp mode

Holden-iQ Enhanced Bluetooth®

Holden-iQ Satellite Navigation – touch-screen full colour mapping (Optional)

Touch-screen Holden-iQ System

Rear View Camera (Optional)


Steering wheel mounted audio controls

Holden-iQ Radio

Holden-iQ CD

Holden-iQ iPod® Integration

Holden-iQ USB

Holden-iQ Bluetooth® audio streaming

Cabin Comfort

Dual-zone electronic climate control – Driver & Front Passenger

Twin cup holders

Power windows, front and rear

Driver visor and illuminated vanity mirror

Auxiliary power socket in console


Maximum 5-star ANCAP safety rating

Driver and front passenger audible and visual seatbelt warning

Load limiters and pyrotechnic pretensioners

Side impact airbags for driver and passenger

Curtain airbags, driver and passenger

Dual-stage front airbags for driver and passenger

Rear seat child restraint anchor points


Remote locking alert

Remote control priority key

Storage and Cargo

Fold-down rear seat centre ski hatch

Sunglasses holder

Centre console storage compartment

496L (Petrol), 486L (LPG) Cargo Volume


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