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Holden Omega Sportwagon

Steve Kealy
28 October 2008
www.carpoint.com.au

Once the preserve of couriers, sales reps and dog breeders, the Holden station wagon is desirable again.

The Holden VE Commodore needs little introduction... Reams have been written about it since its launch in July 2006 and you'd need to have been living in a cave not to have read your fill. Since then, interest has been sustained by the inevitable derivatives, such as variously hopped-up, hotted-up HSV models, the Ute and more recently, the wagon.

Holden claims it spent $1bn engineering the VE and another $110 million on the Sportwagon, so it's fair to expect something a bit special. Happily the new five-door by-and-large delivers on the promise.

The wagon reflects a move away from the traditional long-wheelbase, load-hauling, working-class vehicle, to a more stylish, attractive and altogether more wieldy machine.

In the past, Aussie wagons have had longer wheelbases than their sedan parents, but with the VE, Holden has kept the 2915mm gap between the axles the same. The result is still a generously large car, but without a particularly massive load area down the back. Most importantly, the exterior lines of the car have taken an elegant and very distinctly European step into the 21st Century, with a graceful rear which is more reminiscent of Benz, BMW and Audi than it is of fishing rods, crates of beer and cartons of smokes.

The downside is that there isn't actually a huge amount of room in the cargo bay -- the sloping roof would make it too low for carting big dogs that like standing up, for example.

Holden claims there's space for 2000 litres of cargo with the back seat folded down. If you're buying a wagon for toting more inanimate objects (than large dogs!), there's a good selection of tie-down points and shopping hooks -- and beneath the floor, there's a full-sized spare wheel.

The lightest of all seven Sportwagon models, the Omega offers the top payload capacity -- 480kg. Perhaps as importantly, it can also tow a braked 2100kg.

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I was pushing for my parents to get a Calais Sportswagon. Unfortunately the move to a smaller more stylish design (which I love) really ended it. As mentioned in the article, large dogs and in our case a Doberman, wouldn't be able to stand up comfortably without lowering the rear seats. So my folks went for a Subaru Forester XT.

Also I thought it odd that this was released 1 day after Holden started building Omegas with the 175kw engine.
 

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again, if this was in NA markets I'd buy one right now (yes I'd be willing to put this in writing).

This is the perfect family hauler and it is shame, especially now with everything under the sun rumored to be moving to Lambda afte 2014, it won't be here for sale.
 

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They should dump the G8 pickup and have a Pontiac version of this wagon. The pickup is going to fall flat on it's ass and everybody knows it. At least the wagon has four doors and still can hall things.
 

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They should dump the G8 pickup and have a Pontiac version of this wagon. The pickup is going to fall flat on it's ass and everybody knows it. At least the wagon has four doors and still can hall things.
the Ute can haul a lot more than the wagon.




But anyways, the wagons are great, and I'm starting to see them everywhere now too!
Even the Omegas dont look so bland from the rear.
 

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never been a big fan of Holdens before, but thats pretty cool.
 

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:brick Ahhhh yes, this smiley is apt for my feelings about this wagon. It would have made the G8 range feel so complete. Sedan, wagon, and ute. Instead, we don't get this. I see a good number of Magnums, A4 Avants, and a decent amount of 3 and 5 series wagons around. Hell, I even saw a Taurus X today. Looks like I'll be getting either a CTS wagon or a 9-3 SportCombi in the future.

That's one good looking car. I'm jealous of you Aussies.
 

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I would buy a Sportwagon before any CUV. What I don't get is that the Magnum failed due to it's lack of utility from the sloping roof.
Why has GM built the Sportwagon and CTS wagon with sloping roofs?
A wagon needs to have some height to it's cargo area.
 

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this is a real nice car.

i wonder why they are bringing the truck over and not the wagon
 

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the Ute can haul a lot more than the wagon.




But anyways, the wagons are great, and I'm starting to see them everywhere now too!
Even the Omegas dont look so bland from the rear.
Ute can't haul a family or keep your stuff in the back dry without a cover.

Offer this as AWD and part of the G8 family instead of the G8 ST and I think Pontiac might have a winner.
 

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To the Aussie GMIers, how much can these wagons tow in V8 trim? Are they available with a rear-facing third row? This would make a pretty nifty new Caprice Wagon as long as the b-body's utility is there (the Magnum was sorely lacking in the utility department.
 

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I would buy a Sportwagon before any CUV. What I don't get is that the Magnum failed due to it's lack of utility from the sloping roof.
Why has GM built the Sportwagon and CTS wagon with sloping roofs?
A wagon needs to have some height to it's cargo area.
From what I can tell the CTS and Commodore wagon's roof slopes way less than the Magnum's.

To the Aussie GMIers, how much can these wagons tow in V8 trim? Are they available with a rear-facing third row? This would make a pretty nifty new Caprice Wagon as long as the b-body's utility is there (the Magnum was sorely lacking in the utility department.
The cargo area behind the rear seats looks way too small to fit a third row. The Caprice wagon was what, 26 inches longer? I don't think even Zeta can reach those lengths. Towing shouldn't be a problem though.
 

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With standard 18" alloys the tow rating should be the same. The only reduction would be in the SS-V because of the low profile 19" tyres. The maximum is usually dictated by tow-bar vertical-loading tongue limits.

2100kg is 4300lbs braked, unbraked is about 1300kg or 2600-2700lb IIRC. It looks like third row seats aren't a factory option.
 

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That is the first time I've read a carpoint review. It was actually not bad. Didn't really tell me anything new (same common gripes as previous VE reviews), but it certainly sounded honest. I notice that he didn't mention anything about NVH, aside from "comfortable and quiet". Mustn't have explored that 6000rpm max power claim :D
 

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Dimensions and capacities
Weights
Omega SV6 SS SS V-Series
Kerb Mass* (kg)
(est. inc a/c & fluids)
Manual 1711 1735 1767 1786
Auto 1697 1740 1787 1806

Gross Vehicle
Mass (GVM kg)
Omega SV6 SS SS V-Series
Manual /
Auto 2505 2385 2385 2315
Max Payload^ (kg)
Manual 775 634 617 528
Auto 794 633 597 508

Gross combined
Mass (GCM kg)
Manual /
Auto
3945 3825 3825 3755
 

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So what does all that mean? (note: these are Ute Specs)
As power and/or weight of models increase, payload goes down. You could assume that max torque through the drive train may be a significant limitation, however GCM confuses with matching limitations on SV6 and SS :confused:. The common denominator between SV6 and SS is, as BBDOS said, wheel size (18"), but if you look at front axle load, the 19" SS-V actually has higher capacity.

At the end of the day, 2300kgs is the most you can tow braked. This is only possible with the auto and loads obviously need to be distributed perfectly between the axles (no shifting Roman obelisks then:D).

Go for a manual, however, and you cannot pull more than 1600kgs. Irrespective of the GCM stats, the 2100kg tow package is not available as a dealer fitted option (on any ute, manual sedan or manual wagon). Fit your own and prepare to argue the point when trying to replace a molten clutch plate during the warranty period. :p:
 
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