Vauxhall Maloo

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

This inimitable Aussie is a lot of fun, but is it worth the price tag?

Engine: 6.2-litre V8 normally aspirated petrol

Transmission: six-speed automatic

Power: 431PS at 6,000rpm

Torque: 550Nm at 4,600rpm

Fuel consumption (combined cycle): 21mpg

CO2 emissions: 320g/km

Top speed: 155mph (artificially limited)

Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.9 seconds

Price: £51,500

For better or worse, there really is nothing quite like the Vauxhall Maloo. It comes originally from Vauxhall’s Australian sister company in the General Motors empire, Holden, and is the latest in a series of rebadged high-performance cars from that source to arrive in the UK. First, there was the 2004 Monaro, which looked a bit like a beefed up coupé version of the old Opel/Vauxhall Omega. That was followed in 2007 by the VXR8, which had a spoilered-up saloon body, but otherwise followed the same recipe as the Monaro – the big, roomy body of a traditional full-sized Australian car combined with the character and thrilling power of a US-sourced “small-block” GM V8, a base engine that enjoys a terrific pedigree, and also turns up in the Chevrolet Corvette.

Now the Maloo offers a similar mix but with a highly unusual twist; it uses a two-door saloon-derived pick-up body, a car type that Australians call a utility vehicle - or ute for short. That alone means it stands out from the crowd even more than its attention-seeking predecessors. My test car was also a very vivid shade of yellow, which, by bizarre coincidence, recalled the colour scheme usually applied to one of the few other car-derived pick-up trucks offered for sale in the UK in recent years, the Skoda Felicia Fun – although the similarities end there.

And in the unlikely event that you don’t see the Maloo coming, you will probably hear it; the experience of driving it will be instantly familiar to anyone who has spent time with the Monaro or VXR8, and revolves mainly around the power, performance and, above all, sound, of the V8 engine which rumbles and roars in the traditional manner when extended. And as in the case of the Monaro and the VXR8, there’s a mild surprise, which is that while the Maloo doesn’t match the sophistication of most fast European cars, it’s nothing like as rough and ready as you might expect – either to drive or to sit in. And how does the Maloo do as a pick-up? Well it’s pretty unlikely that anyone is going to use one as a serious load-carrier, but the payload bay is generously proportioned and has a nicely designed and well finished lid, so it is perfectly usable.

The snags? Well fuel consumption and emissions are much higher than those of even some of the most powerful European cars, but a bigger problem is the Maloo’s price. When Vauxhall was able to offer early Monaros in the UK for less than £30,000 they represented something of a bargain, but a strong Australian dollar means that the Maloo now sells for more than £50,000. That puts it up against some pretty sophisticated European cars and makes it a lot harder to justify – although it is an awful lot of fun.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

    £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own