Vauxhall Monaro (2004-2007)

If you're a firm believer in the old adage that there's no substitute for cubic inches, you'll love the Monaro. With its V8 up front that displaces 5.7 or 6.0 litres, this is a full-on muscle car for the 21st century. Discreet, fast, reliable and cheap to buy, the Monaro can also be tuned very easily, if the entry-level 329bhp isn't enough for you. Just make sure your OPEC subs are up to date before you buy one.

Key Dates

3/04: The Monaro goes on sale with a 329bhp 5.7-litre V8.

5/04: A Monaro VXR is now offered, with a 380bhp 5.7-litre V8.

1/05: The 5.7-litre V8 now pumps out 349bhp while there's also a 397bhp 6.0-litre V8 available alongside.

10/06: The Monaro VXR500 debuts, with a 493bhp supercharged 6.0-litre V8 in the nose.

Vauxhall Monaro (2004-2007) Checklist

  • Start the engine up from cold and listen for rattles; if it's making a racket you're better off walking away.
  • Piston slap is also common on this engine; it generally affects very early cars only, but some later editions might suffer too.
  • Even healthy engines can get through a lot of oil, so make sure the V8 hasn't been running on empty.
  • The brakes take a real beating if the car is driven hard; make sure the discs haven't overheated and warped or scored.
  • The power steering can cause problems, so make sure it feels evenly assisted as you turn the wheel.

We Like

  • Power
  • Performance
  • Low purchase prices
  • Discreet styling
  • Tunability
  • Cabin
  • Interior space

We Don't Like

  • Thirst
  • Vauxhall badge