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Vauxhall Maloo gives new meaning to 'fast worker'
Vauxhall's Maloo 'performance pick-up' – like nothing else on the road!

 

Vauxhall Maloo pick-up

Pick-up review: DAVID WILKINS

What is it?

The Vauxhall Maloo is the latest in a long line of imported high-performance Australian Holdens rebadged as Vauxhalls. After the Monaro coupé and the VXR8 saloon, the Maloo is a pick-up, or as the Australians have it, a ‘ute’, which is short for utility vehicle.

The Maloo shares with its predecessors the appealing recipe of an American V8 engine combined with a rear-wheel drive chassis but whereas the first Monaro was a bit of a bargain with a sub-£30K starting price, shifting exchange rates mean that Vauxhall now has to charge more than £50,000 for its latest hot Holden, which it expects to sell only in limited numbers. There’s a choice of six-speed manuals or automatics.

It certainly makes an entertainingly different pick-up from the standard Nissan Navarra or Mitsubishi L200 – at a price, of course.

What’s hot?

  • The Maloo is like nothing else on the road – Vauxhall calls it the only performance pick-up on sale in the UK, a description that rather undersells its dramatic appearance and electrifying levels of thrust
  • The Maloo’s performance comes from an appealingly traditional American GM V8 that delivers a whopping 431 horsepower with a terrific burble that stands out all the more in an age of down-sizing in which even many high-performance cars have to make do with dull-sounding small engines
  • The Maloo is nothing like as crude as you’d expect an Australian pick-up to be – its drivetrain and suspension have been fettled with performance parts, and the cabin is surprisingly well trimmed as well

    Vauxhall Maloo gives new meaning to 'fast worker'
    The Maloo isn't anywhere near as crude as your might expect from an Australian pick-up and the cabin is surprisingly well trimmed
  •  Equipment includes Bluetooth, a rear reversing camera, eight-way adjustable leather seats, USB input, MP3 hard drive, 20-inch alloy wheels and a tyre-pressure monitoring system
  • The rear flatbed offers a generous 1,208-litre cargo area and has a well-designed remote-lockable top – even if very few buyers are going to use the Maloo as a load-lugger
  • Although it is imported from Holden, the Maloo still enjoys Vauxhall’s lifetime warranty package, although this is not transferable when the car is sold on

What’s not?

  • The Maloo delivers only 21mpg in the official combined cycle test; there’s no other way to put it – it’s a gas guzzler
  • CO2 emissions of 320g/km and Group 50 insurance also make the Maloo a business-unfriendly proposition
  • Previous rebadged Holdens sold here as Vauxhalls have had a big price advantage over European performance cars but a strong Australian dollar means the Maloo costs as much as some highly rated models from the German premium brands
  • While the Maloo provides a much more polished drive than you might expect, it still lacks sophistication compared with fast European cars if you’re thinking of substituting
  • A limited dealer network – only five dealers are authorised to sell the Maloo and only a further 25 can carry out servicing

 

Business Vans Verdict

The Vauxhall Maloo is a fundamentally likable machine – and a lot of fun too. For most buyers, though, that won’t be enough to offset its high price or its poor fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, all of which will punch a big hole in your pocket.

Against that is the fact you could run this pick-up through your business and only pay £50 a month company van tax if you’re rated at 20%.

Vauxhall Maloo gives new meaning to 'fast worker'
If you're extrovert enough and want to stand out from the crowd, you could have a lot of fun with the Maloo

And with fuel consumption like the Maloo’s, it still would make sense to take free fuel – and pay the £9 a month benefit in kind on the free fuel (20% tax payer).

So you could have a lot of fun with this if you’re a builder, carpenter, tradesman or the like – if you feel extrovert enough!

And that’s because the Vauxhall Maloo stands out like nothing else on the road. For a small minority of hardened fans that might just be enough – although the Maloo won’t enjoy the broader appeal of the Monaro and VXR8 unless and until shifting exchange rates allow much keener pricing.

So great fun – but at a big price.

 

Vauxhall Maloo – the low-down

On the road price: £ 51,500
Kerb weight 1,831kg
Benefit in kind 2011/12 to 2013/14: £3,000, £3,000, £3,000
Engine: 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 petrol
CO2 Emissions: 320g/km
Power/torque: 431PS/550Nm
0-62mph/top speed: 4.9 secs/155mph (limited)
Economy (official): 21mpg

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