From £51,500
Impossible to justify, but brilliantly entertaining anyway

Our Verdict

Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo 2011-2013
The Vauxhall Maloo is rather wonderful, but we're still not sure what it's for

The Vauxhall Maloo is the best two-seat pick-up £50,000 will buy you

  • First Drive

    Vauxhall VXR Maloo

    Impossible to justify, but brilliantly entertaining anyway
  • First Drive

    Holden Maloo R8

    Completely barking, but hugely desirable for any petrolhead.

What is it?

It’s the new the Vauxhall Maloo. Doesn’t mean anything to you? The Maloo is a Vauxhall VXR8-based pick-up truck created for the Australian market, but which has been known to make a cameo appearance in the UK line-up.

This is the ‘E3’ model, meaning it is based on the current 425bhp, 406lb ft 6.2-litre V8 VXR8. Power is sent via a six-speed manual ‘box through a limited slip-diff to the rear-wheels alone, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 4.9sec. It’s the second generation of Maloo we’ve had the pleasure of seeing in Britain, but this one sets a rather different price point at £51,500.

What’s it like?

It drives exactly how you would expect. It has a blunt, gung-ho approach to its power delivery and responses that suits the redneck image, and whilst that may sound unappealing in some ways, it is massively entertaining.

The main controls are all fairly heavy, but the steering is weighted well enough and with familiarity you can modulate the sensitive brakes easily, too. The gearshift is positive but heavy and whilst it’s never going to be a delicate machine it is not as wooden as you might imagine.

The chassis gets MacPherson struts up front, multi-link at the rear, and bespoke spring and damper settings all round, and the setup endows the Maloo with acceptable traction and pliancy over the French mountain roads where we drove it.

Don’t mistake the lack of subtlety for a lack of comfort - the Maloo actually makes for a decent tourer. Ride is comfortable, even if body roll is fairly noticeable, and the cabin is impressively cosseting. Even the engine noise subsides when the fabulously un-stressed V8 isn’t under load.

The Maloo has also become more technical than ever. It gets launch control and Bluetooth/USB connectivity, as well as a Nissan GT-R-like set of vehicle dynamics readouts that include g-force and lap-time displays. Full leather is also standard.

Should I buy one?

Let’s face it, you’re probably not even considering it. Even Vauxhall predicts that less than 50 people will buy a new Maloo.

That’s not to say that it isn’t an overwhelmingly likeable and fun car. Of course, pretty much any mainstream, conventional sports car would be a vastly more rounded and justifiable proposition at this price.

But if you are one of the few that could find a means and motive to buy a £51k, two-seat, five-metre long, V8 pick-up then you won’t be disappointed. It’s no dynamic benchmark, but on UK shores it will be rarer than just about any supercar, and it delivers feel-good factor (provided you’re after attention) as well as muscle-car like entertainment that few other cars come close to.

Vauxhall VXR Maloo

Price: £51,500; Top speed: 155mph; 0-60mph: 4.9sec; Economy: 21mpg; Co2: 320g/km; Kerb weight: 1831kg; Engine type: V8, 6162cc; Power: 425bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 406lb ft at 4600rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
39

7 March 2012

I don't know why, but I really want one. I must be mad - it makes even less sense than most supercars!

7 March 2012

[quote motorcyclemptiness]I don't know why, but I really want one. I must be mad[/quote]

I know what you mean! I think in black, it could look quite tasty. - I remember seeing one of these on Top Gear, and thought that would be a bit different.

Pretty sure if I had 50k to spend on a v8 car though, I'd end up in a BMW garage.

7 March 2012

I bet Artill's got his name down for one already.

7 March 2012

I'm sorely tempted by one, but would prefer the regular Holden SS Ute styling to the over-done HSV Maloo bodykit.

And Vicky, implying that Australians are rednecks is insulting and inappropriate. Just like me suggesting that female journalists are incompetent would be, when if fact it's just you.

7 March 2012

Are you referring to "...its power delivery and responses that suits the redneck image" when stating Vicky is "implying that Australians are rednecks is insulting and inappropriate".

If there's something in the review I missed then apologies otherwise I think you're reading to much into that sentence

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

7 March 2012

[quote disco.stu]And Vicky, implying that Australians are rednecks is insulting and inappropriate. Just like me suggesting that female journalists are incompetent would be, when if fact it's just you[/quote]

Errrr, no, Disco, I don't believe she does. And there was me thinking .stu stood for Stuart or something..

Given your opinion of Vicky, I guess I understand why you would want a car this big as well.

7 March 2012

There's something appealing about this car. Technically, it's rubbish, but there's more to cars like this than just facts and figures.

7 March 2012

I don't get the appeal, and judging by the potential sales figures (50?!) I don't think I'm alone in this.

If you want a pick up to do a job, buy a Toyota Hilux for £16k (and not care about wrecking it) and then spend the other £35k on a BMW 335i for the weekends.

Now that would appeal.

7 March 2012

[quote Evo_ermine]I bet Artill's got his name down for one already[/quote]

Sadly no, but i do see the appeal.

I assume it can be registered as a commercial to bypass the silly Co Car tax rules too.

Personally i would prefer the estate without all the VXR stuff, ie the Holden commodore sportwagon, but i will stick with just the 1 V8 for now.

7 March 2012

[quote Autocar]

What is it?


It’s the new the Vauxhall Maloo. Doesn’t mean anything to you? The Maloo is a Vauxhall VXR8-based pick-up truck created for the Australian market, but which has been known to make a cameo appearance in the UK line-up.


This is the ‘E3’ model, meaning it is based on the current 425bhp, 406lb ft 6.2-litre V8 VXR8. Power is sent via a six-speed manual ‘box through a limited slip-diff to the rear-wheels alone, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 4.9sec. It’s the second gen...Read the full article

[/quote] Only ever seen one, maybe that's the answer?, funky?.....no question, but then again there are some useless cars on the road just because of the way they look, i mean,a ragtop Evoque?

Peter Cavellini.

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