From £43,2458
Rebadged version of HSV's hot Commodore wagon arrives in the UK

Our Verdict

Vauxhall VRX8 2011-2012

The Vauxhall VXR8 is an unsophisticated sledgehammer that is engaging, entertaining and very different from the German super-coupés that it rivals

Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer

What is it?

Important things first. More than anything, what you’ll want to know about the Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer is that it’s officially the most capacious estate car on sale in Britain, right?

Good. Then you’ll be pleased to read that it has 895 litres of load volume with the rear seats in place, rising to some 2000 litres with them folded. If you’re looking for a big boot, look no further. Buy with impunity; you needed something this big.

The VXR8 is, as I’m sure you’re aware, a British-badged version of the Holden Special Vehicles Clubsport, a car that’s effectively on run-out in Australia, given there’ll be a new Holden Commodore later this year. 

So the VXR8 wagon arrives here in the UK with, like the similarly rebadged saloon and Maloo pick-up, a 425bhp version of GM’s 6.2-litre LS3 V8, driving the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox (there’s also an auto option) and a limited-slip differential. 

What's it like?

That powertrain, plus a 2915mm wheelbase, switchable stability control and 405lb ft means sideways. Lots of sideways.

No, the VXR8 isn’t the most sophisticated £50k estate you’ll sit in, and neither interior materials nor their presentation will give German cabin engineers cause to worry.

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But the VXR8’s is a functional cockpit, your passengers will have to admit, and they’ll be duly impressed by some neat touches, including a central screen that can be configured to show what rate of g, and even yaw, you’re pulling. And let’s be honest, it is vast inside. They’ve got to appreciate that.

It rides, too, the VXR8, despite running on 20in rims and 35-profile tyres. Actually, there is sophistication here, because the strut front and multi-link rear suspension are equipped with magnetorheological dampers, which smooth the ride in a straight line and firm up while cornering, to reduce roll and keep a tighter check on body movements.

It’s effective, too. The VXR8 lopes along motorways, engine spinning at an unstressed 1800rpm or so at the legal limit and the hydraulically assisted power steering sitting comfortably drawn to straight ahead. 

On twisty roads it feels like the 4971mm-long and 1899mm-wide car it is, but the VXR8 Tourer moves along okay. It’s not agile, but it’s pleasingly balanced. Trailing the brakes keeps the weighty nose tucked into corners and, if circumstances allow, from that point on it’ll happily have its tail kicked wide all day long.

Should I buy one?

Even if you don’t indulge, there is much to enjoy, such as the way the Vauxhall rocks gently at idle thanks to the V8’s lumpiness, or the general woofle and burble at low speed.

And, of course, that practicality and roominess. Remember, you’re not buying an irrational, 324g/km, £50,000 car whose sat-nav doesn’t work in this hemisphere. You just needed the biggest estate car you could get.

Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer

Price £49,500; 0-62mph 4.9sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 20.9mpg; CO2 324g/km; Kerb weight 1878; Engine 6162cc, V8, petrol; Power 425bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 405lb ft at 4600rpm; Gearbox 6-spd manual

Join the debate


11 May 2013

Why not give us this with a decent diesel engine in at a sensible price and have a replacement for the Omega and an alternative to the endless Audis, BMWs and Mercedes?

11 May 2013

Chris576 wrote:

Why not give us this with a decent diesel engine in at a sensible price and have a replacement for the Omega and an alternative to the endless Audis, BMWs and Mercedes?


Good Point. The vast amount of A4s/C-Class/3 Series estates have SLine/AMG/M Sport kits on them but with basic diesel engines. The market is there. I think the standard Holden Sportwgaon looks better than this (less garish). The problem is there is no diesel version. There is LPG though

11 May 2013

A version of this with one of the smaller engines;

either the 3.6 V6 (LFX) (available in the standard Commodore)

or the 2.0 turbo (either the LDK or the NFT)

or the 2.0 BiTurbo CDTi

would probably make respectable sales as a full size Omega replacement

11 May 2013

Bit like a Skoda estate from some angles,but, even if you could afford it,even if your married with kids,it just doesn't say...come on,drive my doors of me!

11 May 2013

what a fab name for a pickup!

11 May 2013

A simple, honest large estate that rides well and has a whopping great V8. What's not to like. I'd have this any day over the German counterparts. Does the front end of this remind anyone else of the old Carlton?

11 May 2013

Will86 wrote:

 Does the front end of this remind anyone else of the old Carlton?

No, for some reason it reminds me of the last Nissan Almera..

11 May 2013

Truly horrible in a good old fashioned bogan way........

11 May 2013

Brilliant car, but hard to understand why Vauxhall have bothered to bring it over when the revised Commodore is only a couple of months away. And as that will get electric power Stearing, and an automatic handbrake, it may be this is a better drive than the car that follows.

As for all the calls for a diesel, why? Would it be cheaper? Pushrod V8s are cheap to build, modern diesels are not. Fuel costs surely cant be too much of a worry to someone spending £50k can they?

Lets just be pleased Vauxhall still allow the lucky few to buy cars like this, and let those who want a diesel buy something European.

11 May 2013

I saw this car at the haymarket head office last week, WOW, when the engine was started and revved the noise was truely thrilling, back to a good old V8 growl.

bland inside, but the exterior and that engine should help Vauxhall sell one or two.

If i had the money to buy it and run it I would have one.


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