Open main menu

The Holden Ute is a coupe utility built by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors, since 2000. Before then, Holden had marketed their Commodore-based utility models under the Holden Utility (VG) and Holden Commodore utility (VP, VR, VS) names,[1][2] although the term “Holden Ute” was also used in their official marketing literature.[3][4] The Holden Ute name is often used for earlier Holden Utility models (which were produced from 1951 to 1984) as the word "ute" is a colloquial term used commonly in Australia for a utility vehicle or pickup truck. Holden's performance division, an independent company called HSV assembles a high-performance version called the Maloo. Between 2003 and 2007, Holden built a stretched, crew cab version of the Ute with four doors and seating for five, called the Holden Crewman and between 2003 and 2005 a cab-chassis version known as the Holden One Tonner.

Holden Ute
2006 Holden VZ Ute Thunder S 01.jpg
Also calledChevrolet Lumina
Pontiac G8 Sport Truck.
Body and chassis
Body style2-door coupe utility
RelatedHolden Commodore
Holden Crewman
Holden One Tonner
HSV Maloo
PredecessorHolden Commodore utility

The Ute launched with a locally built 3.8-litre Ecotec V6 engine of Buick design. A 5.7-litre Generation III V8 engine option was also available, but this was replaced by the 6.0-litre Generation 4 in 2006, and updated to the L98 specification later on that year. In 2004, Holden replaced the venerable V6 with a 3.6-litre Alloytec unit.

The Australian-assembled Ute was to be sold in the United States as the Pontiac G8 ST starting in 2009 alongside the four-door Commodore-based G8 sedan.[5] However, due to GM's company-wide model review, a result of the 2008 global financial crisis, such plans were shelved on 6 January 2009. Exports of the G8 sedan remain unaffected.[6] Sales of the Ute in South Africa as the Chevrolet Lumina SS commenced during 2006/2007 and in Middle East in 2009/2010.


First generation (2000–2007)Edit


2000–2002 Holden VU Ute SS

Holden introduced the Ute range with the VU, replacing the Holden VS Utility. The VU's arrival was a full 36 months after the VT Commodore sedan, meaning it arrived in time for the launch of Holden's VX Commodore series. The VU utilises the same wheelbase as the VT Commodore station wagon and WH Statesman/Caprice, meaning a wheelbase increase of 116 mm (4.6 in). The Ute employs the same interior as the Commodore, while also picking up the VX's upgraded equipment lists and re-styled exterior design.

  • Base : Built up from the Commodore Executive's specification. Available with 3.8-litre 152 kW (204 hp) Ecotec V6 - 4sp auto, 5sp manual or 5.7-litre 225 kW (302 hp) Generation 3 V8 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto
  • S : Based on Commodore 'S' specification. Available with 3.8-litre 152 kW (204 hp) Ecotec V6 - 4sp auto, 5sp manual speed.
  • SS : Based on Commodore SS specification, minus side-impact airbags. Available with a 5.7-litre 225 kW (302 hp) Generation 3 V8 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto

The range received a minor refresh with the VX Series 2 models 12 months later, with the major upgrade being an additional 5 kW (7 hp) to Holden's Generation 3 V8's.

In October 2001 The VU Ute came out in a special edition "SS Fifty" (pictured right) to mark the 50th anniversary. This model was limited to 500 units and were designed to become a collector's item; every SS 50 was identical in terms of color schemes, all 500 units were released with a black exterior and a partial leather interior that contained plenty of "hyper yellow" accents. Other items that made the SS 50 different were the chrome sports bar on the back, unique black-and-yellow engine cover, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, handbrake cover and gear knob as well as a color-coded instrument cluster to match the leather bolsters on the sports seats.

The VU's were superseded by the VY range in September 2002.


2003–2004 Holden VY II Crewman
2003–2004 Holden VY II Ute S
2003–2004 Holden VY II Crewman Cross 8
2002–2003 Holden VY II Ute S

The Ute range received its first major facelift in the form of the 2002 VY range. VY Ute's received the same upgrades as the sedan/wagon range, which involved a new, sharper-designed nose, and more European-styled interior. The same three specification models were carried over for the VY, and picked up the same upgraded equipment lists as the VY sedans. The VY range marked major change for Holden's Ute range, with the 2003 addition of two new models: the return of the One Tonner cab-chassis utility after a 18-year hiatus; and the introduction of Holden's first-ever 4-door utility, arriving in the form of the Crewman. The Crewman brought a longer wheelbase – 3,206 mm (126.2 in) compared to the 2,939 mm (115.7 in) of the Ute; and a shorter tray – 1,463 mm (57.6 in) compared to the 2,193 mm (86.3 in) of the Ute[7] In December 2003, Holden released an all-wheel drive variant of the Crewman known as the Crewman Cross 8. Powered by a 225 kW (302 hp) V8 engine, the Cross 8 featured a modified appearance, more suited to an off-road vehicle.

Both the Crewman and One Tonner models added instant sales to the Holden range, sparking rapid expansion of the Holden Ute range, its first major growth spurt since its 1990 re-introduction. Once again the same three specifications were carried over for the VY, with the Ute range available in base Ute, S & SS forms. The same did not apply for the One-Tonner cab-chassis range though – it was available in just two model forms, base and S.

  • Base: Based on Commodore Executive specification. Available with 3.8-litre 152 kW (204 hp) Ecotec V6
  • S : Based on Commodore S specification. Available with 3.8-litre 152 kW (204 hp) Ecotec V6 – 4sp auto, 5sp manual
  • SS: Based on Commodore SS specification. 5.7-litre 235 kW (315 hp) Generation 3 V8 – 6sp manual or 4sp auto

Crewman models were on the other hand available with the same three specifications as the Ute range, and were launched conjointly with the rest of Holden's VY Series 2 range, the major update this time being the addition of 10 kW (13 hp) to the Gen.3 V8. By December 2003 the Crewman range had expanded to include Holden's very first AWD utility in the form of the Crewman Cross 8. The Cross 8 received bolstered wheelarches, raised ride height as well as additional equipment, with the sole drivetrain being the recently upgraded Gen.3 V8 connected to a 4-speed automatic. V6-powered versions of the One Tonner & Crewman were only available with automatic transmission. The VY's were superseded by the arrival of the VZ range in August 2004


2006–2007 Holden VZ Ute Thunder SS
2004–2007 Holden VZ Crewman S.

The final series of Holden's VT-generation was the VZ range, launched in August 2004. Holden's main upgrade for the VZ's was the introduction of an all-new Alloytec V6, replacing Holden's previous Ecotec V6's which had been in use since the 1995 launch of the VS Commodore. Whilst the sedan VZ range received both versions of the Alloytec V6, the ute range received just the lower-capacity Alloytec 175 - it was the standard engine across the entire ute range with a six-speed manual - an upgraded 4-speed automatic was available as an option. Once again the One Tonner & Crewman ranges shared the same specification models, as shown below:

  • Base: Based on Commodore Executive specification. Available with 3.6-litre 175 kW (235 hp) Alloytec V6 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto
  • S: Based on Commodore SV6 specification. Available with 3.6-litre 175 kW (235 hp) Alloytec V6 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto

This model was rebranded as SV6 in August 2006, and the 5-speed auto from the sedan became available for the first time as well as a power increase to 190 kW (255 hp).

  • SS: Based on Commodore SS specification (minus side-impact airbags on cab-chassis). Available with a 5.7-litre 235 kW (315 hp) Generation 3 V8, or the new 260 kW (349 hp) 6.0-litre Generation 4 V8 'L98' - 6sp manual or 4sp auto

Crewman's were once again available in Cross 8 form, whilst the VZ range added the Crewman Cross 6, essentially a V6 version of the Cross 8.

One-Tonners were available with the following specifications:

  • Base :Based on Commodore Executive specification. Available with 3.6-litre 175 kW (235 hp) Alloytec V6 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto or 5.7-litre 235 kW (315 hp) Generation 3 V8 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto
  • S: Based on Commodore SV6 specification minus fog-lights. Available with 3.6-litre 175 kW (235 hp) Alloytec V6 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto or 5.7-litre 235 kW (315 hp) Generation 3 V8 - 6sp manual or 4sp auto
  • Cross 6: AWD One-Tonner. Available with 3.6-litre 175 kW (235 hp) Alloytec V6 - 4sp automatic only
  • SVZ: Based on the SV6 plus leather seats, paddle shifts on the steering wheel, Monaro CV8 rims. Available with 3.6-litre 195 kW (261 hp) Alloytec V6 - 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual

To make room in the factory for the upcoming VE Commodore, production of the One Tonner ceased in December 2005.

The Ute range continued without any updates for the next 18 months, until the January 2006 addition of Holden's new L76 V8's. Holden's new V8 range was introduced after its previous Generation 3 V8 failed to meet new Euro III emission standards introduced in Australia on January 1, 2006. The new Generation 4 V8's contained an additional 10 kW (13 hp) compared to their predecessors (the ute's had previously received an addition 15 kW (20 hp) of power, inline with the VZ Sedan range), but were missing two key features compared to their American counterparts: both Displacement on Demand and variable valve timing had been removed. The Alloytec 175 also lost 3 kW (4 hp) of power due tweaks made to meet Euro III standards.' The VZ Utes remained on sale well after the introduction of Holden's next-generation VE sedans, as did the VZ Wagons. By December of the same year, the Crewman and all AWD variants of the ute were gone from showrooms after Holden ceased production, whilst the curtain was brought down on the One-Tonner range once again after poor sales results. Holden's VZ Utes were superseded by the 8th-generation VE Ute range in September 2007.

Second generation (2007–2017)Edit

2007–2008 Holden VE Ute Omega.
2007–2008 Holden VE Ute SS V.


2007 saw the launch of Holden's eagerly anticipated VE Ute range, unveiled to the media in August, with showroom sales began later in the month. The new generation designated VE, based on the VE Commodore tackles an upward consumer tendency towards using utes as lifestyle vehicles. This further shifts the ute away from the traditional workhorse market.[8]

  • Omega: The base model, having similar standard features to the Omega sedan but can carry more than the SS-V, SS and SV6. It has the standard 3.6-litre V6 180 kW (241 hp) and 330 N⋅m (243 lb⋅ft). The manual version of the Omega came with the 3.6-litre High-Output V6 with 195 kW (261 hp) and 340 N⋅m (251 lb⋅ft) but only until the mid-2009 MY10 update.
  • SV6: A sportier version of the V6 ute, the SV6 replaced the S-pack from previous models. This Ute has the 3.6-litre High-Output V6 with 195 kW (261 hp) and 340 N⋅m (251 lb⋅ft). Which has been recently updated to 210 kW (282 hp) and 350 N⋅m (258 lb⋅ft) engine.
  • SS: The SS ute is the V8 version of the ute, it has the same 6-litre V8 as the sedan with 270 kW (362 hp) and 530 N⋅m (391 lb⋅ft).
  • SS-V: A higher spec edition of the SS and based on the SS-V Sedan, it has a 6-litre V8 with 270 kW (362 hp) and 530 N⋅m (391 lb⋅ft).
  • SS-V Redline (Series II):A performance version of the SS-V offering Brembo brakes, 19-inch Alloy wheels, FE3 Super Sports Performance Suspension and a mandatory tyre inflater kit.

Unlike the previous VU–VZ generation, no double-cab, cab-chassis or AWD variants are offered.


  1. ^ Holden Commodore VN Technical specifications Retrieved from on 17 December 2008
  2. ^ Holden VG Utility Retrieved from on 17 December 2008
  3. ^ ”HOLDEN V6/V8 UTILITY” sales brochure AD10433, August 1990
  4. ^ The Holden Ute Series III sales brochure AD10682 of May 1998
  5. ^ Levine, Mike (2008-01-25). "The Pontiac G8 ST is Coming to the New York Auto Show". Retrieved 2008-01-30.
  6. ^ Hassal, David (2009-01-07). "Pontiac axes Aussie ute". GoAuto. John Mellor. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
  7. ^ Holden Ute range features Retrieved 20 October 2007[dead link]
  8. ^ Hagon, Toby (2007-08-22). "Revealed: Holden Commodore VE Ute". Drive. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2007-09-10.

External linksEdit