Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Early Monaros came with a 328bhp version of the 5.7-litre V8, while a later VXR edition was given a boost. For 2005 the standard car came with 350bhp while the VXR nudged 400bhp with its new 6.0-litre engine. Power is deployed to the rear wheels via a ponderous six-speed manual transmission and heavy clutch pedal. We with there was an auto option. The lazy nature of the V8 engine means the Monaro is always travelling much faster than it feels.

70mph in sixth gear is achieved at something like 1800rpm, which makes the Monaro surprisingly economical on a long run.

Monaro is a big car and rides comfortably smothering bumps in the road. It has traction control and lots of grip but switch off the traction control and it turns into a MkII escort on a wet roundabout. It is resistant to body roll but neither the steering nor the gearchange are up to covering distances on back roads as fast as European or Japanese coupes with 100bhp less.