Hi from New Zealand

Stray_Kiwi

Member
13
40
13
Buick Ownership
2018 Holden Commodore VXR
Hi everyone. My first post, I thought I'd introduce my car as it's far more interesting than I am.

I own a mineral black 2018 Holden Commodore VXR, which is our version of the Buick Regal GS.


From what I can tell the differences between the two other than the obvious like brand/model badges and RHD in my case we get:
  1. An extra 5hp from the LGX V6, Holden says we get 235kw which according to my math is ~315hp
  2. 20" wheels clad with Michelin Pilot Sports.
  3. Paddle shifters
  4. An on/off button for the AutoStart/Stop
  5. An automatic parking mode
  6. A suspension tune unique to Australian and New Zealand cars
I note that there are several pack options available for the Regal GS. VXR is a one spec option which includes all features found in the Sights and Sounds, Driver Confidence and Appearance packages available for the GS.

I'm interested to chat with Regal GS owners and see what aftermarket parts are available in the US as down here there is not very much at all. I'm also happy to answer any questions you guys might have about my car.
 

Wlepse

Active member
306
148
43
NNJ
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal TourX Essence
Welcome to the forum! Looks like a sweet ride. As for aftermarket parts...well there isn't much out there. I am hoping this starts to change soon as we have recently started to see some parts become available like performance springs. But be prepared to have people hitting you up for info on parts from down there.
 

2007LucerneCXL

Full Member
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728
113
Illinois
Buick Ownership
2007 Lucerne CXL. and 1995 Lesabre currently, past 1973 Riviera, 1968 Riviera
You'll probably find what if any possible parts will be out of the Opel/Vauxhall EU market. On a side note really liked the last gen Holden Sandman, never made it here but at least they went out with a bang.
 

stembridge

Member
42
59
18
Buick Ownership
2018 Buick Regal TourX Essence
Welcome! In addition to our TourX, I own and DD a VF-II Commodore SS-V Redline (Chev SS rebadged to Holden with parts from OPG there in Oz). I thought about rebadging the X to a VB Holden Commodore, but decided to go Opel instead (parts on order).



es
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The Shark

Member
36
54
18
North Carolina
Buick Ownership
2019 Regal TourX Essence Rioja Red Metallic
I must say, I have been thinking about rebadging, but I can't decide whether to go Buick, Opel or Vauxhall!
Welcome from the other hemisphere. New Zealand is one place I'd like to visit. I'm guessing if you need any Buick badging there are several people on this forum who could help you out with all the rebadging including me!
 

liuby33

Active member
225
96
28
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal GS
Your version is so much better than the NA version. Everything makes total sense.

The only thing they should change is maybe the 20" wheel up here because the urban roads are utter shit. Also I could understand the choice of (a rather shitty) Conti AS tires because NA has much more varying temperature.

But MAN I want your version. Paddle shifters would make sense on track, on-off killer switch just makes sense everywhere, auto parking is nice to have, and did you know you guys have better exhaust note?
 

BahamaTodd

3.8L Member
357
221
43
Palm Beach, FL
Buick Ownership
2018.5 Regal GS
Welcome!

A few other features you have that we don't:

Larger spoiler
10mm lower suspension
Matrix Adaptive Lights (This isn't legal in the US so we only have turn activated lighting. High beams are manual)
Power folding mirrors
Windows with express up/down on all 4 (only our front 2 are express up)
Rain sensing wipers
Heated Rear Seats
Towing capacity 2100kg (4600 lbs) - The TourX wagon has a capacity of 450kg (1000 lbs), and the sedan has no tow rating

🙂
 

1500cc

Member
65
33
18
Buick Ownership
2018 Regal GS
It amazes me that GM goes to that much effort to make them all just slightly different. I picture a product planning meeting with marketing executives from all the major markets in attendance, and a lead engineer at the front. It's like ordering pizza at a party ... "ok, who wants power folding mirrors? Let's see, NZ, AU, and DE, okay. Now who wants paddle shifters? UK, AU, and NZ ..." and so on. Surely for a somewhat niche car it'd be cheaper to standardize on the trivial stuff.
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Stray_Kiwi

Member
13
40
13
Buick Ownership
2018 Holden Commodore VXR
Your version is so much better than the NA version. Everything makes total sense.

The only thing they should change is maybe the 20" wheel up here because the urban roads are utter shit. Also I could understand the choice of (a rather shitty) Conti AS tires because NA has much more varying temperature.

But MAN I want your version. Paddle shifters would make sense on track, on-off killer switch just makes sense everywhere, auto parking is nice to have, and did you know you guys have better exhaust note?
Our roads are not that great, hence we get a different suspension tune that of Europe (Holden imported two Euro spec mules then they put 120000 miles on over 2 years to work out the suspension setup for the production car). I would have thought that Buick would have either done a similar bespoke US suspension setup or they just took what Opel gave them. I must say, the adaptive dampers do an amazing job of softening the ride, even in the hardest setting it's not crashy or rough (my wife will attest to this) even on the 20" wheels. The car just feels planted and even if there are some reasonably severe mid corner bumps it doesn't get unsettled at all.

Those Michelins really are something else. They give you so much mechanical grip even on wet and greasy roads.

The paddle shifters are nice, but I hardly use them. The gearbox is really good at picking the gears and in the GS VXR mode it's quick. Sometimes I'll flick a downshift or two manually but that's pretty rare. However, the shift response isn't really all that track focused and nowhere near as quick as a DSG. This car is not really meant to be a track car. I guess it would be nice to have the choice to not use them though.

Our exhaust note is kind of artificial, not VW artificial but I believe there is sound pumped into the cabin via the speakers in VXR mode. Personally I don't think it needs it as it's loud enough in tour mode. After 13 years of driving a turbo 4 it's great to have a decent engine note again!
 

BahamaTodd

3.8L Member
357
221
43
Palm Beach, FL
Buick Ownership
2018.5 Regal GS
It amazes me that GM goes to that much effort to make them all just slightly different. I picture a product planning meeting with marketing executives from all the major markets in attendance, and a lead engineer at the front. It's like ordering pizza at a party ... "ok, who wants power folding mirrors? Let's see, NZ, AU, and DE, okay. Now who wants paddle shifters? UK, AU, and NZ ..." and so on. Surely for a somewhat niche car it'd be cheaper to standardize on the trivial stuff.
There are a few factors at play.

GM knows the Regal is not going to be a big seller so they had to reduce costs by removing features. That also helps to save with potential warranty repair work (can't break if its not there), and storing spare parts.

The Commodore is also going to sell in relatively low volumes, but since this is the replacement for the Australian built Commodore they had to offer an impressive car. IMO the only reason this car offers a V6 is because losing the V8 Commodore was bad enough. Having a 4cyl as the only available engine would be too much of a change.
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Jack GS

SUPPORTING MEMBER
171
175
43
Metro Detroit
Buick Ownership
2019 Regal GS
@Stray_Kiwi, I'd just like to take a moment to appreciate your clever user name lol. You certainly won't be considered a stray here. Looks like you're already quite popular and I look forward to the perspective you'll offer from the Holden side. Welcome!
 

Stray_Kiwi

Member
13
40
13
Buick Ownership
2018 Holden Commodore VXR
Welcome!

A few other features you have that we don't:

Larger spoiler
10mm lower suspension
Matrix Adaptive Lights (This isn't legal in the US so we only have turn activated lighting. High beams are manual)
Power folding mirrors
Windows with express up/down on all 4 (only our front 2 are express up)
Rain sensing wipers
Heated Rear Seats
Towing capacity 2100kg (4600 lbs) - The TourX wagon has a capacity of 450kg (1000 lbs), and the sedan has no tow rating

🙂
A quick note about the matrix LED headlights. They are amazing to watch in action, how it darkens itself automatically around other cars. Can you tell me why they are illegal in the US?

There are a few factors at play.

GM knows the Regal is not going to be a big seller so they had to reduce costs by removing features. That also helps to save with potential warranty repair work (can't break if its not there), and storing spare parts.

The Commodore is also going to sell in relatively low volumes, but since this is the replacement for the Australian built Commodore they had to offer an impressive car. IMO the only reason this car offers a V6 is because losing the V8 Commodore was bad enough. Having a 4cyl as the only available engine would be too much of a change.
I'd argue that by sheer volume Buick will sell a lot more Regals in North America (assuming they're also sold in Canada) than Commodores in Australia and NZ.

I don't know how knowledgable you all are about the Commodore situation down under, but to somewhat briefly summarize, Holden had to put out a pretty good car to sway buyer opinion away from the affordable tire shredding V8 muscle car sedan that has held the Commodore name for nearly 35 years. They put their collective toe in the water a couple of years ago by importing, rebadging and selling the UK market Insignia but it was dead in the water from the beginning. Most Commodore owners who were in the market for an upgrade thumbed through the Insignia brochure before ordering a VF SS V8 with manual transmission. The Insignia was not a RWD V8 monster, it was a sophisticated European near luxury car, it was like trying to sell Bentley's at a NHRA meet.

So here we are, almost 2 years since the last VF II rolled off the production line at Holden's factory in Elizabeth, South Australia. Sales of the ZB Commodore have been lukewarm at best in Australia with the car performing better in NZ (large fleet sales having a lot to do with it). The feeling of traditional owners was one ranging from being utterly betrayed by a trusted brand to out and out hatred of the new car and what it represents.

So you can see why Holden insisted on a V6 being in the front of the new car. But is this car truly a Commodore of old? The answer is most definitely no, it is not. But I am OK with that, because at least in my opinion, the VXR is a car with a European spec list without the European price tag to go with it. And that is a car I wanted to own, so I bought one.
 
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