Joel Helmes drives and reviews the 2014 Holden Commodore SS Storm.
If you’re an SS Commodore buyer I guarantee you care a lot about how your new baby sounds. Prepare then to be disappointed in the exhaust note produced by the VF SS Storm.
As noted last year when I drove the manual version – it’s near impossible to believe the SS has a V8 under the bonnet, it literally sounds exactly the same as the V6! So, first thing to do if buying an SS Storm is book an appointment with an exhaust shop.
It’s not about bolting on a deafening over-the-top race exhaust; it just desperately needs a little extra grumble so you can remember that you have a six-litre V8 under the bonnet.
Aside from the very tame stainless steel exhaust, the rest of the 2014 Holden Commodore VF SS Storm is a pretty good package.
It’s a big car and this means plenty of cabin space. The leather and suede seats are big and comfortable, though the seat bases feel a touch short and this affects under leg support. The VF Commodore cabin is nicely laid-out and storage areas are adequately sized.
The faux carbon fibre is probably a bit over used, but the leather sports steering wheel is attractive.
Holden is yet to introduce push-button ignition to even this grade of Commodore and that means you get an old-fashioned key ignition, disappointing.
From the driver’s seat visibility is only alright, those chunky ‘A’ pillars are a bit intimidating and the optional larger SS rear wing essentially blocks 50% of your rear visibility.
Fortunately the SS Storm comes with a reversing camera and parking sensors and this helps when parking. Speaking of parking, yes, you get auto park assist in the SS.
There’s also sat-nav as part of the latest MyLink infotainment system in the Holden – once again MyLink is easily the best in-car infotainment system getting around!
The driver info screen gives you comprehensive data on what’s going on and navigating through the different pages is easy thanks to the well-placed indicator stalk buttons and controls.
The SS Storm offers a nice ride and handling for a big car is surprisingly crisp. Steering feel is pretty good and the brakes bite nicely thanks to twin-spot calipers up front.
During a week of city driving I averaged a quite reasonable 12.5L/100kms; this was a better result than the 13.7L/100kms I achieved in the manual version last year. For the record, the claimed combined consumption of the SS Storm is 11.5L/100kms.
Finally, we come to the 6.0 litre V8 engine. With 260kW and 517Nm at your disposal you should have more than enough acceleration and power to keep you satisfied. But, with the combination of the very tame exhaust and the six-speed auto transmission, you can’t help but feel the big power plant is being held back, and by a long way.
A five-star ANCAP safety rating features on the entire VF Holden Commodore range.
Summing it up; my personal preference was for the manual version of the SS, the six-speed manual transmission gives the big sports sedan a less tame and restricted feel. Speaking of restricted, take one for a test drive and tell me it doesn’t sound exactly like the V6!
The VF Commodore was our 2013 Car of the Year and overall it remains a really good offering, especially when the pricing is taken into account. The SS Storm version is a fun and is a pretty well sorted variant.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 6.0 litre V8 producing 260kW and 517Nm
Transmission: Six-speed auto or six-speed manual
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $43,490 (manual), $45,690 (auto)