2013 Holden Commodore SS Review

Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the Holden Commodore SS.

2013 Holden Commodore SS review.

You wouldn’t find a bigger fan of the new VF Holden Commodore than me, in saying that though I thought there was something substantially missing from the new SS.

With a hulking 6.0 litre V8 under the bonnet you would expect an impressive engine rumble and pleasingly deep and powerful exhaust note – sadly, the new SS has neither.

The previous models sounded fantastic, the VF however really sounds essentially the same as the V6 version!

Yes, 260kW and 517Nm gives you plenty of get up and go and mountains of down-low grunt, but what’s the point if it doesn’t sound like a V8??

While I’m not normally big on vehicle customisations, if I purchased a new SS the first place I would take it would be an exhaust shop!

Aside from that the new Holden Commodore SS is a very refined and easy to live with vehicle.

I averaged a quite respectable 13.7L/100km in city driving and while that may sound pretty thirsty the last SS I reviewed back in 2011 was nudging 20L/100km! The official combined figure is 12.3L/100km.

2013 Holden Commodore SS review.

On the road the low profile 245/45/18 tyres and stiffened sports suspension offer a surprisingly comfortable ride and while the SS still handles a bit like a battleship it has a reassuring feel about it in the bends.

Steering and brakes are up to the job as well.

Inside the cabin the SS is not noticeably different from the entry-level Commodore – yes you get some faux-carbon fibre inserts but really it’s a much more conservative feel than SS models of the past.

The leather and suede seats are comfortable and supportive though and I loved the leather wrapped steering wheel.

Another highlight, as with all VF Commodore’s, is the MyLink system. Disappointments though include a lack of sat-nav as standard ($750 option) and an old-fashioned key ignition.

Summing it up, the new SS is a good offering because it’s built on a great platform. The conservative exhaust note and super-quiet V8 engine though do take a bit of the fun away though and after all isn’t that what an SS is all about?

2013 Holden Commodore SS review.


Engine: 6.0 litre petrol V8 delivering 260kW and 517Nm

Transmission: Six-speed auto or six-speed manual

Safety: Five stars

Warranty:  3yrs/100,000km

Origin: Australia

Price: $44,190 auto or $41,990 manual

About the author

Joel Helmes

Joel is the founder, editor and managing director of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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