2011 Holden Commodore SV6 review

Joel Helmes reviews the Holden Commodore SV6.

I must admit I haven’t driven a new Commodore in about a decade, in terms of how a Commodore feels really very little has changed.

That is a compliment because the Commodore made huge leaps ahead particularly in the late 90’s and it’s good to see those basic elements are still alive in the latest model.

The SV6 Sportswagon has that real Commodore feel, lots of torque from the V6 engine, good brakes and handling for a big car, and plenty of size and space inside the cabin.

While we keep talking about the positives I think there’s never been a better looking Commodore and the SV6 in particular is very attractive with those huge flared guards, big 18” alloys and twin chrome exhaust pipes.

It’s comfortable inside, the leg room is as you would expect – very good, everything generally fits together nicely and is where it should be.

I particularly like the climate control panel with easy to find and use knobs and buttons.

The centre console arm rest is well padded as is the door arm rest, and that makes a nice change from vehicles such as the Captiva which are pretty much rock hard.

I also liked the cup holder for rear passengers which actually slides out of the front part of the back seat.

Under the bonnet the V6 is what I would call “raw” it’s a bit noisy and aggressive but it delivers heaps of get up and go – officially 210Kw and 350Nm.

All this power comes at a cost and you can expect to use about 13.5 litres per 100 in the city.

The six speed auto is nicely mated to the engine.

There were however just a couple of things that I didn’t particularly like about the SV6, and they are all issues common across the Commodore range – firstly the handbrake.

It’s located in a notch in the console, it actually pulls out of the console and it’s really easy to get pinched by the lever as you disengagethe brake.

It feels really awkward too and it’s just not user friendly in my opinion.

Another thing, I really don’t like having to hit the remote twice to unlock all the doors, I know this is a safety issue but when you are trying to get a young child into a car on a busy city you just want it to be nice and simple, just one button push please!

I thought also that the radio/navigation system was a little sub-par.

The touch screen is a good idea but it’s particularly fiddly and not sensitive enough – in other words you often have to push an on-screen button twice to get a response.

Also if you want to play music from a memory stick for some reason each time you turn the ignition off it resets back to your first song, it also
doesn’t stay on the ‘random’ setting.

Other than those few little annoyance the SV6 is a lot of fun, it drives and handles well and I’m sure you will see many in the driveways of family homes around the nation.

It also comes with a five star ANCAP safety rating.

The Sv6 Sportwagon starts from $45,790

For further information, please see Recalls and faults: Holden VE Commodore.

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