I was on my way back to the office after picking up the latest Holden Commodore SV6 when it dawned on me that this, and the Commodore I have next week, are likely to be the last two I review.
As we all know, Holden is pulling the pin on Commodore production and that means a model that has been around for nearly 40 years will be no longer.
Time will tell I guess.
In the meantime, I get the feeling that there’s going to be plenty of interest in the remaining Commodores that are being built in Australia and I don’t expect Holden will have much trouble finding owners for them.
And nor should they as the Commodore really is going out on a high with the current VF Series Two.
As you might remember, we gave the Holden Commodore our Car of the Year award in 2014 and in 2016 it’s still an impressive unit.
Under the bonnet of the SV6 grade is the very willing 210kW/350Nm 3.5 litre V6 engine.
Mated to the six-speed automatic transmission the power comes on smooth and the big Holden is just as happy pottering along, briskly accelerating, or cruising on the highway.
Fuel economy is also very reasonable – about 12.5L/100km in the city.
The ride and handling have also been nicely fine-tuned by the Australian engineers.
The steering though can feel just a little vague and it’s probably a touch heavier than you might expect.
So it drives well and there’s no doubting the VF Commodore is a good-looker, what’s the cabin like?
In the main, really good. Legroom front and back is more than adequate and the fit and finish is better than reasonable.
I like the placement of the electronic park-brake and all the other controls are in the right spot and are easy to use.
The A pillars though are chunky! And that means you really have to be cautious with front/side ¾ visibility.
I would probably say that the centre console arm rest is a tad too low (for me), while the only really disappointing thing I found about the car was the Bluetooth system.
In my test car the otherwise quite pleasing (though slightly dated) MyLink infotainment system wouldn’t allow me to sync my phone as I couldn’t delete an existing user.
So in trying to add my phone I had to clear out one of the other phones synced to the system, I would hit the delete button and the system would just freeze.
I’m sure it’s just a software glitch however it was a frustrating one.
You could also make the argument that Holden should invest the dollars and bring the newer-generation infotainment system that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the Commodore for its swansong.
On a brighter note the SV6 grade Commodore for 2016 boasts a pretty handy list of standard features, including:
- Tilt & reach steering adjustment
- 18″ alloy wheels
- Dual-zone climate control
- Body Kit
- Front twin-spot caliper brakes
- Reverse camera
- Push-button ignition
As I always find with the current-generation Holden Commodore ‘Sportswagon’, the sloping rear tailgate looks great, but there certainly isn’t the carrying capacity of large Holden/Ford wagons of the past.
Naturally, safety is five-star all the way in the Commodore.
And if you want to dress-up your SV6 Holden, extras include Prestige/Metallic Paint ($550), Satellite-Navigation ($750) and Leather Appointed Seats ($1500).
Summing it up: The Holden Commodore is going out on a high with a car that is likeable, well-priced and enjoyable to drive.
It’s also a good-looking vehicle that would love nothing more than tackling Australia’s wide-open spaces for many years to come.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Holden Commodore SV6
Engine: 3.6 litre V6 petrol producing 210kW and 350Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic or six-speed manual (sedan only)
Safety: Five star
Price: from $37,290