Joel Helmes reviews the Holden Commodore SS V.
One of the joys of checking out a different car each week is simply the diversity between all the different vehicles.
Really, even with dozens of manufacturers and model choices there’s still a great deal of variety and uniqueness in the new cars of 2011.
The Holden Commodore SS V is certainly a character that’s probably just about all on its own though. It’s unashamedly loud, in your face and brutish and that certainly does breakaway from many of the other vehicles we see.
First up let’s cover the good points, probably the thing that stands out is the wonderful exhaust note that the big 6.0 litre V8 puts out.
Above 2000 rpm it really comes into its own and thankfully while it’s pleasing to the people in the vehicle it doesn’t feel as though it’s leaving other road users with ringing in their ears. When driving it you can’t help but feel like you are listening to the exhaust note of a classic 70’s Monaro, in some ways it makes you feel a little nostalgic.
And with that pleasing exhaust note comes a healthy amount of acceleration and low down grunt; it takes a second or two to wind up but when the power comes in it certainly does get up and go.
For the record the big V8 delivers 270Kw and 530Nm so if by some chance the need ever arises you could probably tow a battleship! The six speed gearbox is ok, it’s a little rough and unrefined but I guess that only adds to the raw feeling of the vehicle.
To show that the SS V Redline is just a little bit responsible however it has a five star ANCAP safety rating.
Also, just like the SV6 Sportswagon the SS V is a great looking car, I don’t think there has ever been a better looking Commodore in fact.
Other little touches sure to please the die-hards are the vents in the front guards, the big 19” wheels, dual twin exhaust pipes and two-tone red and black leather interior.
There’s really only one down side to the SS V, aside from the terrible handbrake design, and that’s the fuel economy. Naturally no one who buys a car with a 6 litre V8 under the bonnet is going to expect Prius like fuel economy, but 20 litres per 100 in the city is a little hard to getused when most cars now-a-days are using less than 10.
Often these cars provide just as much acceleration and adequate power for most applications.
On the highway I would expect the consumption to drop dramatically and Holden claims the combined usage is 12.2.
If you can afford to pay the extra and then good for you, but personally the power, acceleration and exhaust note that the fuel thirst delivers doesn’t thrill me that much.
So if you’re a Holden fanatic, and you love big grunty beasts this is the car for you. And with plenty of space in the back of the wagon and lots of cabin space it could also be the car for the family…you might just have to get the kids to chip in some fuel money.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 6.0 litre V8 producing 270kW and 530Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $57,290