2014 VF Commodore SV6 Review

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The VF SV6 was named Best Large Car Under $60,000’ in Australia’s Best Car awards and after spending a week in the SV6 sedan I can understand and whole heartedly agree with the decision.
The SV6 is the sporty V6 model in the VF Commodore range and shares it’s outside looks with it’s V8 brother the SS, sports styling from front to back, 18inch alloys that remind me so much of the rims on the early 70’s Torana. The front bar features blacked out lower bar, DRL’s with blacked out surrounds, the rear features sports diffuser, twin exhaust and a lip spoiler. The colour is called Perfect Blue and is a tribute to Peter Brock’s VK Group A SS Commodores in the 80’s and is one of the best looking colours Holden makes at the moment.

The inside is like all VF’s a big step up from the previous VE model, this particular car was fitted with the optional leather trim and I found the seats comfortable and very supportive even when your pushing it a little hard. The rear seat like all VF’s is extremely spacious and offers plenty of room to seat 3 adults in comfort making this a great long distance car.
The leather bound steering wheel is comfortable and comes equip with button for the cruise control, audio system and voice recognition system.
The red back lighting on the instrument panel suggest it’s sports origins, between the instrument is an LCD screen which can used to display various functions via the right stalk.
The centre stack is home to the Mylink system and the climate control airconditiong controls, as you will know from previous reviews I am a massive fan of the Mylink system and how easy it is to use, the level of connectivity it offers is unbelievable specially when you add the voice recognition system when operated by the steering wheel buttons means not taking your hands off the steering wheel for anything.
My big complaint with other models in the VF range has been the chrome trim around the centre stack and console reflecting the sun into my face, thankfully the SV6 has piano black trim in those places and doesn’t offer such problems. In fact if I owned a different model VF first thing I would do is swap the chrome trim out for the SV6’s black trim.
The console has buttons for the auto park assist, electric park brake and the parking sensors the console also has a tray at the front right next to the 12 volt socket which makes it a perfect spot for your phone. The only problem I had was the same with all other VF’s I drove and that’s if you have anything in the cup holders it gets in your way when changing gears.

Under the bonnet the SV6 has Holden’s 3.6L V6 engine putting out 210kw and 320Nm of torque, The V6 engine  is very tractable and really likes to rev while the 210Kw means it can get along relativity quickly when required.
Fuel economy wise the V6 can be rather frugal indeed around the city I was averaging 13.5 l/100km which is not bad specially for the traffic i experience on a daily basis. On the highway in the 6th gear the Sv6 really uses bugger fuel I saw averages in the low 7’s which is awesome considering this a large car with the capability of carrying 5 adults in comfort.
The Sv6 I tested was equip with the 6 speed manual transmission and I really wasn’t taken with it at all, the shift was notchey, I had uses at time finding 1st gear it’s definitely now where as got as the shift in the V8 versions equip with the Tremec transmission. The clutch was light light but that was best part about it, it had a high take up point which made hard to get off the line smoothly. Having driven the Calais V with same engine backed with the auto transmission to me the auto would the way to go.

On the road the SV6 is magnificent it rides very nice, even though it features sports tuned FE2 suspension the Sv6 does a great job of  soaking up the bumps you find on everyday roads. Throw it at a few corners and the SV6 really comes into it’s own, at the beginning of the year I piloted a VE SV6 down my  test loop and came away with a smile on my face taking the VF SV6 around the same roads i came away with an even bigger smile on my face.
I had a ball driving the SSV around and found it handled superbly but to me the SV6 handles a touch better I put that down to the fact the SV6 has less weight in front end to me turn in was a touch sharper and the SV6 really flattened out any corner didn’t matter how sharp it was.
Equip with a sports tuned version of Holden’s new electric  power steering, the steering has fabulous feel to it its perfectly weighed and offers great turn in and steering response and does help the SV6 feel like a smaller car.
The road I like test cars on is not the smoothest and offers a great mix corners and road surfaces so it really tests out a cars capabilities and to me is great spot to show up any weaknesses.  I couldn’t find too many on the SV6 the brakes worked even after a spirited driven I didn’t detect any fade at all. In fact the only big complaint I had was the aforementioned gearbox which put a big of downer on my whole experience I really would love to take an auto version for a driven down the same roads.

Safety and technology wise like all models in the VF range the SV6 is loaded with safety and new technology including 6 airbags, Electric Park Brake, Hill Start Assist, Reverse camera with front and rear parking sensors, Auto Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Reverse Traffic Alert, ISOFIX child restraint systems, Rear seat belt alert that warns the driver when rear seatbelts are unbuckled.

So after a week in the SV6 I was totally sold on it I think it was a great car suited not only to running around during the week in comfort, but also possesses the agility to use on weekends and have have some fun. The bonus is it’s loaded with safety features and technology and has the room to take 5 people and their luggage away, the V6 engine can be frugal specially on the free way which makes it a great car to travel long distances, my old complaint about the whole week with the shift mechanism of the manual gearbox and the high take up point of the clutch, yes i could easily add the Sv6 to my shopping list if I was looking for anew car but I would definitely go for the auto version over the manual. All in all the SV6 is great all round car that offers sporty looks, reasonable performance, economy and safety and would be perfect for any family also if the sedan doesn’t have quite enough room for you you can also get the SV6 is a sportwagon as well.

For more info on the VF SV6 and the rest of the VF Commodore range certainly get down to your local dealer or checkout Holden’s website http://www.holden.com.au

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