Review: 2013 Holden VF Commodore SV6

Posted by Ashley Perkins
Posted in

The 2013 Holden VF Commodore SV6, a car that has been long anticipated by customers is finally here. Not only is there is a visual update on the outside; on the inside there is essentially a brand new car. This is a brand new car that will surprise and perform better than the car you have come to know previously.

The SV6 model we test drove is a V6, producing 210kW of power and 350Nm of torque. The same figures from the outgoing VE Commodore SV6, however the fuel consumption figure is 7.2% better thanks to some clever technology and materials, both which will be discussed later on.

Safety for the driver and passengers has been greatly improved with a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating, Rear View Camera, Automatic Park Assist and Blind Spot Alert. Pair that with the 3 Year/100,000km warranty and HoldenWise Capped Price Servicing for the first 3 Years/60,000km’s.

To make this package get even more compelling there has been a massive shake up in the pricing, with the car more affordable than it has for a long time. We couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and get driving, so we won’t keep you waiting any longer for our impressions.

Initial Impression

Visually the new VF Commodore is impressive and hasn’t just simple evolved, but is fresh and a definite improvement over the VE. The front of the VF SV6 has slight HSV feel with the LED Daytime Running Lights and aggressive styling.

This for us, really then extended down the body with tight lines which hints at a being more luxurious than we’ve come to know the commodore to be. From the outside we were able to spot some of the fresh new pieces of tech including the blind spot monitoring on the mirrors.

Jumping to the inside of the car, we are hit with a new car smell that could easily fool European car enthusiasts. It smelt that good, which goes to show (well, smell), the quality of interior materials used.

After settling into the drivers seat, you’ll notice the spacious, yet closed in cabin. Which is a perfect mix for a sports sedan. It is, of course, a large car segment vehicle, so legroom for all occupants is ample, along with headroom.

As we prepared to depart from the dealership, we did miss having the opportunity to test the remote start and push button start on the manual. It is available on all automatic transmissions. However, you only start or stop the car at the start or end of a journey. What transpired between those points is the only thin that matters.

Target Market

The target market, for the Holden Commodore has been the topic of much discussion lately, partly due to the increase of SUV’s and the growth of the small/medium car segments.

However, we feel, the Commodore is very much an important car for many Australians and particularly car enthusiasts who wanted sports car and functional sedan.

This is where the VF Commodore has really narrowed down its market and brought performance and safety features never seen before in one package, just over $40,000.

The Five-Star ANCAP rating is due to a plethora of safety features that keeps the driver and passengers safe. Part of that list includes a rear view camera, Automatic Park Assist – which will assist with you parking in tight parallel and right angle car spots, Blind Spot Alert – great for those moments when you forget to check over your shoulder when changing lanes, and a electric park brake which will prevent the car from rolling back on hills.

There’s also front and rear sensors for identifying objects, seatbelt warnings which alert you to passengers who aren’t buckled in and what’s great for families is the addition of the ISOFIX Child Seat Anchorage System. This system is considered to be the world standard and is in each of the three rear seats. This gives great flexibility that a young family needs.

So, not only does the VF Commodore or SV6 in particularly meets the criteria for a powerful V6 or greater sedan, but it also allows the car to be the family taxi in between.

Practicality

As already hinted at whilst discussing the target market for the VF Commodore, it is capable at almost everything you could throw at it for a holiday except jumping on the beach for a drive.

As the VF Commodore fits into the large car segment, not only is the cabin room ample, the boot space is huge. When showing the boot off, the first impression is ‘oh that’s small’. When looking further however, you’ll find the boot extends for what seems an eternity. Meaning that you won’t have any trouble in fitting suitcases, golf bags PLUS a months worth of shopping. Actually, you might not, but we hope you get the point. The boot is big. 

If you ever are thinking of towing, a great feature across the VF Commodore range is the Trailer Sway Control system, which detects if the trailer you’re towing is becoming unstable.

It’s all too common seeing accidents on the road where the trailer has been the cause, after the driver couldn’t get control back. So anything to help reduce this in a sedan, and not just a SUV, is very much welcomed.

Drivability

We’ve said that this car not only doubles as a car enthusiast’s car, but also a family sedan, and after that claim the VF Commodore has to drive like both. You’ll be proud to hear that it definitely can double up on the roles.

The manual transmission (which we don’t see very often in a SV6) was fantastic to drive. Whilst you may have to practice the clutch to get your take offs perfect, the notchy gear changes feel awesome and rewarding too.

Throttle response is much better than previous generations, giving a feeling that you’re not stuck waiting for the car to catch up to what you’re wanting to do or where you’re wanting to go. 

Throwing the big body around corners would be a no-no in a VE Commodore, but the wider body, improved suspension and weight reduction of 40kg thanks to Aluminum hood and bootlids, mean that you can corner with confidence. 

This makes the first VF Commodore not just good for straight lines, but for corners too.                                 

Cost

When it comes to cost, you’ll find yourself checking your figures no just once, but twice. The manual SV6 we drove, following a sizable price drop from Holden, would be $40,166* from Motorama Holden at Moorooka or Springwood drive away including registration and CTP for 12months.

Of course, those prices aren’t set in stone, so it’ll be worthwhile talking to your dealer directly.

At the price regardless, you’ll be hard pressed to find a large sedan or sportswagon, which offers size, power, technology or safety. It’s a much drive car for those looking for their next car.

Conclusion

So there you go. The VF Commodore SV6 has stepped up. Big time. It feels more European, in a really good way, whilst maintaining what makes it an Aussie built sedan. 

If you own a Commodore, particularly the VE, you’ll appreciate the improvements, refinements and new additions, which add to the driving and passenger experience. 

If you haven’t already, come down to Motorama Holden at either Springwood or Moorooka and get behind the wheel to experience it for yourself!   

Photo credit: Thanks to Blake Woodington for the fantastic shots of our VF Commodore  SV6!  

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