Review - SSV VF Commodore

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ssv6While some people might say the VF is just a face lift of the VE, that is definitely not the case while the outside from the front end complete with chrome highlights and integrated DRL’s, bigger fender vents, to the new rear lip spoiler (High rear wing is now an option), darkened tail lights, quad tipped exhaust and 19inch rims give the VF SSV a new aggressive look.

The bright Orange paint work is new colour to Holden’s colour chart and is called Fantale to say this is my eldest Daughter Madie’s favourite car out of all the car’s I’ve reviewed is an understatement she absolutely loves it

It’s under the skin and on the inside where Holden have made the big changes that prove this is more than just a face lift. While I liked the VE the VF is a step above the VE in every way.

Slipping into the drivers seat for the first time and I was gobsmacked by the how good the interior of the SSV looked, first thing to come to mind was WOW, Holden have stepped it up big time compared to the previous model VE not only in terms of fit and finish but the looks and feel of it as well.

ssv18The flat bottomed leather bound steering wheel is thick, comfortable to hold and has buttons to operate the cruise control, audio system and voice recognition system.

The instrument panel featuring red backlighting say that this is a muscle car, the info screen in between the gauges is multi coloured as opposed to the single one in the Evoke. A nice touch I did like was the text on the odometer was orange to match the cars colour.

The dash has a dark grey suede and leather strip across it with SSV embossed in it on the passenger side, the same dark coloured trim is continued across the door trims.

Holden have adopted a new global GM seat frame in the VF and this allowed nice improvement in the seats the front dark leather seats with a contrasting dark strip down the middle offer great support specially when cornering and are extremely confortable, the drivers seat has electric tilt and adjustment and 2 way lumber control.

ssv5The centre stack is the domain of the Mylink system regular readers will know from my previous reviews how much I really like the Mylink system and how easy it to use.

The bottom of the centre stack is the controls for the dual zone climate control air conditioning, I really like the set up right down to the feel of the dials.

The console features the buttons for the auto park assist, parking sensors and electric parking brake, the front of the console has a handy storage tray with a 12 volt socket.

Now onto the bit I don’t like, the console also features 2 cup holders that are frankly a pain in the back side in manual a car as if you have anything in them, you have to contort your arm to change gears because whatever you have in the cup holders gets in the way of your arm. Although this only a problem when you have a front seat passenger as I found if I was in the car by myself putting my drink in the passenger side cup holder cured the problem.


ssv7This wouldn’t be an issue in an automatic car as you don’t have to change gears unless you wanted to use the sport shift.

The back seats are very comfortable indeed and offer a great amount of leg room, my kids loved the space they had another plus is the aircon vents for the rear passengers.

Under the bonnet the SSV is packing a 6.0L V8 with 270kw of power and 530Nm of torque which has created a lot of comments from people who were hoping to see a power increase in the VF. While the output of the HSV’s have crept up over the years the 6.0L V8 that Holden uses has been kept at the same output since the VE was released.

To tell you the truth yes more power would have been nice indeed (it’s hard to believe that despite being a bigger engine the VF only has 25 more kw then what my old 2003 VYSS had). The big 6.0L V8 though is really good, there is plenty of power available from the get go and the engine will happily spin up to redline.

ssv23As you would expect the SSV can drink a little bit around the city, but I found the fuel economy was actually better than my old SS commodore. On the highway is where this engine really comes into it’s own in sixth gear it really just idles long in 6th gear, so your fuel economy really starts to come down.

The 6 speed manual works well the shifts are smooth and the ratio’s are well spaced, the moon shot 6th gear as mentioned above means your pulling very low revs at highways speeds.

Holden have reduced the weight of the VF range through the use of an aluminium boot lid and bonnet, light weight aluminium instrument panel beam, aluminium suspension components and advanced high strength steels. This all combines to give the VF SSV better handling specially turn in which is noticeably shaper.

The SSV surprising soaks up the bumps better than what you would think specially riding on FE2 sports suspension and 19inch rims and never once felt unsettled. At times I felt like I was in a smaller car during cornering that’s how sure footed it felt.

The Electric Power Steering (another new feature introduced for the VF) is calibrated for Sports tune and it works awesome its well weighted,  offers great feedback and allows you great precision which means the car goes where ever you point it the steering is a complete revelation. The steering is a touch heavier then the SV6, but it’s not overly heavy so you don’t need biceps like Arnie to park it.

ssv26Safety and technology wise the VF SSV is chock full of it thanks to a move to the new Global-A Serial Data Electrical Architecture,  Electric Park Brake, Hill Start Assist, Reverse camera with front and rear parking sensors, Auto Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, Forward Collision Alert, Reverse Traffic Alert and colour Head-up Display, ISOFIX child restraint systems, Rear seat belt alert that warns the driver when rear seatbelts are unbuckled. Boosted side impact protection with latest pelvis/thorax airbags, Improved safety cage as you can see quite a list and I might have forgotten a few things.

So after a week what’s my verdict well it’s big, it’s brash and it’s orange and I loved it. I thought the VE was good the VF is in another class indeed I’ve read lots of reviews where people keep quoting world class and really wanted to stay away from using the same cliché, but I just can’t help it.

This car really is world class and considering the RRP is just $45,490 I dare you find another car on the Australian market that offer’s the same level of performance, room, handling, technology and safety for same price.

[This blog \ review was published with aproval by Wayne Lancaster of 3 on the Tree, you can read more of Wayne's reviews at 3 on the Tree]

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