Holden VF Commodore gets extra airbag

18 February 2013
, News Community Newspapers
Holden VF Commodore gets extra airbag
Drivers will be safer in the new Holden VF Commodore with the addition of a knee airbag.

Due for launch in June, the new VF Commodore will get seven, instead of the current six airbags, with the addition of an extra knee airbag to protect the driver's knees and lower legs in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Holden sources have revealed the seventh bag is an integral part of the car's underlying architecture and as such so it will also be included in the Commodore when it arrives. In the past, other manufacturers including Holden pulled airbags out of their cars before bringing them to Australia to save costs.

The Holden Barina springs to mind sold as the Sonic is in the States where it is equipped with 10 airbags - despite this it still gets five stars from ANCAP here. The extra knee bag is in addition to the usual front, side and curtain airbags, which along with electronic traction and stability control.

It will give Commodore's a leg up over main competitor Falcon which is equipped with only six airbags. Other safety features listed in the sales brochure for the 2014 Chevrolet SS include forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot alert and a reversing camera that warns the driver of traffic approaching from behind on either side of the car.

However, it's not clear at this stage whether all or any of these features will be included in the Australian car - or at least not in the entry level Commodore. It should be borne in mind that the Chevrolet SS which is a Commodore in Chevy clothing is based on the top of the range Calais V model.

GM's North America boss Mark Reuss, who once ran the Holden franchise in Australia, describes the Chevrolet as a cross between an HSV and a Commodore - more like the long wheelbase HSV Grange which he drove in Australia than any other model.

Designed and marketed as a premium V8 performance sedan, it comes with the larger 6.2-litre V8 from HSV - not the standard 6.0-litre unit that powers V8 Commodores. It's also fitted with sports suspension and rides on big, 19 inch alloys and chunky 245/40 and 275/35 series rubber front and back, along with high performance Brembo brakes up front.

Automatic parking is also standard on the Chevy, along with an large 8 inch touch screen computer and premium 9-speaker Bose audio. All of these features will probably be available in Australia, apart from XM Radio and GM's OnStar satellite communications system which are listed in the brochure - just don't expect them in the standard Commodore.

This journalist is on Twitter: @IamChrisRiley