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Holden Commodore SS V ute 2014 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Given the recent news it might just be time to run out and buy one of these beauties. No more Commodores means no more utes, V8 or otherwise and the clock is ticking.

Given the recent news it might just be time to run out and buy one of these beauties. No more Commodores means no more utes, V8 or otherwise and the clock is ticking. Expect to see some special edition as we get closer to the date, like the Ultimate edition for instance.

Value

Prices start at $32,990 for the V6 rising to $38,990 for the SS, $42,490 for the SS V and $48,490 for the top of the line SS V Redline with all the bells and whistles. If you're looking for a keeper the Redline is probably the go, but the SS V is not far behind, with 19 inch alloys, fog lights, leather seats, dual climate, satellite navigation, DVD player, driver information display and push button start with keyless entry.

Engine/Transmission

The 6.0-litre V8 produces 260kW of power and 517Nm of torque. It features AFM cylinder shutdown technology to reduce fuel consumption and takes standard unleaded. It is rated at 11.5 litres/100km, for either the manual or six speed automatic  that's down 7.3 per cent on the old model.

Holden says this has been achieved through efforts to significantly weight and improve aerodynamic performance, along with new engine calibrations, a 500rpm idle speed and the addition of Electric Power Steering.  We have been getting 12.4 litres/100km. But it must have a larger tank because it doesn't seem to disappear quite as quickly as it used to?

Design

Don't kid yourself. It's the same as the old car underneath, with the same engine and transmissions. With the same tail lights the VF ute even looks exactly the same as its predecessor from the rear. But the front is all knew and the cabin and instrumentation have been completely restyled, with a big infotainment screen taking pride of place in the middle of the dash.

The SS V even comes with satnav but the system no longer gives speed camera warnings  one of our pet hates. A soft tonneau is standard (none of them get a hard cover including the Redline).

Safety

With six airbags it gets a full five stars for safety like the sedan. There is also blind spot alert, reverse traffic alert, a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors and auto park assist.

Driving

The SS ute is the car that set a record at the famous Nurburgring race circuit in Germany. It's built for big blokes and comes with big cushy seats that accommodate largish rear ends (unlike some of the Japanese performance stuff).

It's quieter inside and unlike utes of old, the shift and clutch are surprisingly light and easy to use making the manual a real alternative if you are that way inclined. But with a generous helping of torque underfoot the auto is a no brainer and a must have for city driving.

SS V is fitted with Holden's second string FE2 sports suspension, tuned to deliver a rewarding driving experience The electric steering also a sharper fast response. And there's a new electric parking brake that automatically disengages when the car is placed in gear. But get a flat and there's only a can of goo to get you out of strife, no full size spare.

Verdict

Call me a bogan but there's plenty to love here. The look, the big V8 and the super smooth performance. No one does it better than Holden and the ute is the ultimate expression of this experience, a car that is going to be sorely missed.

Pricing guides

$25,990
Based on 181 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$14,800
Highest Price
$45,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 3.6L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $10,900 – 15,950 2014 Holden UTE 2014 (base) Pricing and Specs
SS 6.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $19,400 – 27,060 2014 Holden UTE 2014 SS Pricing and Specs
SS Storm 6.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $19,700 – 27,390 2014 Holden UTE 2014 SS Storm Pricing and Specs
SS-V 6.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $19,300 – 26,840 2014 Holden UTE 2014 SS-V Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$14,800

Lowest price, based on 167 car listings in the last 6 months

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