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Holden Commodore SS V Redline 2013 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Most Commodore SS punters tweak their car with a loud exhaust, bigger wheels, lower ride height and stuff like a cold air intake and recalibrated engine computer (ECU).

Most Commodore SS punters tweak their car with a loud exhaust, bigger wheels, lower ride height and stuff like a cold air intake and recalibrated engine computer (ECU). They're usually enthusiast drivers who love their "Aussie" V8 but can't run to an HSV.

Price

In response to this, Holden has introduced the Redline package for SSV Commodore sedan, wagon and ute priced from $48,490 for the manual ute and $51,490 for the manual sedan. Auto ads two grand and the wagon is more on top of that. Focus of the $6300 Redline pack is on "Go, Stop and Turn." But there is nothing in Redline to deliver more of the former -- Go.

Engine/Transmission

It's bog stock under the bonnet with a 6.0-litre, OHV, Gen 4 lump achieving 270kW/530Nm, (less in the auto). But the other two Redline elements, Stop and Turn, are significantly enhanced making the SSV Redline a much better thing to drive, especially if you indulge in track days.

Technology

Holden has added a competition mode to the stability control system that includes launch control on manual cars that take it into the low 5.0 second bracket for a 0-100kmh sprint.

Competition mode alters the electric power steering for more feel as well as backing off stability control intervention for a more connected feel when driving fast. Stability control can be switched off but the car's probably a better device with a modicum of electronic intervention.

Features

They upgraded the tyres taking a leaf out of HSV's book with staggered tyre sizes - 245/40 x 19s at the front and 275/35s at the rear. Wheels are forged alloy in gloss black, polished aluminium or matt black. The Redline scores big Brembo four piston brakes on the front and large discs along with aluminium suspension components, revised dampers, springs and stabiliser bars for the FE3 suspension.

Inside is to luxury car standard with four different fascia media including a textured suede on the dash, leather upholstery, Bose audio on the sedan which also gains a sunroof, head-up display, push button start and other niceties. Not much is missing as the Redline has all the attendant safety and electronic media connectivity that comes with the new VF Commodore range.

Driving

They developed the Redline pack after plenty of track time on circuits, dragstrips and local driving, not forgetting Holden's recent foray at the Nurburgring in a Redline ute which gives the brand a huge credibility boost. And it shows. We track tested the sedan and ute in auto and manual form and prefer the manual in that environment. It is stable, punchy, has excellent brakes and instils confidence even when pushing hard.

But the car is let down by an over-muffled exhaust note. They need a switch to open exhaust flaps and get full value out of the throaty V8 burble. And the auto could do with a paddle shift. We like the understated look of it but couldn't find a Redline badge on any of the drive cars. But these are minor criticisms, really, of what is a great vehicle. We would go for the ute if you only need a two seater. It has a similar feel to the sedan but costs less. -- and looks cool.

Verdict

This is a lot of car for the money and delivers plenty of satisfaction to an enthusiast driver.

Pricing Guides

$18,990
Based on 708 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$7,988
Highest Price
$42,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Berlina 3.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,020 – 12,760 2013 Holden Commodore 2013 Berlina Pricing and Specs
Berlina (LPG) 3.6L, LPG, 6 SP AUTO $11,660 – 15,510 2013 Holden Commodore 2013 Berlina (LPG) Pricing and Specs
Evoke 3.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,989 – 19,990 2013 Holden Commodore 2013 Evoke Pricing and Specs
Evoke (LPG) 3.6L, LPG, 6 SP AUTO $12,990 – 15,980 2013 Holden Commodore 2013 Evoke (LPG) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$22,000

Lowest price, based on 85 car listings in the last 6 months

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