This is the one. If you're thinking of buying a Commodore then you need look no further than the SV6. It looks the goods, offers sporty ride and handling and won't chew through the juice the way a V8 will.
The SV6 is priced from $42,790 plus on-road costs. Rated at 9.8 litres/100km, we were getting 10.1 from the SV6 with the six-speed auto in a mix of city and freeway driving. That's a three per cent improvement we're told over the Series One's 10.1 litres/100km. The auto is just $1000 more and definitely the way to go if your day involves plenty of city driving.
With 210kW of power and 350Nm of torque, the 3.6-litre V6 responds sharply to the throttle, markedly more so than the entry level Omega's 3.0-litre six. By the same token it would be nice if Holden threw the 3.0-litre six into the mix for those who want the SV6's sporty good looks, but the best econonmy possible. The 3.0-litre six certainly delivers on that front, after we got 750km a single tank of fuel recently.
For the VE Series II, designers executed a series of subtle but minor changes, including new front fascia, grille and headlamp treatments across the range. This model gets a new, larger front grille with a bolder, more muscular look accentuated by aggressive lower air intake The lights are shaped differently with new black bezel detail.
There's also new 18inch twin spoke alloys and an integrated aero decklid lip detailing designed to complement the sports rear spoiler. Interior design work focused on high standards of perceived quality, and creating a more `pilot oriented' cabin integrating new features and accessories. Readily apparent is a higher-mounted, more prominent placement of the Holden-iQ system display screen, controls and air vents.
Inside, SV6 also gets new SS-style sports front seats with deep bolsters and body-hugging contours. The dash features new white on grey instrement to make them easier to read along wth gloss black instrument cluster surround. Slipping into the car for the first time, we were immediatelty impressed with comfortable form fitting seats. It feels right and not too narrow like many sports seats, designed to accommodate the bums of the mostly larger Aussies who are going to occupy them.
Bluetooth is now standard across the range and it took no time to pair our moible phone, but call quality is not as good as some. Placing the 12 volt outlet inside the centre console box also has its drawbacks - good for hiding iPods but not so good for powering phones.
A highlights of the Series II is the introduction of the new iQ info and entertainment system which brings music, telephone and satellite navigation features in one clear, user-friendly arrangement. The focus of the system is a fully integrated, 6.5-inch full colour multifunction LCD touch screen.
Music can be played via an iPod, memory stick, CD or wirelessly transferred from a paired mobile phone. USB devices and iPods plug into dedicated sockets located inside the centre console, and all music file playback from compatible devices is controlled via the touch screen.
The new system also introduces virtual changer CD storage which replaces the mechanical stacker system from previous models with the capacity to rip and store up to 15 CDs on an internal flash drive. The system supports CDDA, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 and WMA playback. DVD systems, where fitted, also display on the Holden-iQ touch screen.