The Ute was invented in Australia and I took great delight in picking up the keys to one of the most technically advanced Utes ever made in this country.
Now the Australian made Ute has evolved over the years from the car you could drive to church on Sunday and then use to take the pigs to the market on Monday.
While the Holden Utes of old were considered work horses and their domain was the building site, now the Holden Ute has transformed into a thoroughbred and it’s domain is the race track.
To say the VF Commodore SSV Ute is a great looking car is an understatement, the aggressive front bar combined with the fog lights and DRL’s gives the SSV Ute the I mean business look. While the back of the Ute hasn’t changed from the previous model it does benefit from the addition of newly designed 19inch alloy rims, which are really set off against the bright orange paint the colour Fantale which is new to the Holden Colour chart and is not just a favourite of mine but my eldest Daughter Madies as well.
While I liked the VE SS ute I reviewed at the beginning of the year I absolutely loved the VF SSV Ute.
Having just reviewed the SSV sedan not long ago 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.
The 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 features red back lighting, the info screen in between the gauges is multi coloured 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 comfortable, the drivers seat has electric tilt and adjustment and 2 way lumber control.
The 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.
So one problem I did have which was the same in the sedan is the 2 cup holders in the console get in your way when changing gear if you have anything in them.
Under the bonnet the SSV is packing a 6.0L V8 with 270kw of power and 530Nm of torque and yes like the sedan I would have liked more power in the VF (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 is great engine there is plenty of power available from the get go and the engine will happily spin up to redline, on the freeway in 6th gear the car is barely over idle so there is a lot of power for over taking. While the SSV can really move rather rapidly if required, it is quite happy to just tool around in traffic as well.
As 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.
Safety and technology wise the VF SSV Ute is full of features some you would not expect to see in a, 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, 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 brash, it’s orange and I loved it, I thought the VE was good the VF SSV Ute is just that much better, when you look at it the SSV Ute to me really lives up to being a 2 door, 2 seat sports car with just a really big boot would I own one to simple put it hell yes.
If you are looking for a Ute which offers you not only a decent load capacity at the back, but something you can take to a track on weekends and haven’t checked out the VF SSV Ute already head over to Holden’s website http://www.holden.com.au