While SUV’s seem to be the go to vehicle for families these one question that popped into my mind when picking up the keys to the Holden Commodore VF II SV6 Wagon was whether the station wagon is relevant in today’s market.
This question was quickly answered the same day I picked up when it didn’t take long for me to realise not only is the station wagon still relevant but the SV6 wagon just might be the best family car I driven this year.
It’s was hard for me to finding something I didn’t like about the SV6 during week it seemed to have everything you would need in a family car, it had a massive amount of room, was loaded with safety features, it rode and handled great an the fuel economy wasn’t far off a lot of diesel SUV’s I’ve driven over the same route, All while delivering a more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience.
The SV6 is blessed with an amazing amount of space there is plenty of head, shoulder and legroom for all passengers.
The seats are well sculptured and comfortable the drivers seat has plenty of bolster to hold you in place when cornering. My only gripe is the driving seat is only part electric and you adjust the back rest with a lever that makes it a touch annoying to find right driving passion.
The back seat is comfortable and has more then enough room for 3 adults, the rear also comes with rear aircon vents as well. Boot space is great with 895L which expands to 2000L with the rear seats folded.
The fit and finish in the cabin was good and the contrasting suede strip (which matches the suede strip down the middle of the seats) across the dash looks good with SV6 in red stitching embossed in it.
If connectivity is your thing then the SV6 has plenty of it thanks to the Holden Mylink multimedia system, if you have read one of my Holden reviews you will know how much of a fan I am of this system.
MyLink once paired with your smartphone allows you to answer calls, access your contact list, even live stream music via the in built Pandora or Stitcher apps, You can also connect your your phone visa the USB port.
Which means basically you get in the car put your phone in console and never to pick it up or even touch it while your driving the system will even read out your text messages for you.
The commodore’s sat nav system is also easy to use and the turn by turn route guidance works great.
The SV6 is powered by a 210kW 350Nm V6 I found it to be very tractable and has more then enough power to keep up with traffic and the SV6 will cruise effortlessly on the freeway.
The downside is that’s not the worlds sweetest sounding V6 specially when you get into the higher revs.
Fuel economy is a mixed bag I averaged 11.1L/100km for my commute which really wasn’t bad and was actually a fraction better than some of the 4cylinder cars I’Ve tested over the same route.
When driving it a bit harder the fuel economy did go up to the low 12’s but decent economy can be achieved if you drive with that in mind. Economy on the freeway was excellent with it getting down in the low 7’s.
Backing the V6 engine is a 6 speed auto with sport shift, paddles shifters can added as an (option which would be the first thing I added if I bought one) but unfortunately this car didn’t come with them. The found the auto shifted smoothly and there wasn’t any hint of it hunting for gears.
Sport has 2 modes put it in sport shift and the computer senses how your driving and changes gears accordingly I found it great because it will hold onto gears for you.
Should you choose to change gears yourself you can which was a little confusing for me as it works the opposite to every other non commodore I’ve driven where you pull to change up and push forward to change down (part of the reason I’d get the paddle shifters).
On the road the Sv6 rides great it’s on the touch of sporty but not overly so so it rides smoothly and absorbs the bumps well without transmitting any harshness into the cabin.
The steering is well weighed and extremely sharp which means the SV6 went where I pointed every time.
Throw it into some corners and you wouldn’t know you are driving a wagon the SV6 sits nice and flat, the steering is perfectly weighed to for me and the sharp steering ensures the SV6 goes where you point it everytime.
I found it it a joy to drive everytime I got behind the wheel.
Safety wise the SV6 has achieved a 5 star ANCAP rating and chockful of safety features including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA), Traction Control System (TCS). Automatic Park Assist, Blind Spot Alert, Reverse Traffic Alert, Hill hold control, Hill start assist, Trailer Sway Control.
It scores maximum points from me for having front and rear parking sensors and scores bonus points for the standard fit rear view camera.
So as I said in the beginning I came away after my week with the SV6 not only massively impressed but I am willing to go out on a limb and say this is the best family car I’ve driven this year.
Not only does it have plenty of room for 5 people and luggage but it has a list of safety features as long as your arms and rides, handles and steers brilliantly.
If your after a family car to seat 5 then really you should be taking an SV6 sportwagon for a drive before you drive an SUV.
For more information on the SV6 Sportwagon or the rest of the Commodore range surf on over to Holden’s website http://www.holden.com.au
Holden SV6 Commodore Sportwagon
Price: From $46918 Drive away
Engine: 3.6L V6 210kW 350Nm
Transmission: 6 speed auto with sport shift (Paddles shifters optional fit)
Unique 18″ Alloy Wheels, Projector Headlamps, Power Side Exterior Mirrors, LED Daytime Running Lamps, LED Tail Lamps, Kenetic Suede and Sportec Appointed Seats, Enhanced Multi Function Display, Leather Wrap Gear Selector, Leather Wrap Steering Wheel, Holden MyLink Infotainment System with 8″ Colour Touch-Screen, Dual-zone Electronic Climate Control, Keyless Entry and Push-Button Start with Sensor Key, Remote Control Priority Key.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA), Traction Control System (TCS). Automatic Park Assist, Blind Spot Alert, Reverse Traffic Alert, Hill hold control, Hill start assist, Trailer Sway Control, front and rear parking sensors and rear view camera.