THE NEW BLACK EDITION HAS PLENTY OF BELLS AND WHISTLES
Despite the trend for owning a large sedan in New Zealand now being about as popular as a mullet or line dancing, you have to give Holden credit for producing a vehicle that exceeds expectations.
Since its launch in 2013, the fifth generation Commodore large sedan has continued to find favour in New Zealand (while retaining its place with the police fleet) and last month 172 were registered here. This comes despite the announcement in late 2013 that GM Holden would cease production of the Commodore in Australia in 2017.
But only 3 per cent of new vehicles sold in New Zealand now are large sedans, with customers instead preferring SUVs or double cab utes.
Nevertheless, Holden NZ is showcasing its most famous large sedan with a limited Black Edition of the facelift Commodore VF.
Packed with new technology and special detailing, the V6 is priced at $51,590 while the V8 version is $59,490; that’s $4400 and $3500 less (respectively) than the standard V6 and SS.
The Black Edition is limited to 90 SV6 and 40 V8 SS sedans, with Holden NZ saying there are still some in nationwide dealerships.
The Black Edition gets an upgraded satnav system, push button start and, for the first time in the V6, a colour head-up display. Both the SV6 and SS feature the latest version of Holden’s MyLink infotainment system, including a full-colour touchscreen display, Smartphone connectivity, and enhanced voice control.
As the name suggests, there is plenty of black detailing: black 18in alloys, a black boot lip, black grille surround, black side mirrors plus red contrasting stitching inside. Add some Black Edition badging and, in the case of our SV6 model test model, a red exterior, and you get a flash Commodore that won’t have other drivers mistaking you for an unmarked police car.
The SV6 was powered by Holden’s 3.6-litre, V6 petrol engine producing 210kW of power and 350Nm of torque, with the rear-wheel drive paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Standard safety features included forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot alert, and automatic parking system that not only parks parallel parks but angle spots, too.
Although that spec list is extensive, it’s once you get behind the steering wheel that you question why large sedans such as this Commodore are out of favour. The V6 rumble was enticing at idling, and thanks to the new head-up display that displayed the posted speed limit, navigating around the city was easy.
On the open road, there is real-life urgency in the engine, with a tap on accelerator giving you the oomph needed for overtaking.
Although 19- or 20in alloys would have looked impressive on the large sedan, road handling itself was tidy with the suspension suitable for our roads.