2011 HOLDEN SV6 UTE REVIEW
Vehicle Style: RWD ute
Fuel Economy (claimed): 9.8 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 14.1 l/100km
Holden’s V6-powered ute has the new exterior and interior style of the Series II Commodore. In SV6 form, the 210kW/350Nm direct-injected 3.6 litre V6 provides the right blend of power, economy and practicality.
If it needs to be put to work, Holden’s Series II SV6 Ute is good buying for anyone who values style, performance and the practicality of a big tub.
- Quality: The centre stack design may be newer and more intuitive in its layout (the touchscreen Holden iQ infotainment system is a definite winner), but plastic quality hasn’t seen a corresponding improvement.
Other issues - like the annoying reflections off the instrument cluster - have not been rectified for the Series II either.
- Comfort: The heavily bolstered seats give good support in both the squab and backrest, and have plenty of room to accommodate larger frames.
Although it’s got half the cabin space of the sedan, there’s no compromises in terms of legroom or headroom. Rearward vision is poor though, largely due to the size of the sail panels and height of the rear window.
- Equipment: Standard on the SV6 Ute’s feature list are auto-on headlamps, cruise-control, a trip computer, dual-zone climate control, the touchscreen Holden iQ system, foglamps and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Satellite navigation is optional, as is a full-size spare.
- Storage: There’s some shallow storage trays behind each seat, as well as enough space for a briefcase or backpack. The Ute can take a total payload of 634 kilos, but can tow an additional 1600kg.
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: Power delivery from the naturally-aspirated 3.6 litre V6 is linear, with plenty of mid-range torque. It’s not as rev-happy as other V6s, but the strong mid-range helps compensate for that.
The six-speed manual has a heavy, rubbery throw that takes some getting used to.
- Refinement: There were no trim rattles in our tester, although the low profile rubber does generate a bit of road noise. The engine can get vocal higher up in its rev range, but that’s entirely expected from a vehicle for a sporting market.
- Suspension: The SV6’s suspension tune provides the right amount of compliance for Australian roads.Roadholding is excellent for what is essentially a working ute.
Thanks to its independent rear suspension and car-like weight distribution, it handles just as well as its sedan equivalent.
- Braking: They may be sliding calipers, but they’re big enough to stop the 1700kg SV6 in a hurry without fading.
- ANCAP rating: 5 stars
- Safety features: Front, front side and curtain airbags are standard, along with three-point seat belts, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: 3 years/100,000km
- Service costs: A complimentary inspection occurs at 3000km/3 months with service intervals every 15,000km/12 months. Servicing costs vary, so speak to your dealer before purchase.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Ford Falcon XR6 Ute ($38,190) - Marginally cheaper than the Holden, the Falcon Ute has the option of a cab-chassis configuration (something the Holden doesn’t) and better interior quality.
It may have 15kW less from its 4.0 litre inline six, but the XR6’s 391Nm torque output bests the SV6 by a substantial 41Nm. (see Falcon reviews)
- Toyota Hilux 4x2 Xtra Cab SR5 ($40,390) - The Hilux is more expensive, but has a standard automatic transmission and a roomier cabin. Its 4.0 litre V6 lacks power compared to the Holden’s 210kW 3.6, but the Toyota has more torque (376Nm compared to 350Nm). (see Hilux reviews)
Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
Fun to drive, great to look at and easy to live with, the 2011 Holden SV6 Ute makes sense as both a work car and everyday transport.
Whether it’s hauling your work gear during a weekday or lugging a dirt-bike on the weekend, the SV6 Ute is equally at home doing either. Point it towards a twisting road and it’ll prove itself just as capable there.
There are 2WD utes out there that are better workhorses (and cheaper too), but few will entertain you like Holden’s SV6 Ute.