Holden Commodore Series II SV6 Sportwagon Review and Road Test

by under Review on 21 Dec 2010 02:14:14 PM21 Dec 2010
Price Range
$NaN - $NaN
Fuel Consumption
NaNL - NaNL/100km


Holden Commodore is still Australia’s favourite car and the clever people at Holden have made the VE Series II lineup more fuel-efficient, cleaner and smarter. With the growth in diesels and hybrids, the Series II improvements for Commodore are spot-on for these changing times.

Just like mainstream Australians, Australia’s favourite car has embraced new technology and is kinder to the planet.

Holden Commodore Sportwagon Overview

The Car Showroom team is a mix of families and young singles – without exception we’re all huge fans of the Holden Commodore Sportwagon. Good looks, good performance, space and practicality all get out votes. 


We’ve just put the latest Series II SV6 model Holden Commodore Sportwagon through our week-long test procedure and the muscly wagon again won us over. Holden has wisely made only small styling and interior changes, but addition of the Holden-iQ infotainment system and improved fuel consumption have significantly sharpened the overall package of the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6.

With its sporty, leather-trimmed interior, sports body kit, sports suspension and sporty driving dynamics, the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 delivers wagon convenience/practicality with Aussie large car muscle. Just right for dads, mums and recreation enthusiasts.

Holden Commodore Sportwagon Engine

Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 gains the 3.6-litre SIDI direct-injection V6. With 210kW/350Nm, it has the performance we’ve come to expect and – in Series II guise, improved fuel economy.

Holden has achieved a four per cent improvement in fuel consumption for the latest 3.6-litre V6 in the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 – now down to 10.3l/100kms. Among the changes to achieve this reduction are a front undertray and underbody panels to improve aerodynamics, the idle speed has been reduced and the air-conditioning compressor now has a clutch so it doesn’t pump when turned-off. 


Correspondingly, Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 also delivers a cleaner exhaust – emissions down 3.5 per cent to 236g/km.

The reduced fuel consumption and emissions have resulted in the latest Series II Holden Commodore range rating four stars in the Federal Government’s Green vehicle Guide.

Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 drives the rear wheels via Holden’s six-speed automatic transmission with Active Select.

Holden Commodore Sportwagon The Interior

The big news inside for Series II Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 is the Holden-iQ infotainment system which combines music and telephone functions on a 6.5-inch colour multifunction screen on the centre console.

For audio fans the Holden-iQ’s 1GB flash drive storage can rip and store up to 15 CDs and can support CDDA, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 and WMA playback. USB and iPods can be plugged straight-in and controlled via the touch screen. 


In addition, Bluetooth functionality is enhanced with a compatible phone’s address book and recent call history displayed on-screen.

It’s very user-friendly and presentation is first-rate with excellent colour and graphics on the screen.

There have been other minor trim changes – the revised Holden-iQ system and air-conditioning controls have been raised on the center console for easier use.

Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 delivers a stylish sports-oriented, leather-trimmed interior with sculptured sports front seats and upgraded sports instrumentation. The thick, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel adjusts for rake and reach to deliver the usual high-standard Holden driving position. 


The rear seat is enormous (Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 is definitely a large car) and the Car Showroom junior’s booster seat was easily fitted and easy to buckle-up.

And out back is that cargo area which can accommodate up to 2,000-litres (rear seat folded).

Holden Commodore Sportwagon Exterior & Styling

Muscly good looks for the Holden Commodore Sportwagon have been good news for Aussie dads – they no longer need to wear a baseball cap behind the wheel in case their mates spot them driving a wagon.

Holden has enhanced the look for the Series II lineup with a new front fascia, grille and headlights. Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 scores new 18-inch alloy wheels and a sports body kit with front foglights.


Personally, we reckon the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 is some of the best work of Holden’s styling team. Sure the VE Commodore is a good-looker to start with, but the homogonous integration of the wagon rear-end is first rate, the proportions are just right and the SV6 extras transform the package into a genuine high-performance wagon.
Holden Commodore Sportwagon On The Road
We’ve all heard how Holden is at the forefront of the global General Motors family for development of large rear-wheel-drive platforms and to be honest, one trip over our high-speed mountain roads test loop confirmed the world-class chassis dynamics of the home-grown product.

The Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 steers and points brilliantly, with superb chassis balance and of course standard Electronic Stability Control when things get gnarly.

It was raining when we headed into the mountains, but the combination of the potent 3.6-litre V6, nice ratios in the six-speed auto and that outstanding chassis all delivered a great, high performance driving experience in the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6. 


Around town you do need to be aware of the sheer size of the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 and the low front spoiler required consideration around gutters and deep inner-city culverts. Holden Commodore SV6 does provide an 11.4-metre turning circle – that’s excellent for a large wagon.

For those who tow, the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 has a maximum capacity of 2100kgs.

Holden Commodore Sportwagon Challenges

As part of the Series II upgrade there has been no changes to the interior plastics of the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 – we still think they’re a bit hard and lacking in tactile quality. And we’d like to see standard fitment of a reversing camera (should be standard on all wagons and SUVs we reckon).

Holden Commodore Sportwagon Verdict

Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 was good and it just got better. We like the new front-end appearance included in the Series II changes, the Holden-iQ infotainment system is world-class and you can’t complain about improved fuel economy. 


With a home-grown high performance wagon as good as this, do family buyers really need an SUV?

Holden Commodore Sportwagon The Competition

Holden currently has the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 priced at $41,990 ‘Driveaway’ – that’s exceptional value with all of the sporty extras included.

With no Falcon wagon, the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 squares-off against Ford’s German-sourced Mondeo Zetec wagon ($36,990). Powered by a 118kW/208Nm, 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, the Mondeo wagon is an excellent car and Ford claims it delivers more cargo volume than the Commodore Sportwagon.

We’d give the Mondeo an edge inside with its up-market look and feel, but against that Holden Commodore Sportwagon delivers an extra two cylinders under the bonnet and muscle car looks. 


Priced in between is Volkswagen’s equally high standard Passat wagon.

Wagon buyers are spoilt for choice, but if you want to combine wagon practicality with local muscle, the Holden Commodore Sportwagon SV6 will tick all of your boxes. 

Holden Commodore Sportwagon Likes:

Great looks, spacious interior; high-performance driving dynamics 

Holden Commodore Sportwagon Dislikes:

Hard interior plastics spoil the interior.

Similar Cars

Keep Reading

Share Your Thoughts On Holden COMMODORE