Holden Commodore SV6 Ute Review : A bogan birthday weekender

The Holden Commodore SV6 Ute is put through its paces in a variety of situations, on a very busy weekend.

Show me a girl who is country born and bred and doesn't want to spend a weekend cruising around in a Holden Commodore SV6 ute, and I'll show you my pet unicorn.

It also happened to be my birthday and with plenty planned, the SV6 ute was a perfect fit for what was in store. Though to be fair, the only 'bogan' part of the weekend was our Saturday adventure, the rest was pretty sedate and classy. The SV6 handled both ends of the spectrum exceptionally well.

The bright orange beast had been in the garage for the previous week, spending a few days roughing it on construction sites for our Utes and Tradies feature.

The 3.6-litre V6 with a six-speed manual transmission is capable of producing 210kW at 6700rpm and 350Nm at 2800rpm, and certainly lived up to my expectations of being a sporty, fun drive.

It looks the part too with 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome tipped dual exhaust outlets, side skirts, and front and rear sports fascia.

Friday night involved heading out for a quiet dinner. The only issue was who got to ride shot-gun in the SV6. It only has two seats so we had to take two cars to ferry my household to the restaurant.

Getting comfortable in the driver's seat was quick and easy, the leather steering wheel has height and reach adjustment and the suede trimmed sports bucket seats had cushy, adjustable lumbar supports.

The ute handled the night-time traffic well, features like blind-spot monitoring came in handy given the length of the vehicle and visibility issues, and reverse traffic alert was of great assistance getting out of parking spots.

Saturday was the big birthday bash, the sun was shining and the partay involved a barbecue and fun in the sun at a nearby National Park.

There's only one thing to do when you have a ute and you're headed to a barbecue on a warm day - load up the tub with an esky full of beer and a blow-up pool to spend the afternoon lazing around in!

The soft tonneau cover took a little bit of getting used to, the days of hooks and elastic straps are long gone. The SV6 has plastic strips or a rail, that slot into a groove around the outside of the tub. It can be fiddly but once you get it started, it's a lot quicker to secure.

The Holden ute range comes equipped with the Holden MyLink system, operated via an eight-inch touch screen that incorporates the reversing camera. You can access embedded apps including Pandora, as well as use voice control for phone, radio and navigation.

It's really well kitted out inside, with Bluetooth audio streaming, iPod integration, AUX and USB inputs and a CD player. The steering wheel controls are ergonomically designed, giving you easy access to the sound system, trip computer, phone and more.

With a convoy of party people headed to our destination, the cars were all loaded up with supplies for what was set to be a much anticipated bogan birthday.

The storage options in the cabin were surprising. Space has been allocated for your sunglasses, there are two cup holders and a centre console with armrest. For our purposes, the wellback was also filled to the brim.

The drive out took around 45 minutes and it was an enjoyable run. The steering is firm and direct, handling tight bends well. Being a manual it was certainly in its element out of town (though an automatic transmission is an option if you prefer) and hill hold and hill start assist were a blessing.

Considering the load that was in the back, the ride was relatively smooth, though care had to be taken around gutters and over speed humps thanks to the low clearance at the front especially.

Needless to say, the SV6 provided an excellent party podium and much fun was had by all.

Being raised in regional Queensland, I've always had a soft-spot for utes. Though the SV6 wouldn't be completely at home on the farm or on a work-site due to it's low clearance and sporty performance, it's fantastic fun and can cut it in the city. Being a two-seater it's not designed to be a family car, but perfect I think for both the young and young-at-heart who want to lug stuff around when necessary and then make the tradie/rural life look good when out on the town.

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