I’ve had my ute since 2016 and covered 12,000km in the first eight months. The ute is used primarily as my ‘to and from the office’ transport, and being in regional Victoria, it’s great fun.
Firstly, the specifications. An SSV Redline, Jungle Green, six-speed manual. The ute is powered by the LS3 6.2-litre V8 – a huge leap. But more on that later. Options include the slim hard lid, tow bar, blackouts, sports armour and bonnet decal.
This vehicle replaced my VE II SSV auto ute. The VF II’s main improvements are steering (electronic and much smoother), dash layout, behind seat access, handbrake, navigation mapping, and head-up display.
Now, back to that LS3 V8. It’s goes and sounds much better, with similar fuel economy. My average for about 80 per cent highway use is 11.7L/100km.
The other surprise is the gearbox. Shift quality and clutch weighting are both very good for this type of vehicle.
The FE3 suspension set-up is good with a great ride and sharp handling, helped by the staggered tyre/wheel set-up, which also seems non-plussed by highway potholes too.
The cabin is a great place to be. Plenty of storage options, and most switchgear is where it should be. The materials used are good to touch, although I do think the leather on my VZ ute was superior.
With all the plusses, I only have a few minor gripes.
Firstly, no CD player or fog lamps – both items I do miss (albeit infrequently) from my VE – through to station ID on presets, dash dark mode, and audio quality, which were all present or superior in the VE II.
What I don’t understand is the absence of adaptive cruise control. With the monitor/camera in place, why couldn’t this have been offered? And why no Bose audio in the top-spec ute?
Overall, Holden’s final ute is a great car. It’s the last of the breed, which is another reason why I grabbed one.