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Holden Commodore SS
road test

VY series II

There's something about a V8 and there's something about an SS! But just what is it though? And how do you define it?

The Commodore VY series II has come to the end of the line as it is being replaced by the new VZ as we present this road test report. The mere fact that it is still worth looking at Holden's performance sedan verifies the significant appeal of the Commodore SS.

The Next Car team recently had the pleasure of driving the SS for a week. We managed to clock up some 961 kms in just seven days as we deemed it absolutely neccessary to drive the car each and every day!

Sure, the very familiar body panels of the VT/VX/VY are looking a little stale, due to the large number of these models which are on our roads. But the package is anything but stale! By the way, there was no VW series in the Commodore range (I don't know why I said that!) Inside, the Commodore SS treats its driver and passengers to a very suitable standard of comfort with tasteful, but not abundant, luxury. The appeal of the SS though, is its performance. And there's more than enough of that. Put your foot down in an SS and you soon find out just what this car is made of! The Commodore SS offers a mature and experienced driver a powerful blend of performance which is as easy to handle as you could ever expect. And it does it with the comfort that only a big car can provide. Yes, this giant is so gentle because it is completely predictable ..... but only to an experienced driver. I'm quite convinced that in the hands of an inexperienced driver this car (and others like it) are a menace. It's my view that an immature driver will be tempted 'to see what it will it do'. Whereas a mature driver can feel what it will do and is satisfied knowing what it will do. And, all the time, doing it in the obvious style that we accept and expect of an Australian muscle car. This is possibly the best part! Yes, pose value has as much to do with the success of the Commodore SS as any other car on the road today.

2004 Holden Commodore SS
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Driving the SS provides driver satisfaction due to the solid feeling and the well built nature of the Commodore. The steering, the all-wheel independent suspension (which is nice and firm), the big 5.7 litre 245kW V8 and, in fact, the full package of technical features add-up to a well presented package. The standard six-speed manual transmission deserves special praise. It's a delightful 'box. It's user friendly and the ratios are well spaced. I would normally prefer an automatic, but with the SS, I was fully satisfied with using the manual transmission, even in heavy city traffic.

Then there's the creature comforts ..... yes, all the neccessary features are present. And this completes the package, making it an excellent all-round proposition. No doubt, all experienced drivers would be right at home with a Commodore SS!

There is only one negative feature with this car ..... and that's the fuel usage. But I'm sure you wouldn't even consider a Commodore SS (or any V8 for that matter) if you were disturbed by high fuel comsumption.

Yes, there is something about a Commodore SS. It provides all the comfort, style and performance you ever need. But it's not for those who feel the need to check the daily price of fuel.

Stephen Walker
15th August, 2004
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