Holden Commodore SV6 "Sandman" road test
by Stephen Walker
5th June, 2015
Road Tests >
Holden Sandman returns
29th March, 2015
Retro is back at Holden - the "Sandman" has returned!
I often encounter this 'retro' phenomenon in my travels. The interest in 'retro' spreads across countless consumer
products and it even crosses generational lines. So it is difficult to determine just where the spectacular success of
'retro' will end or even if it will ever end.
The car industry has taken advantage of this interest in retro on a near permanent basis since the days of small
volume 'kit cars'. Over recent years there have been numerous car makers capitalising on this image builder.
Holden has given some big 'nods' to retro in the past (for example Efijy the concept car and Perfect Blue the colour).
Currently, a big nod has come along with the revival of a great big name from the 1970s for a newly available limited
edition optional equipment package for the Commodore SV6 and SSV (wagon and utility only) - the Sandman limited edition
The first thing that I noticed when I was driving the Sandman was that I was noticed. The big black wheels and the
contrasting orange stripe gave the game away. People noticed the Sandman - that was certain. Some had to look again,
presumably to double check if the decal really did say "Sandman".
The appearance is more discreet than the original Sandman but never the less it is a standout treatment for the VF
Commodore. There was no objection from those who approached the team and the car, so this suggests to me that Holden have
picked a winner in searching for a new limited edition package for the Commodore.
Test car particulars
Our test car was the Holden Commodore SV6 Sportwagon with automatic transmission and the optional "Sandman" package.
The car came in "Nitrate", an optional colour.
To earn its stripes, we drove 1,709 kilometres in six days which ensured we got to know the SV6 Sandman quite well!
More about the long distance that we covered a little later.
Sandman comes as a package, adding $2,950* to the cost of a new Commodore SV6 or SSV (Sportwagon or utility).
The "Sandman" pack
This optional pack includes: 20” gloss black wheels; Black mudguard vents; Black grille package; Black roof racks
(wagon) Sports bar (ute); Sandman decals; Sandman dashboard stitching; Sandman sunshades; Sandman floor mats and Unique
Sandman build plate.
On the road in the SV6 "Sandman"
The Commodore SV6 Sportwagon is well known for it's very pleasant ride and handling. The spacious interior makes for
comfortable motoring, particularly when driving long distances.
The Commodore VF series is a well sorted vehicle. It has very good steering and braking. Each of our three drivers
enjoyed the VF during the hours spent behind the wheel.
We were fully loaded with five occupants for an interstate trip which was certainly a satisfying experience. The
middle passenger in the back seat has some restrictions of movement because of the large transmission hump but there were
no complaints. Perhaps if the back seat was raised a little the comfort would be improved because of the increase in
Melbourne to Adelaide and back again certainly proved to us that the Commodore SV6 is a great car.
The front-engine, rear-wheel drive Holden Commodore SV6 comes with a 3.6 litre V6 petrol-fuelled engine. There's
210kW of power at 6,700rpm and 350Nm of torque at 2,800rpm.
A six-speed automatic transmission, featuring a manual override, is standard.
Fuel (SV6 auto Sportwagon)
We averaged 9.8 litres per 100 kilometres during our 1,709 kilometre interstate trip.
All grades of unleaded petrol above 91RON may be used in the SV6, as can E10.
The fuel tank capacity is 71 litres.
Standard: Holden MyLink Infotainment System; 8" high-resolution, colour touch-screen display; Embedded Apps – Pandora®
and Stitcher SmartRadio™; Single CD player able to play MP3 tracks; USB input; Full iPod® integration; AUX input jack;
Enhanced voice control: phone calls, radio, navigation, smartphone/iPod®/MP3 or USB audio control; Bluetooth®† audio
Five star ANCAP rating; six airbags; Electronic Stability Control (ESC) (incorporating Anti-lock Braking System (ABS),
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA), Traction Control System (TCS); Blind spot alert
(an excellent driver's aid); Trailer sway control; rear view camera (an excellent feature).
Length: 4,939 mm
Width: 1,898 mm (excluding mirrors)
Height: 1,474 mm
Wheelbase: 2,915 mm
Cargo capacity: 895 litres (backseat upright).
The road trip
With five on board, three of whom share the driving time, the Next Car team set about on an extended week-end
away by heading from Melbourne to Adelaide.
Ensuring a fatigue-free trip was essential, so we made several stops along the way.
Our route was via Melton, Ballarat, Horsham, Nhill, Bordertown and Murray Bridge. The Western Highway between
Melbourne and Adelaide has been improved greatly in recent times, particularly in western Victoria where road conditions
were sub-standard just a few years back. An improvement on the South Australian side of the border was also evident.
The improvement to the highway and the numerous breaks for exercise and food made for a very pleasing trip. Although
the highway isn't dual lanes on a divided carriageway it is my opinion that this highway is now a modern road and I am
pleased that I have had the opportunity to make another satisfying return trip between Melbourne and Adelaide.
The Holden Commodore comes with a 3 year/100,000 kilometre warranty (conditions apply). An extension to the warranty
A roadside assistance scheme is in place for one year. This can be extended. Conditions apply to the roadside
Lifetime capped price servicing is a new feature for Holden cars (again, conditions apply).
If retro and flair is in your 'DNA' then a Sandman should appeal.
If a big wagon with excellent ride and handling qualities appeals to you then the Holden Commodore SV6 is bound to
tick many boxes for you.
When you combine the big wagon features and the "Sandman" image together it is time to let the good times
Love your work Holden!
NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery
fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices,
fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.
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