Commodore SS-V (Pontiac G8) v Ford XR6 Turbo *review*

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Mitchj, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    http://www.webwombat.com.au/motorin...dore-ss-v-vs-ford-falcon-xr6-turbo-review.htm

     
  2. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    Interior:
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    Chock up another win for the Holden – it has the more appealing interior hands down and proves that the SS V has much more visual and tactile flair than its rival. It has a more upmarket feels, and one could argue that it's the newer vehicle and is more expensive too, but even with this in mind it's streets ahead of the Falcon in almost every respect, least of which is the eye candy.


    So where do we start? Perhaps with the concept car look that permeates the interior. This is a standard feature on SS V models, and will make drivers of much more expensive sports car stop and take notice - it really does stand out quite dramatically. Our model had matching red leather seats, red dashboard, red dials, red LCD screens, and red door inserts to match the exterior colour. Which was also red.


    As well as the colour coded cabin, the SSV interior is a real highlight and, compared to the last version of the Commodore (the VZ), the overall design and plastics are much improved and more like what you’d expect from BMW.
    The SS V benefits from a powerful stereo, and the dials look a lot better than the Ford Falcon's, though the steering wheel controls on both vehicles are well designed.


    The interior of the Falcon is not as plush as the SS V, and despite the dash plastics in the Falcon coming across as slightly better than the SS V with a softer rubbery finish of sorts, they're not designed in a way that makes them visually appealing like the Holden. In 2002 the Ford was leading the pack, but today it's lost that lustre and in comparison to the Holden comes across as dull.


    In the Commodore SS V, the layout is well thought through and everything is easy to find, learn and operate whilst driving – you can work through almost every single toggle, switch, button and dial on the freeway without being completely distracted from the road, which isn't quite the case with the Falcon's more jumbled and sometimes even hidden controls (such as the traction control toggle out of sight behind the steering wheel).
    While the SS V gets colour coded madness, this may be viewed as over the top by more conservative drivers, the XR6T gets far more subtle customisations in the form of the colour-matched seat stitching. The upholstery used on the XR6 Turbo seats comprise of a ribbed cloth material of sorts.


    The Ford interior is slightly more ergonomic than the SS V, but felt just a bit dated next to the Holden's new-platform competitor. When comparing the two, it felt as if many features of the Falcon were stuck ‘wherever mate’ behind the steering wheel and around the initially confusing centre console.


    However, the Falcon's seats were quite a bit better to sit in and were designed more for a standard person's build than the larger sized Commodore’s luxury bench.


    As far as comfort goes – generally speaking - both cars do a bang-up job. The Falcon XR6T doesn’t look half as showy as the SS V, but in terms of comfort and practicality they are almost on a par, both offering generously sized seats, lots of leg room for all occupants and easy to use/understand controls.


    These are big, broad Aussie sports cars and as well as having sporty seats with decent side bolsters to hug your body through corners, they’re very supportive for most body sizes. We reckon that when American drivers get a load of the Commodore (in the form of the Pontiac G8) and possibly the next generation 2008 Falcon, they're gonna love this stuff .
    You just can't beat them in terms of practicality, price, and the sheer amount of interior space.


    Comparing the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon sports model side by side it was clear very early in the test that Holden had the better cabin, but it also hammered home yet again just how versatile these big sports cars can be. Punt them to work every day in comfort, then thrash them through the corners on the weekends. Great stuff.



    Conclusion: Holden 4/5, Ford 4.25/5




    We cruised, we charged, we steered and we poked. Then we prodded, we cursed, we took some photos, and finally we argued. At the end of the day, the comparison bore witness to an astonishingly tight race, but the burning question can finally be answered: Ford's cult hero, the XR6 Turbo is the better car.


    For purveyors of performance, the XR6 Turbo is a true Aussie sports car, hitting the mark expected of it in all areas – acceleration, braking, steering and feel. The SS V - whether by design or perchance - has all the ingredients for the performance segment but leans towards the luxury side of the scale, and as a result will definitely catch the eye of buyers who would be more likely to inspect imported sports cars.


    With a rip-snorting V8 engine, show-car looks and a much improved chassis, the Holden Commodore SS V was the runner up here, albeit by a small margin. The SS V has the definite edge in the style stakes, but the crisp handling dynamics and scintillating engine of the Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo and it's well balanced overall design ensure that it's still the best Aussie performance car on the market.


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  3. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    From reading the review (its proberbly best to click the link up the top, but i know OT prefers it to be copied and pasted) it seemed to me like the SS-V bowled the XR6 over.

    Personally, id still prefer the XR6, im completely in love with the Ford 4.0L turbo engine, but i think its quite obvious the Holden is the better car.
     
  4. skolen

    skolen Guest

    Love the interiors (liked the GTO's as well). But the exterior looks dated on both. Too boxy.
     
  5. Mjolnir

    Mjolnir WHM6D > *

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    Two really good cars, and both Ford and GM should be selling them here.

    You can't tell me that (assuming comparable prices) a 3.5L V6 Falcon wouldn't be a better seller than the 500/Taurus in a straight up competition, and with the XR6T version to bring younger buyers into the showroom it's not a straight up competition.

    At least GM is brining us the Commodore badged as a Pontiac.
     
  6. Mitchj

    Mitchj OT Supporter

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    The stock Falcon is a 4.0L Inline 6 with 255 horsepower, plenty of low down torque too.
     
  7. Madness

    Madness Do not let Dr. Mario touch your genitals. He is no

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    that green falcon is so horrendous, I think it's ugly rubbed off on the SS :ugh:.
     

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