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Car reviews - Holden - Commodore - SV8 sedan


9 Jan 2003

COMMODORE'S new dashboard is of a contemporary, European-style design and features a revised instrument panel and centre console to match the new, geometrically styled steering wheel.

A prominent lip on the new instrument binnacle hood obscures vision to gauges for tall drivers, but SV8 improves on the plain low-series instrument design by offering a red-faced background with white italic increments.

There is a 5500rpm tacho on the left and 260km/h speedo on the right, flanked by temperature and fuel gauges. A new, larger LCD screen nestles between the speedo and tacho underneath, revealing trip computer functions, audio information, service intervals and gear selection.

New upper air vents and a hazard light switch reside above three rotary dials for air-conditioning and the new Blaupunkt audio head unit featuring a low-mounted LCD screen. Unlike Falcon, the optional satellite navigation screen is mounted even lower, taking the place of the optional ashtray.

The new headlight switch on the right mirrors the trip computer control pad on the left, but the consistency ends about there. A hard, flat panel at the top of the centre console appears to house an extra Subaru-style storage nook but in fact does nothing other than make one wonder what's missing (HSV models add extra gauges here).

Plastics used on the carryover door skins is not well matched with the new dashboard finish, which is generally of a lower quality than Falcon's new BMW-like textured dash material.

The new VY cockpit looks convincing enough, but you don't have to look too closely to find plenty of carryover components and the feel of most controls does not live up to expectations invited by the new look.

Did you know?

SV8 misses out on SS Commodore's alloy pedal cluster and satin chrome door handles, steering wheel spokes and handbrake cover

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