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Red is the new Black – Holden Commodore Black

Holden Commodore Black review New Zealand

As a nation, it could be said that New Zealand has a borderline obsession with Black. It features on our national teams, (Sticks, Ferns, Tall, Sox, All and Caps to name but a few). It is the go to colour of clothing. There’s Black water rafting, Black Shag (Bird), BlackDog Brewery, Blackseeds (group) – I really could go on and on – so it made perfect sense that Holden would tap into this love affair we have, with their new Commodore Black Edition.

I was recently thrown the keys to a bright red SV6 version of this beauty and as you can see it’s very striking. Holden have managed to add black accents and detailing to all the right places without overdoing it, it looks stylish without being crass, smart without over bling. Front air scoops, grille underlining and side slats all add to the effect (as does the tail spoiler) and the black in the 18”Alloys really accentuates the 5 spoke chrome. Subtle ‘Black’ badging completes the picture without rubbing your nose in it.

The style and charm continues on the inside. The textured effect trim has a red stitching surround, and the leather and suede style seats are separated by this same trim. Head up display, Sat Nav and push button start ensure the car keeps up with its modern appeal.

On the topic of keeping up – under the bonnet is a 3.6L V6 SIDI engine that conjures up 210kW’s of power and 350Nm of Torque, connected to a 6 speed auto box it feels smooth and relatively quick but does lack the roar that I’ve come to expect from this big sedan. (There is of course a V8 option should I want it though – phew).

On the road it feels fresh and (for some reason) light. The handling feels responsive and much tauter than the big sedan of old. We took it on a long run out of town and it chewed through the k’s without a hint of drama and had plenty of grunt on hand for passing less handsome vehicles when needed. The interior has ample space for the family to travel great distances without getting on each other’s nerves and as such would easily accommodate four large professionals if used for work. It’s a firm ride without being back breaking, it’s confident on the tarmac but will also let you ‘play’ a little should you so choose.

All infotainment is Mylink’d and as such; simple to navigate around and comes to you via a clear touchscreen (oh and there are far less buttons and dials that I’ve seen cluttering recent Holdens)
I found visibility slightly lacking; with its out of character small side mirrors and chunky A pillars but Holden have thankfully dulled down the shiny dashboard from the last version I drove – bonus.

The Commodore Black is a good looking edition of this tried and trusted sedan, these seemingly simple accents come together to create a look that demands more than just a cursory glance (Let’s face it, adding an accent to anyone makes them more interesting). The use of high gloss black (against whichever body colour you choose) has managed to highlight the car’s strong lines and yet given it a sleek new style.


Now New Zealand has another thing to add to the list of Blacks they like.

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