Holden Adventra SX6 Car Review
When Holden released the Adventra in 2003, it received mixed reviews. With the only engine available being the 5.7 litre V8 - it was considered to be a fairly thirsty vehicle. The V6 powered versions were eagerly awaited. When the new VZ Commodore range was released in 2004, they came with the new 175kW and 190kW Alloytec engines and a new five speed automatic transmission [190kW engine only]. With the priority at Holden on getting the new range right, work on the V6 engine Adventra took longer than expected. Although, after spending time with the new model, it's certainly been worth the wait.
Value for money
The new Adventra range has expanded and now includes three six cylinder models and the one V8 model, the LX8. Choices with the six cylinder engine include; the entry level SX6 priced at $40,990, the mid specced CX6 at $46,990, and the top of the range LX6 at $52,990.
The SX6 pricing now makes the Adventra more competitive to tackle its rivals, like the new Ford Territory and Subaru Outback, and compares more than favourably to some models in its own range such as the Berlina sedan and wagon.
The base model SX6 [tested], comes with the 190kW Alloytec engine and five speed automatic. No manual version is available. Specification wise even the base model has a lot to offer. Dual air bags, ABS brakes with Brake Assist and EBD, air conditioning, cruise control, 17 inch alloy wheels, remote central locking with engine immobiliser, Park Distance Control, power windows, radio/CD player with six speakers and traction control are part of the SX6 package.
Design & function
Space & practicality
There is never much criticism of the Commodore wagon in terms of space and the same can be said of the Adventra. As with the Commodore wagon the Adventra can gobble up a large amount of cargo even with the rear seat upright. The tailgate has separate opening glass, which is a great idea, it should be on all model Commodore wagons not just the Adventra.
Always a strong point in the Commodore range, the front seats have good support and will comfortably accommodate most shapes and sizes. Rear passengers also get a supportive seat and there is plenty of legroom available.
Being a tried and proven formula there's no great surprises here, with the electric driver's seat offering plenty of scope for adjustment. The steering wheel is adjustable for tilt and reach as well; audio controls are located on the steering wheel. The extra ground clearance hasn't hurt either; it's as easy as ever to get in and out. As with earlier models tested the fuel gauge was hard to read unless illuminated.
Driver and passenger air bags are standard. All seat belts are three point lap/sash with pre tensioners. A driver's seat belt reminder and auto headlights are fitted. The most recent ANCAP test was on the previous VY Commodore, which received a four star rating. The SX6 tested had the optional Side Air Bag package fitted which is an additional $520.00
Build quality & finish
With the major changes being drivetrain and suspension, quality and finish are the same as for others in the Commodore family. The external aluminium scuff plates may be prone to scrapes and marks. It's close to its competitors although the imported Subaru Liberty Outback may edge out the Adventra in terms of quality of finish. After half a day travelling on various dirt roads the Adventra also impressed with a tight rattle free body and also pleasing was an absence of any dust inside the cabin after driving in some dusty conditions.
Security consists of an alarm and engine immobiliser with rolling codes. The remote control has two touch deadlocking on all doors and it also enables/disables the alarm. The SX6 scores 61 out of 120 for security which is above average for its class.
On the road
The Adventra is no lightweight and even with the new Alloytec engine up front, the base SX6 tips the scales at 1895kgs. Despite the weight penalty, when compared to other Commodores tested recently the Adventra's performance figures were only slightly slower. On road there is little if any trade off in performance and there is plenty in reserve.
No compromises with the ride quality, the V6 Adventra, like the V8 is certainly no bone rattler. The ride quality is excellent, and with the additional suspension, travel seemed to improve the ride over the standard Commodore range.
Handling & steering
The SX6 covered some 60 kms on various fire trails south of Sydney. What was surprising was the vehicle's ability to negotiate some really rough and rutted terrain without any fuss. Its go forward limited only by the road biased tyres and by the Adventra's lower ground clearance over traditional 4WDs.
The Adventra benefits from a revised power steering pump which reduces steering weight at low speeds and gives the vehicle a more precise feel on the road. Despite the additional weight the Adventra carries, it doesn't feel like a traditional 4WD and its on road manners aren't compromised. The turning circle has increased to just under 12 metres although this wasn't a hindrance on test.
Braking is handled by four wheel discs and a four channel ABS system. The Adventra has a host of electronic brake aids; Electronic Brake Force Distribution [EBD], Brake Assist and Automatic Brake Differential [ABD] - this function applies braking force to a wheel if a loss of traction is detected.
Smoothness & quietness
No surprises here. Off and on road the Adventra was top class. The Cross Trac AWD system was tight and free from any drive train shock. The new engine package is a much improved unit compared to the out going V6 unit which was often criticised for being coarse and noisy when pushed along.
The 190kw engine and five speed auto package is an excellent combination. When mated to Holden's Cross Trac system it gives the Adventra some practical off road ability. On road the Adventra won't disappoint either, as the Cross Trac AWD system hasn't compromised the Adventra's on road traits. Its excellent on road manners makes it a better balanced vehicle when compared to the V8.
Test vehicle supplied by GM HOLDEN LTD.
|Body type||Station Wagon|
|Price of vehicle tested||40,990|
Tailgate glass opening
Fuel gauge difficult to read
|Country of manufacture||Australia|
|Warranty||3 years/100,000 kilometres|
|Number of cylinders||6|
|Engine size||3.565 L|
|Induction||Multi point fuel injection|
|Claimed max power (kW)||190 kW @ 6500 rpm|
|Claimed max torque (Nm)||340 Nm @ 3200 rpm|
|Spare tyre type||Full size|
|Type||Variable ratio rack and pinion|
|Turns to lock||2.5 m|
|Turning circle (measured)||11.9 m|
|Width (including mirrors)||1934 mm|
|Fuel capacity||75 litres|
|Max towed mass (trailer plus load)||2100 kg|
NRMA Theft Rating
|Points on scale 0 - 120 (high score is best)||61|
Acceleration - Test results
|50 - 80km/h||4 secs|
|60 - 100km/h||5.7 secs|
|0 - 80km/h||8.2 secs|
|0 - 100km/h||8.8 secs|
|Average on test||13.2 L/100km|
|Distance to stop (from 80km/h)||25.4 metres|
|Interior noise at constant 80km/h||68 dB(A)|
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