What We Liked:
Holden Commodore SS-V Redline - Superb steering, class-leading handling, safety features . Ford Falcon XR8 - Speed, speed and more speed (oh, and the throaty engine)
What We Didn't:
Holden Commodore SS-V Redline - Less speed than we’d like, muted engine. Ford Falcon XR8 - Generation behind in electronics, mushy handling, average steering

What the Ford’s got

The Ford XR8 is back, and it’s making up for lost time. It’s arrives with a 5L supercharged V8 blazing out 335kW. It comes with six-speeds, in either manual or automatic. Inside, you’re treated to leather trim seats, Bluetooth for phone and audio, auto headlights, satellite navigation, all-round parking sensors and automatic moisture-sensing wipers. Underneath features staggered 19” wheel-widths. Four-piston calliper brakes stop the juggernaut with rigid suspension and improved sway bar keeping it all level.

What the Holden’s got

The Commodore offers an impressive six-speed automatic (and manual, if you so choose) 6L naturally aspirated V8, churning out a paltry 260kW in comparison to the Ford. It too has staggered wheel widths, brake configuration and sport tuned suspension. Inside its Redline by name, Redline by nature, also leather trimmed, metal-inlayed and bedecked with ample LCD screen and heads-up display, plus you can shift through gears with paddles. Though petrolheads may not pay much mind to it, the Holden’s safety spec is top notch: auto parking control, blind spot monitoring and collision detection.

What to expect from the Holden

The real test is on the road and of course, the 0-100km/h sprint. The Holden does it in 5.7sec. It does it very, very quietly to boot. Though not poised with as much pep as the Ford, the Holden will be a class-leader in handling and dynamics. Steering is like an extension of oneself, especially around hairpins and substantial curves. Paddle shifts and electronic brakes make for an intuitive experience as well. Engaging sports mode pushes the gears into exactly the right places, another flag in a summit over the Ford.

What to expect from the Ford

As mentioned, the Ford not as balanced in the steering and handling department as its rival. Despite some beefed up suspension, the Ford doesn’t feel as tight to the ground as the Holden does. It’s not as nimble through tricky bends, which is all the more noticeable. Of course, packing a big engine delivers big results. In the 0-100km/h dash, it strides through the finishing line at 5.2sec. If you want a muscle car, then your Ford definitely sounds like one. A steady whinny of the turbocharger pairs with a growling beast of a machine that’ll be the envy of all your revhead friends.

VERDICT

The Ford sounds and moves like a muscle car; but the Holden, despite some minor shortcomings, is the complete package.

Vehicle Specs

Engine:
5L supercharged V8 putting out 335kW
Transmission:
Six-speed manual/six-speed automatic; RWD
Fuel:
13.8L/100km combined
What's Your Ratings:
Average: 5 (1 vote)