Holden’s VE SS Ute has claimed the 2011 Drive Car of the Year’s Best Ute Award for the third consecutive year.
The reigning champion was complimented for its car-like handling and for becoming the first utility in Australia to receive a maximum five star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
The ute was judged by a panel of experts from Drive.com.au, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on a broad criteria including performance, price, quality, comfort, practicality and safety.
Drive Car of the Year judge David Morley said the SS Ute had stood out because it managed to retain many of the things that make the SS sedan a such compelling product.
Holden Director of Marketing Philip Brook said winning back-to-back Best Úte awards was a great achievement that acknowledged the local talent that went into the program.
'To win this award for the third consecutive year recognises Holden's ongoing commitment to delivering value, style and performance,' Mr Brook §äid.
The VE SS Úte is well equipped wîth standard features including 18-inch alloy wheels, sports body kit wîth fog lamps, quad exhausts, six-disc MP3 compatible CD system, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, side impact airbags, curtain airbags and Electronic Stability Control.
It is powered by Holden's 6.0 litre Gen IV V8 engine, delivering 270kW of peak power and 530Nm of peak torque and is matched to a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission wîth Active Select.
Holden's VE Úte range has become the first utility in Australia to receive a maximum five star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) or the Euro New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP).
This follows the announcement last month that Holden achieved another Australian safety first by launching the first Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) to offer six airbags as standard across the range.
The latest result means Holden's entire locally manufactured vehicle range now carries a five star safety rating from ANCAP.
The ANCAP result reflects the long list of safety features found standard across the VE Úte range including side impact airbags, curtain airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) which incorporates Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) and Traction Control System (TCS).
Holden Vehicle Structure & Safety Integration Manager, Steve Curtis said Holden had a long and proud history of delivering safety firsts.