1998 Holden Commodore VT Berlina 3.8 Ecotec

Summary:

Reliable, sensible, power when you need it, and heaps of room

Faults:

Sway bar link snapped 6 months after purchase, but that's very common at the km it's done.

The driver's window wiper spring snapped in the first week.

General Comments:

The seats are very comfortable, and are awesome on road trips.

City driving gas doesn't last long - 14L/100km, but on road trips it's fantastic, 8-9L/100km, and the torque up hills is perfect, it just glides up.

Very reliable; only those two things broke during ownership of the Commy. Not bad for 3 years.

I highly recommend buying one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2013

1998 Holden Commodore SS 5.0

Summary:

Biggest lemon ever owned. Huge disappointment, and would never buy a Holden again

Faults:

All of these problems occurred around 180,000km.

All front suspension bushings require replacing, and told that they only last 30k km on this model. Cost $1500 (they had already been replaced at least once before).

Front shock struts leaking, requiring new shocks and shock mount rubbers (~500$).

LSD diff binding and chattering, did not fix.

Gearbox very notchy through second gear, did not fix.

Rear diff leaking oil slowly, did not fix.

Power steering leaking, requiring new high pressure line.

Fuel and electrical problems at around 190000km, making the car garaged permanently.

General Comments:

Wow. I bought a VT SS 5.0 Commodore because I wanted something solid and reliable.

What I got was the most expensive to maintain, poorly designed lemon in the history of my car ownership. I could barely keep up with the problems on this car, and my enthusiasm eventually turned to despising the car.

I have owned quirky cars like Jeeps and other cars such as a Honda Prelude, Ford Cortina, Escort, Corsair, Maverick, Mitsubishi Sigma, Pajero, and many other cars and motorbikes, and I can say that this car was about 5x as troublesome as the other most troublesome car I have had (the Jeep Grand Cherokee).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th February, 2013

6th Feb 2013, 13:06

You wanted to get something reliable, and you go and buy a 14-year old car with 180,000 km??

6th Feb 2013, 20:53

Let's see.....you bought a used car with 180,000 kilometers, about 112,000 miles in my terms. Cars with that amount of usage on them are always garbage.

7th Feb 2013, 00:43

Hmm, it's a shame that you got this car just as the problems were coming about. The mileage where things start to go wrong, but the previous owner has not fixed them yet, if you know what I mean.

7th Feb 2013, 16:04

Not to mention the fact that Commodores are lemons from new, especially the VT model.

8th Feb 2013, 23:03

Not true, well for the Series 2 anyway.

10th Feb 2013, 22:34

To the above comment, and this IS a series 1 isn't it? My point exactly.

12th Feb 2013, 04:03

Yep, it's a Series 1. The Series 2 SS would have had the 5.7 V8 (Gen III) LS1.

1998 Holden Commodore VT 3.8 Ecotec

Summary:

A dream drive - second car

Faults:

Manual aerial broken, replaced with GM genuine automatic aerial.

Air con compressor is blown, quoted $700 to fix.

General Comments:

This is my second VT model I purchased. My first one started getting a bit long in the tooth after hitting 2 kangaroos, and using it as a work vehicle for most of the 5 years I owned it.

This one has been well taken care of by its previous owner (s), though it needed the basics such as oil change, tune up, and the bonnet struts were shot - all basic stuff.

What I liked in the old VT, I love more in this latest purchase. Comfy seats, good stock stereo and speakers, cruise. The ECOTEC V6 has reserved power, so when you need that instant grunt for passing, it'll react without any issue.

I'm not disappointed at all with the VT's. They're sporty, prone to hoon LOL, and to watchful police LOL.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2011

18th Aug 2011, 15:47

An addition to my review - I replaced bonnet struts, but needed to purchase the special "tamper proof" socket set to remove the screws.

Additional faults are also minor and easy fixes and just wear/tear maintenances. I've had this car for a while, and I love driving it!