Holden Viva Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

2006 Holden Viva 1.6 petrol

Model year2007
Year of manufacture2006
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2014
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Automatic
Distance when acquired25000 kilometres
Most recent distance65000 kilometres
Previous carMitsubishi Magna




4 x new tyres in 2010.

20/09/13 - $976.98 service!

29/10/13 - $335.50 for inhibitor switch replacement.

04/04/14 - $190.47 for A/C draining into passenger side.

01/05/14 - IAT sensor faulty & replace air sensor.

10/07/14 - Coil pack and spark plug to be replaced at 60,000km.

This does not include the regular servicing.

General Comments:

My wife loved this car at first, but it seems the older it gets, the more problems it has. Most cars, this occurs as per the norm, but this Viva is from 2007 and is already is falling apart. Slow auto transmission changes, basic feeling air con, sluggish engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th July, 2014

2005 Holden Viva

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 1 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.0 / 10
Distance when acquired68000 kilometres
Most recent distance76000 kilometres


Worse than a lemon


Timing belt at 45000km.

A/C problem (not sure how many kms).

Throttle body at 68000km.

Coil pack, spark plug, head gasket, oil pump at 70000km.

Oil pump at 72000km.

A/C problem at 76000km.

General Comments:

This is the worst car built, courtesy of Daewoo, slap a Holden badge on the front and you have instant brand recognition - BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, it screams, I am a mighty Holden. Wrong. I have had the misfortune of owning a Holden Viva for 2 years and something has broken down, on average, every 4 months. Holden service keep saying it's wear and tear, and I keep challenging; at 70,000km, no self respecting car should need the front end of the engine replaced. 3 months out of my 6 year extended warranty (which you of course pay extra for) the problems started, and Holden couldn't care less; their reputation it seems, doesn't matter to them.

It started with a timing belt, then it was dust on the throttle body, then a spark plug, later the coil pack, something or other in the A/C, the coil pack again, and head gasket and oil pump and timing belt, then the oil pump again, and just most recently a sensor in the A/C. In between all these repairs, the engine light comes on, several times, we take it to Holden, and they say it was "a bad bit of fuel" or "an anomaly, we can't reproduce it" - that is, until something else major breaks down.

I'm now $6,500 into repairs in 2 years, and have reached the point where I am trading it in for $5,800 because I can't afford to keep fixing Holden's problem child. More importantly, I'll never EVER buy another Holden, and I'll make damn sure to dissuade anyone I hear being silly enough to consider it.

Shame on you Holden, shame on you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th April, 2013

20th Apr 2013, 06:23

I agree, the Viva is a horrible vehicle. My ex had one that was purchased new in 2006 and sold privately in 2009 for $8K with only 25,000km on the clock. Although it was sold due to being surplus to requirements, it wasn't a pleasant car to drive. The auto transmission was one of the worst I've ever encountered. Slurry and sluggish gear changes. Poor paint quality. The top radiator hose kept blowing off and dumping the coolant. This once happened at traffic lights on busy Bowen Bridge Road in Brisbane and the car stalled in the process; took me ages to get it started again so I could pull out of traffic and call a tow truck.

I have a 2007 Focus that was used at the same time, and you couldn't compare the two; the Focus is far superior. I still have it and will keep it till the wheels fall off. The selling dealer told my ex during the purchase of the Viva that it was 'the Australian version of the Astra'. Hahahah, yeah right. Played on the fact my ex knew nothing about cars.

2006 Holden Viva JF 1.8L

Model year2006
Year of manufacture2006
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 1.8L Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired9 kilometres
Most recent distance94000 kilometres
Previous carRover - Austin Quintet


I like the car, but I regret buying it and getting rid of my previous car


Intermittently went into limp mode.

Stalled while slowing at a set of traffic lights, while the engine was running at normal temps.

Clunking and slow transmission.

Rear suspension struts "cracked" & "leaking" at around 15,000km.

Suspension still seems dodgy.

Loud ticking/clicking from engine at idle that the dealership seemed to not want to investigate. Took it in for service, they listed in their "Recommendations section : Rear brakes need to be replaced within 3,000km, engine noisy on idle."

Rattles in doors.

General Comments:

Pretty bad blind spots due to the shape of the rear pillars, which you get used to over time.

Unless you have a window guard/shield, don't even bother putting the windows down when it's wet, unless you want the water to leak in all over your electric window controls.

Fun easy car to have/own when it is operating correctly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2011

Average review marks: 6.3 / 10, based on 8 reviews