HSV GTS Review from UK and Ireland

2001 HSV GTS -R 5.7 V8 petrol

Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 5.7 V8 petrol Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired11 miles
Most recent distance26000 miles
Previous carSAAB 9000

Summary:

More fun and more character than an M5

Faults:

No problems whatsoever.

General Comments:

Easily the most fun saloon car on the planet. I looked long and hard at the BMW M5 but in the end, the Holden's character just won through. Although the M5 is a cracking car, it left me a bit cold in the way that German cars often do. It's almost too perfect and too capable. The Holden in comparison is a little rough around the edges, but it has the important ingredients spot on, namely power, feel and chassis ability. It's also rare in the UK, unlike any BMW.

The Chevrolet based V8 is a delight, and punts this big saloon along with almost supercar baiting grunt. Sounds lovely too, and with that grunt, a really well sorted chassis, and some subtle adjustments to the (excellent)Racelogic traction control system, roundabouts can be your personal playground. In the more demanding twisties, the bulk disappears, and the big Holden really does handle. It turns in brilliantly, the steering has plenty of feel, the six speed 'box is slick, and the brakes are eye popping!

I can report that the HSV is not only fast and well sorted, but reliable, and not as far away from BMW build and solidity as you might think. It's a stonking cruiser too, allowing licence losing speeds to be attained and maintained with near on silence in the cabin. Apart from scary fuel consumption (11 mpg worst, 18 average, 26 best), it's a fantastic all rounder. Fast, smooth, suprisingly agile and with an exclusivity and rarity in the UK that BMW's just no longer have. If you're not a badge snob and care more about what a car does than what badge it wears, try one. You will not be disappointed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2002

8th Nov 2003, 18:10

I'll ignore the animosity you caused with the BMW comments!...BUT, you wouldn't say what you did about Holdens being unique and M5s not if you lived in Australia, HAHAHA!!!

I drive BMW because over here Holdens are painfully run of the mill and the working mans car. They have an Australian shell, an American engine, and German electrics. I long for something with pedigree and class; something that isn't just designed to be cheap and affordable; something that is designed as a real car, and not just some family car stocker with an American V8 plonked inside and given a new paint job.

But, it is your car, and as long as you are happy that is the main thing. I just found it interesting in view of the culture shock that over there in the UK one would choose a Holden over BMW because they wanted to stand out.

Cheers.

26th Feb 2004, 11:43

I think we're getting a little too subjective for what should be an objective car review site. Why some people prefer Bimmers to any other manufacturer doesn't make for useful reading when every purchase, fast or slow, Aussie or German, is a personal choice.

In Europe, it's clear that BMW and Mercedes are becoming victims of their own success. In large cities and in wealthy suburbs they are as common as Swiss watches, and BMW sales have recently begun to tail off in their oldest markets. If you take into account the technical gremlins of complex models such as the 7-Series, and run your hand over the seriously poor quality interior of a late 90s Benz, the reasons to buy into the brands have shrunk to status and snobbery.

Quite honestly the German cars that most people hold as icons aren't as special as they'd like to believe. Take the almighty 911 which is now made in telephone number numbers, and together with the Boxster the frog-eyed Porsche face is now a truly common site. Is something really that special when every guy in your street drives one? I dare say that an American would make similarly derogative comments about the Chevrolet Corvette, despite the fact that in the UK they are a rare sight with a rare sound and somewhat revered as a result. Each to their own, what we're here to find out is, did it go wrong on you? :)

Average review marks: 8.2 / 10, based on 1 review