1996 Holden Berlina VS Series 2 3.8L Ecotec V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Very reliable, good stayer, loves long distance travel, bulletproof, high value for money


Have had the transmission/transmission cooler serviced and flushed; the mechanic said the fluid was milky.

Thermostat leaked slightly at 174000, replaced.

Gas bonnet and boot struts needed replacing; $180.

General Comments:

VS Series 2 1996 3.8L V6.

Cruise control not advisable when towing a small boat over long distances, car was intermittently revving, slipping gears at 174000.

K&N panel air filter has given more throttle response for $80.

Only change petrol filter every 20K.

Oil change using Castrol GTX3 15/40 is great!!

Ryco Oil filter. Cooper fuel filter. Bosch Fusion sparkys with Bosch sports leads.

The car is lowered with VY SS rims, not a comfortable street ride, can be bumpy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st June, 2010

1996 Holden Berlina 3.8L V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap, comfortable and good looking. no compromises here.


It's had some oil leaks since I bought the car, but I'm getting them fixed on Monday. I'm told it's a common problem.

Climate control air conditioning originally only worked on number 3, but I got the fan speed resistor replaced for $180 a few months back.

The speedometer would only work intermittently, but I got that fixed too. It failed again on the way to work the other day so I'll get that looked at soon.

Electric aerial didn't work since purchase, but was an easy fix.

General Comments:

This car is probably one of the most quiet and comfortable cars around. Little to no road noise gets into the cabin and no vibration gets into the steering column making it very smooth. The Berlina's sports seats are very comfortable and adds to a perfect ride.

The design of the dash has dated, but the list of luxury features makes up for it. Cruise control, power windows, digital instrument cluster, map lights, digital climate control - the list goes on. No compromise for safety either, ABS and drivers airbag as standard give you peace of mind in case they're needed.

The chrome highlights really make you take a second look at the car. The VS is a good looking model and has held its age very well, and if it's well kept and polished it still looks new.

Overall I'm very happy with the car. It's cheap to service, and does very well on petrol. When I drove it from Cairns to Canberra it got over 800km to the tank (using premium). 850 max I think. Prices are quite good at the moment, so if you can find a well maintained and serviced vehicle you can't go wrong. 5 stars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st May, 2007

1996 Holden Berlina Series II 3.8L V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Great highway cruiser, comfortable, but expensive


Although kept in extremely good condition, the problems encountered below were a cause of typical wear and tear, though experienced over only 13,000 kilometers.

Faulty Speedometer, which caused dash clips to be broken by a dodgy auto-electrician.

New hood lining, however upholsterer broke the clips toward the rear.

Rear Shock Absorbers (loss of gas).

Front Stud Kit.

Front Sway bar 'D' bushes.

New front brakes.

Rear main seal engine leak.

Needs new starter motor.

Excessive oil consumption.

Fan speed resistor broken (electronic Climate Control).

Sticky Fuel/Temp gauges.

Electric Aerial jammed.

General Comments:

Now that I have it, Cruise Control is an absolute essential when buying a car. Living in the country makes it a breeze for city trips, and avoids any speeding fines. The seats are very comfortable, front and back. As I have just got my provisional license, money is a thing that is hard to come by. Just after I got the car, I had to pay rego ($663.95), and buy 4 new tyres ($529.00). In my position, this was not easy, but an expense that had to be made. After buying the new tyres, I had a wheel alignment done, which loosened up the steering to a comfortable level. Fuel economy ranges from about 8 - 10L/100KM highway, and 12 - 14L/100KM (according to trip computer) which is fairly harsh for a V6. The only time I use the power is overtaking on the highway, in which case it picks up very well and has no problem reaching 140 in less than 5 seconds (from approximately 95). In addition to the problems experienced (mentioned above), the car is quite expensive to run. Personally, next time I think I'll be buying a new car. Apart from the constant on-going cost of repairs, the car is quite good. Drives very smoothly, and the colour makes you take a second look at it. Attractive, comfortable and powerful.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2006