1998 Holden Berlina VT 3.8 V6 ECOTEC from Australia and New Zealand


Very bad model


Where do I begin?

Power steering rack replaced

Valve cover gasket or head gasket leaking water and oil mixing.

Electric windows break all the time.

Had to replace engine mounts

Leaks transmission fluid lots, very annoying.

Dashboard cracking and falling to bits.

Very low fuel pressure; had regulator, fuel pump and filter replaced, but still cuts out up hills and when you put your foot down. The timing is fine.

General Comments:

Nice car to drive, but falls apart. Worst Commodore I have ever owned; I spend more time under the bonnet than I do driving it.

Had a VT Executive; much better, hardly any problems until I smashed it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th July, 2010

1998 Holden Berlina VT 3.8 Litre V6 from Australia and New Zealand


World Class


The bottom line with the VT Commodore, is aside from typical aging faults like splitting window tint and rubber door seals breaking, that is about it.

General Comments:

The car is extremely brilliant. It has ample power, is safe, and reliable. It is a proven performer in dangerous situations, be it on slippery and uncertain roads. It has been able to dodge unexpected animals on rainy highways, stay steady during a sudden swerve, and ensure the survival of all occupants inside. It is also built like a rock.

There is seriously nothing wrong with them.

If you are a parent, and want to know your child will be protected when they drive on their P's, the VT Commodore Berlina is the only choice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 2008

7th Feb 2009, 02:35

My 98 VT Berlina (with aftermarket LPG) was performing good until the last month. It broke down during the current heat wave in Melbourne (46 degree day).

Well, firstly, I never had any problems since I bought it a couple of years ago as the 2nd owner of the car. Suddenly, it gave me a few problems and I'm bit worried to upgrade. The fuel pump just died and the trigger effect was that the coil pack, plugs, leads, injectors and the fuel filter has to be changed. Still after about a $1300 bill for repairs, it's still not running smooth, specially when running on GAS.

Any comments will be a great HELP.


1998 Holden Berlina 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


More or less invincible, a good drive and a good family car


Nothing really went wrong with this car, it proved to be reliable enough.

General Comments:

This was a work car that I used on some occasions to drive long distances (eg. to northern territory). It proved to be Tough and reliable, and while the acceleration left something to be desired, the engine noise was quite satisfying at 160+ (on long, boring trips it was occasionally pushed to 180, and once I pushed it to its absolute limit, which was 205km/h).

Naturally as I did not pay for the car or repairs I did not treat it with much respect, and once pushed it through a flood that almost came up to the windows, and to my great surprise the electrics held and the engine continued to run, though the brakes were a little weak for a few minutes. a bloke in his falcon Ute followed me and his engine failed halfway through, bringing him to a halt.

This car did not have any problems while I drove it, even after the flood incident. I had a lot of fun driving this.

The luxury features were acceptable for a car in this price range and the seats were comfortable, I had no problems with the interior.

I do not recommend that anyone else drive their car through a flood, especially a new one. also, unless in northern territory do not push your car to 200+.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2006

1998 Holden Berlina VT 3.8L ECOTEC from Australia and New Zealand


Smooth, comfortable and feature packed


One of the rear doors locked up after I opened it, forcing me to take it to the dealers for repairs the next day. It cost $240, but would have been a hell of a lot more if it had locked closed.

I have noticed one of my headlights on the dim setting has gone out.

The steering wheel tends to squeak at certain times.

The brakes squeak a little, but it's probably due to my brake pads needing replacement.

An LED has gone out in my climate control display.

The air con doesn't seem to work/turn on (the display comes up, fan works, but the air con doesn't seem to kick in, most likely requiring a re-gas/repair)

Poorly designed boot with the water leaking into the boot itself when opened.

General Comments:

Midnight blue in colour, bought early this year in immaculate condition with 115,000k on the clock with full service history for $12500 privately.

Other than the irritating little problems mentioned, nothing truly major has gone wrong (touch-wood). As long as I take care of this car like the previous owner, it should be fine.

Average fuel consumption is usually around the 12.5L/100km, although if driven hard this can quickly rise to around 14L. Usually 470km's for 75L of standard unleaded fuel (16L/100km). This number drops to around 400km when BP Ultimate 98 octane is used, which was a shock to me, ending at around 19L/100km normal driving!.

It's the small features that I love about the car. Such as the headlight-interior lights auto shutoff feature, making it almost impossible to leave them on, thus preventing any dead battery situations.

Green floor LEDs, which not only look good, but allow for easy setup when entering the vehicle.

Loads of space making for very comfortable driving even with a 5 person load.

Bucket style seats providing great comfort.

Power for the windows even when the engine is off, a feature I found isn't even common in cars above the $18000 mark.

I absolutely love this car and hope to have it for many years to come. This car is the smoothest, most comfortable and best looking car I could find for under $16000, and I'm not at all disappointed with my purchase.

That is until I see the price of my 130k service ;)

Next it's onto a Calais!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2005

27th Jan 2006, 00:33

Update on Review: I took my car in for it's first service to the Brian Gardner Dealership. Wow was that a bad idea, not only did they try and raise the price of the service as soon as I got there, they added on $600 worth of extras, before they even looked at the car. After removing the extras they added, the service still cost over $1000, about $600 of that was labour. The rest was brake pads ($240 for front only) and an air-con re-gas ($160) amongst other things. If I did everything they mentioned, along with the things I knew needed to be done it would have cost me at least $1600. I won't go to Holden again that's for sure.

27th Feb 2006, 17:14

Update: Got cut off at an intersection and this much loved piece of machinery was written off (2/06). As much as I'd like to get a Holden Berlina again, my thoughts are wandering towards a Honda Accord V6-L which I've only heard good things about. As this smooth as silk Berlina was pretty dangerous in the wet with its rear wheel drive and lack of traction control. The Accord V6 still outputs 147kw @ 5600rpm compared to the Berlina 147kw @ 5200rpm, weighs 150kgs less and is front wheel drive which is far easier to control in winter conditions. Farewell Berlina.

24th Jan 2010, 20:58

Has anyone had a problem with the climate control?

When mine is on air con, cold, and coming out at the dash, I go over 2000 rpm, and it goes off the dash and onto the demister.

26th Dec 2010, 01:15

Hi, I own a 1998 VT Holden Berlina. It has to be the best Berlina in Victoria. I've got 152,000 on the clock at the moment, and have never had any major problems at all, just the "power steering pump", which often goes after a year or so.

Selling it soon, and getting about 8 grand for it. I would definitely buy a Berlina again.