1992 Holden Calibra 16V 2.0 16v from Australia and New Zealand
Fast, fantastic looker for those who are prepared to spend a bit extra in maintenance
Wiring to 02 sensor (difficult to find problem!). Resulted in engine light coming on at random times.
Radiator fluid level sensor.
Rear springs replaced.
Sunroof lining disconnected from sunroof.
Rear roof lining sagging (very minor - took me 6 months to notice).
After 16 years, it's still an extremely good looking car & has aged well.
The engine is fantastic. Smooth & powerful. In fact I have driven far newer design 6 cylinders that aren't as smooth as this. In terms of power, I assumed that 110kw 2.0l in '92 would mean it would be a very peaky engine, but it isn't. Definitely opens up after 4500rpm, but is happy pottering around on 2000rpm as well.
Handling is OK. Nothing bad, nothing spectacular. If you can imagine what a 2 door Vectra (which is basically what it is) would handle like, then that would be about spot on.
The electrics are a bloody nightmare. Everything has a sensor on it, and they seem to be methodically failing.
The electrics can sometimes appear to have a personality. This personality doesn't like winding the driver's window up when the ignition is off... when it's cold. When it is driven around for 20 minutes, no problem! If you leave an indicator on and turn off the ignition, one rear parking brake will light up.
My last car was a ground up rebuild, and knowledge about how to do something and what part fit where was all over the web, and finding specialist mechanics and the like wasn't hard. Unfortunately, the Calibra is the opposite. I dare say this would be an easier car to own in Europe where there were plenty of them, but finding someone who knows much about a Calibra can be damned difficult.
I've read other reviews saying that parts are expensive. To me, I'm comparing the prices of parts to other Euro cars rather than other Holdens, and I don't think they are that expensive. Finding them is the fun.
Overall, if it was down to cheap, reliable transport, a Calibra isn't a great proposition. A Corolla would be.
However, if you're prepared to put in a little extra, it's one of the best looking coupes to have come out of Europe in the past 30 years, and is a little different to the run of the mill Alfa or older 3 series BMW.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th October, 2008