2009 Holden Combo XC 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand




When I first bought it, Holden recalled the vehicle because the air conditioner drainage hose was dripping water onto the ECU. I got that fixed under warranty at 8000 kilometers.

I had to replace the starter motor. I had the car too long, and although very low kilometers, got no warranty. At 16000 kilometers the alarm system jammed on and my wife got stuck at the supermarket. I had to get the car home. Took everything apart. Turned out to be a faulty ECU. I couldn't do that myself. Had to take it back to the dealer. Even though I diagnosed it myself, it still cost me $500 (I'm an Automotive Electrician by trade).

General Comments:

Upside, very cheap to run. Can turn very tight. Has side loading as well as rear loading. Great storage at the back and in the cabin area.

Downside, very unreliable, everything back to front on the steering column, indicators etc, no guts, hard to buy parts, also very expensive. Gearbox ratios poor. Very noisy interior fan motors. Uncomfortable seats. Horrible gear change.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st July, 2016

2004 Holden Combo XC 1.6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Holden - mainly cheap to buy and terribly expensive to maintain


The biggest shock of all was:- The engine light.

Any warning light on the dash is an instant fail quoted ($2000)! (It is not legal to sell a car registered with the engine light on in Queensland Australia).

What happened was:-

The cheap oil pressure sensor failed - pumping oil through the harness and into the ECU. A very expensive part, & fitting has to be specially programmed to the van, total = $2000 to fix! Holy sh... With no guarantee from the Holden dealer the engine light will not come on for any other reasons (but I know it will...).

An ECU is a type of electronic control unit that controls a series of actuators on an internal combustion engine to ensure optimal engine performance... efficient, but...

GM Holden is crazy to allow a computer (ECU) to be fitted directly to the engine. To vibrate & shake it! And with a $25 oil switch - which failed and destroyed a $2000 item! (Holden vehicles look to have a bad history for ECUs. The Barina ECU is similar to the Combo van - the ECU offers no easy repair option!).

Add wipers ($36), link pins ($291), rear shocks ($575). Total so far $2902.

Plus $947 for the starter motor, service and diagnosis on the engine light, completed before telling me $2000 to fix the ECU - so a grand total of $3849.

But wait, there is more :-

With the exhaust - it showed on the so helpful dash engine light - spanner image - on the 1st service (was intermittent - warning can be reset = no light but still faulty) quoted before at $700 - time to move on & quickly...

General Comments:

As many reviews have already stated - this vehicle requires way too much in repairs!

I do not trust this shockingly poor design, which Holden have continued to sell.

Greatly disappointed... Owners would be losing the value of a 2004 quality looking vehicle to "junk status". Compelled to sell quick and sold as scrap value - junk!

To be legal that is - with no registration plates.

The vehicle looked inviting / mint, and was excellent to begin and only cost $3600.

Warning:- Repairs add up as above you would have to fix it - if a newer vehicle.

$3849 + $700, and the van cost $3600 = $8000+.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th September, 2015

2004 Holden Combo from Australia and New Zealand


Fairly good, but not great


The clutch broke in some manner. Never knew exactly what.

General Comments:

I think it's good considering I paid just $6000 NZ dollars for a 170 000km 3rd hand van.

The motor, fuel efficiency and lack of oil problems have been a pleasure.

The look and storage capacity are superb assets if that's what you bought it for.

Yes, the seats are not particularly comfy, but an expensive seat liner would improve that. The actual shape of them is fine.

I've had no problems with the heater or radio, but the air con is very poor. It is disappointing for someone who has experienced the equivalent vans in the UK and France (the Renault). This van doesn't match up to those in comfort, nor anything else.

Now for the problems:

The clutch packed up once; not sure what the underlying problem was. Repair was ~$400.

The blind spots are bad sometimes (especially with angled car parks), but I think that is something the driver takes responsibility for. The mirrors that Holden provides are pretty much as big and useful as can be.

The nooks and crannies for storing things are great - the front cabin is almost as useful as the back for storing things.

Overall I'm personally OK to quite happy with this purchase. It hasn't given me any serious mechanical problems, but I must admit, I am not a fussy driver when it comes to home comforts like air conditioning and etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th October, 2014