I purchased this car new from a Holden dealer in Sydney, Australia in March 2003. Being a van, it was purchased for business use. It is a German built vehicle, fully imported into Australia. It is the van version of the Holden Barina/Opel Corsa model.
Since purchase, the engine has never run smoothly. The idle is erratic and it has a huge flat spot between idle and redline. In other words, it is not in tune and is unpleasant to drive. Despite numerous visits to the dealer to update the software (being a new generation car, it is unable to be tuned in the good old way : adjusting the mixture in the carburettor, adjusting the valves etc.), but these visits prove fruitless and the car has NEVER run properly. Independent mechanics are unable to adjust the tune because Holden will not release the software to tune the engine to non GM-H mechanics. The car is currently doing about 25 MPG, which is unacceptable for a 1.6 litre engine.
In November 2004 the gear linkage broke, leaving me only 3rd, 4th & 5th gears. The linkage components from the firewall to the gearbox were made of plastic, yes, plastic. These were replaced under warranty with components made of metal, surely a tacit admission by General Motors-Holden that the original linkage components were sub standard. However, I was not compensated for the loss of a day's income, due to the fine print in the warranty conditions enabling Holden to avoid make such compensation.
December 2005, and the clutch slave cylinder failed, so I couldn't change gears. Back to the dealer, unfortunately, to have things repaired under warranty. Should have been a straightforward job. With any other dealer, it surely would have been. On the second day of this job, they called me to say that the clutch plate and pressure plate also needed replacement. Given that the clutch assembly was out of the car, it made sense to replace it now than in another few thousand k's. However, this stellar service department in this Authorised Holden Dealer had broken the steering column, the ignition lock and the brake light switch on the brake pedal during the job. They were unable to expalain how they managed to break the steering column while working on the clutch. The vehicle was returned after 4 days. They offered a loan vehicle for the 3rd day.
In April 2006, the rear shock absorbers failed (at 95,000k's). These were replaced under warranty, at the third visit to the dealer because they kept ordering the wrong parts. Three days after the shocks were replaced, one of the lower mounting bolts fell out, allowing the shock absorber to grind itself against the wheel while I found a spot on the freeway to pull over. After 3 phone calls to the dealer, they arranged a tray top truck to take the car to the nearest Holden dealer to have the problem fixed. They didn't replace the shock absorber, only the bolt. I'm still waiting for the shock to fail after the grinding against the wheel.
In May 2006, the entire braking system was replaced, not under warranty : front discs, rear drums, pads, shoes, slave cylinders and assorted retaining springs etc. Now, In June 2006, the retaining spring for one of the rear has broken, meaning that the brake shoe is loose inside the drum and once again I'm driving to the accompaniment of the Holden Combo Grind. And I also have only 3 operating brakes.
The factory-fitted Blaupunkt CD/radio has a terrific sound, but the controls don't respond to the first input, requiring me to press them over and over, causing an unsafe distraction while driving. Sometimes, the only way to get the radio to work is to eject the CD, even if the CD isn't playing. More "German quality."