2003 Holden Combo Van from Australia and New Zealand - Comments

5th Jan 2010, 18:07

Hi, I'm in Melbourne and have been looking at buying a Holden Combo. Perhaps a 2002 up to a 2007 model; whatever I find on e-bay or Carsales sites or in a caryard.

I am thinking twice now with reading all the reviews from this site.

If I was to buy a Citroen Berlingo, VW Caddy, Renault Kangoo, aren't these vans, being that they are European, expensive to maintain and service, including cost of parts also?

Please, if you have knowledge on this, I would appreciate your help.

God Bless.

24th Jan 2010, 10:39

I have the 2004 Combo and have gone through all the problems already pointed out by above posters, but the over heating and the crazy amount of oil the engine uses kills me.

Massive warning - Don't buy these lemons, and if you are unlucky enough to already own a Combo, get rid of it now before before it completely falls apart and crumbles.

Get some of your money back before it's too late.

29th Jan 2010, 16:57

I have had a 2003 Combo since new.

Gear linkages gone at 70,000 km.

Rear wheel bearings gone at 80,000 km.

Rear brakes gone at 90,000 km.

My girlfriend had a Barina 2nd hand from 15,000 km.

Remote central locking gone at 60,000 km.

Gear linkages gone at 70,000 km and 90,000 km.

Coil pack gone at 80,000 km.

Computer gone at 80,000 km.

Anyway, you can see the pattern from my listing and other listings. My experience with Holden dealers has been the same as the others, they "guess" what is wrong and I pay for it.

10th Feb 2010, 21:53

We had a 2007 Combo that has leaked exhaust since new, our local dealer could not find the problem. Our 2010 model has done 700km, it too is leaking fumes. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Other than that, the old one has been reliable and comfortable.

SJ.

22nd Jul 2010, 06:19

Being a Combo Driver for the past 5 years, I want to post my 20 cents.

If you are a florist and want to carry around flowers... it may be OK.

But as a tradesman's van... buy a real one.

It has a delay when accelerating, which is really bad at the lights when everyone else is passing you.

Going up hills, you need to drop it in 2nd and rev it out to 5 or 6 grand.. there goes the fuel economy.

At 120k I had problems engaging gears.. turns out to be the slave cylinder, which is located under the bell housing... so the whole gearbox has to come out... and you might as well do the clutch. The clutch plate was not worn, but the springs were broken.

At 130k the oil switch went.. oil over my garage floor.

We have about 6 Combos, and one of them has broken the gearbox linkage... Stupid plastic part about 4 times... The last time was twice this month.. Holden can't tell us why they break.

2 weeks ago, got hit up the back by a 96 Merc... Bye bye Combo, $15000 damage on a 5 year old 130k van.

Back panel scraping the rear wheels... I walked away from it... so it was OK.

Wouldn't get another one though.. This time we are looking at buying a real van.

31st Jul 2010, 18:47

Holden Combo 2006 models.

My gear linkage has broke 3 time in 7 months. Good job Holden, thanks a lot.

13th Oct 2010, 21:51

2003 Holden Combo: >:(

From the look of my emoticon, you can tell I'm not very happy.

I've now had the Combo taken to Holden for the 3rd bloody time.

1st time, it failed on me when the thermostat stuffed up; cost me over $900.

2nd time, my radiator started to leak heaps, and it was like a month after I got my Combo back all fixed up.

NOW: I find that there is a bit of carbon buildup in my engine, and the rocker cover is leaking all over the spark plugs. Grrrrrr.

NEVER EVER BUY A COMBO, UNLESS YOU LIKE TO WASTE MONEY.

30th Oct 2010, 02:23

Arrrgh!!! Now I am scared have this idea about turning a 2004 Holden Combo into a campervan. Found one - needs a new radiator, air con needs re-gassing, exhaust needs tweaking. The dealer is fixing all this, but that's all I know about it. I signed the contract on Thursday for pickup Wednesday. If I go through with purchasing this vehicle, do you think it will make it around Australia???

Dylan.

4th Jan 2011, 17:50

I have had the 08 model since new, and I'm really surprised by all these comments.

OK, it's a bit sluggish, but that's because I usually have a trailer attached; without the trailer, it's quick and handles exceptionally well for a van.

The servicing I think is a problem, and won't be going back to Holden because the cost is very steep, but really do you think that you are getting a better van if you buy a Citroen or Renault? They are all European, so of course they will be expensive.

I previously owned a Mazda Ute 07 model, and traded it for the Combo, and was the best move I have made, because the Combo is just great.

Also, a lot of the time people will only comment when they have a problem with their car, and considering the number of Combos on the road, there are an equal number of people who love their vans, and because they have never had any problems with them, they won't go on line and comment on them.

4th Feb 2011, 04:02

People have to learn all these Opel sourced vehicles (Astra, Barina, Zafira, Vectra, Combo) are all very crappy cars. When one comes into the workshop (no I don't work for Holden!) I refuse to touch it. Anything goes wrong with these cars, it is disappointing for us to tell the customer that we can't find the problem.

4th Feb 2011, 04:07

I posted the above comment. Remember the new Cruze/Daewoo Barina uses the same crappy motor used in the Astra and Barina. Even the Epica is bad - one had a computer replaced at 20000kms.

4th Apr 2011, 10:58

Very off topic I know... But I bought a Toyota Hilux SR5 2x2 Xtracab new in 1993 and have done 250000k in it.

Other than servicing it has never been in the shop. It has never broken down or refused to start. Everything in the cab still works perfectly, not even the cupholders have broken.

I was looking to replace it and was intrigued by the low cost of 2nd hand combos that are advertised everywhere and found myself here.

I feel for all you guys and thank you for saving me from what seems to be a dodgy purchase. I see another Hilux in my future.

Pay the extra money. It will be worth it. :)

20th May 2011, 01:45

I bought a 2004 XC Combo in 2009. It had excellent service history and drove perfectly; it seemed like a great car.

6 months later, the gearbox fails and needs replacement. Another 6 months and the computer dies - not just the ECU, but the BCM as well, and Holden still had a monopoly on the manufacture of both - for 5 years after release of model apparently.

Today it has overheated; hopefully it's just a thermostat issue, but even replacing that is a half a day adventure due to its backwards design. It drives OK in a straight line, but the tall, top heavy cart on thin track makes this small car rock like a wayward bus over undulating corners. Worst car I have ever owned, or even heard about.