7th Jun 2016, 00:01

I have to agree, I haven't had any problems with my 2008 Combo. It's a great reliable work car and I also converted the back into a camper.

11th Jun 2016, 07:23

I have Combo Van 1.4 2007 from new. Regularly serviced and never a problem; lacks some guts but only to be expected, the van is nippy and carries all I need. Also thinking of a small conversion into an overnight camper; would love some tips on conversion ideas.

17th Jun 2016, 03:55

2003 XC 1.6L Combo here, new oxygen sensors, new cam angle sensor, 2 x new ECUs, rear wheel bearings went (and I carry bugger all weight in it), gear linkage woes too.

Today the radiator decided to crack at one of the absurdly long mounting brackets on the radiator. If you own one and have never had a problem, well you are lucky, as EVERY other Combo owner I have spoken to has had similar problems, and even the local Holden dealer admits they are CRAP!!!

If you are considering one of these money pits, do yourself a favour and don't buy one, either new or 2nd hand.

30th Jan 2017, 08:28

I, too, have had a 2008 Combo from new, and likewise have had no significant problem with it after 80k km, except perhaps a sticky gearbox Did they make some drastic improvements in that year?


9th Feb 2017, 06:30

Combos are made in Europe, just like VW, Citroen Renault etc.

12th Feb 2017, 05:03

I made a review on the 3rd of August 2013 arguing that this van is reliable and seems to have had its name dragged through the mud by the very vocal few who have had problems.

Well I am knocking on 200k on my Combo and I am still very happy with it. In the time I have had, I have had to replace: 1x wheel bearing, 1x battery, new set of wheels (wanted to upgrade to nicer alloys anyway), 1x oil pressure sender switch and 1x water pump. Other than the last two, you can argue that those parts are pretty much consumables that shouldn't be reasonably expected to last forever.

It has never broken down. It always starts reliably. It continues to run smoothly. The gearbox is still going strong. There are absolutely zero electrical faults. Nothing has rattled and fallen off. I still get around 580 - 650km per tank, depending on fuel on driving conditions. The air-conditioning is still impressively effective. I have owned plenty of cars and none of them have given me so little grief for how much I have used it.

Early on I considered upgrading the Combo to a more modern and luxurious VW Caddy or Renault Kangoo down the track - which would be around about now. You know what... stuff that. VW are notoriously expensive to maintain and I still mistrust the reliability and longevity of French cars. My Combo may not be pretty, it may be a little slow and stuck in pre-historic times with windup windows and no central locking, but it has been the best I have owned and I'm not giving it up for something shinier.

16th Feb 2017, 19:34


What was the reason for the ECU replacement?

Ta, Scott.

18th Feb 2017, 06:21


I am buying a used 2008 Holden Combo minivan, can anyone tell me, are parts easy to find at car wreckers?

What are the main mechanical problems I could face?

Speedo is at 183,000, will only be using it for neighbourhood trips to hardware stores, picking up a new TV or take my small furry friend for drives to the post office.


29th Jul 2017, 07:50

It is a great van - I camp in it every week, make business deliveries, pick up long items with ease (freezer, sinks). It's a great use of space, very zippy and fuel economy is brilliant!

I have owned my Combo for 1 year now: 1.6L - 2004 model @ 150,000km.

Replaced gear linkages, radiator, and thermostat in the year. I am still very happy with it.

23rd Sep 2017, 11:11

Hi all,

I've just retired my 2002 Combo in for a 2009 model today. I love my "new" one (so far), but the radio is jammed "On" and none of the buttons will respond. I thought I'd try to put a CD in - which stopped the radio but now won't eject. I'm now not loving my favourite CD anymore let me tell you. No buttons to do with the radio will respond. Any quick solutions for me???

4th Jan 2018, 05:31

Surely Combos can't be that bad. There are plenty driving around. Maybe I've made a mistake, just bought one, a 2003 model, hope it's not as big a lemon as you are painting them.

Now biting my nails, Huey.

14th Jan 2018, 22:11

I have a 2004 Z16SE Combo, or Vauxhall; this model is an English import. It has the same problems as you guys. I have spent a ton of money keeping this thing on the road. The air con has manufacturing issues; they leak, it is a well known fact; many have told me including a Holden dealer; they advised to just replace it (that was the van, not the air con) because of the high cost to repair.

The ignition module will set you back over $1000 on this model, but they are repairable for less than half this price by an auto sparky with the right test equipment.

The timing belts break almost on the dot at 80,000, and working on the water pump requires half the car to be disassembled, and is a real nightmare to remove; I even bought the special tool, but ended up using a big bar and an even bigger hammer.

Now I'm dealing with the clutch pedal; the plastic clip holding the cable has broken, and I'm trying to get a 5th mortgage to have that repaired; advice, don't touch them.

I have been a Holden man all my life, I have bought most of their models and loved them; now the culture is a lotto win for the company if something small goes wrong with a Combo, as most dealers I have been to don't have a clue and or don't really want to work on them, as they are very time consuming, just with a minor problem.

Mine went in for a factory recall because the airbags just went off at random; it came back with a warning light on in the dash, service department didn't know what it was for, 3 trips and $135 each time as they claimed it was unrelated, but they claimed the engine would seize if I didn't get fixed. But I've been driving it for 18 months, so when it finally dies, it goes out for the verge collection.

2nd Jun 2018, 00:55

I have had a '95 SB Barina 5 door hatchback & currently have a '99 SB model. I have been content with both, which were built in Spain. Both secondhand with 50-60,000km when purchased. The first one was then serviced as per the book by my long term mechanic. Sold it close to 200,000 due to the smell of it burning oil.

The second one was taken to a dealer just after I bought it due to what seemed to me to be overheating in traffic, even on cool days. With quite a large bill I was told it was "OK, that's how they work!" (money for nothing), so back to just me & my mechanic, & I decided to change the oil & filters every 5,000km.

I have since moved to a country / coastal region & only problems (recently) were a leaking head gasket & rear shocks approaching 178,000km. I'm no expert, but felt the shocks were more of a captive repair job for the mechanic's gain, due to upcoming rego. I shut up & paid as my overall running costs had been so low over the years as well as good fuel economy. My only concern, in all of those years, was the occasional steep hill. Yeah to a bit more grunt, but even less grunt with the Combo Van due the shape. Did the 1.6L version perform any better?

Much travelling & sleeping in the back of both cars, but at 68 it's time to stretch out a bit in a Combo Van, so I thought, but now I'm very concerned due to all of the problems I have read about. I seek general reliability & spares accessibility at a fair price; especially so at my age & living in a "remote" area.

It now appears that they have become too complex for their own good over the years, with various suppliers building them in a number of different countries. Engines of 1.4L, 1.6L & back to 1.4L (why?). I love the simplicity, economy & reliability of the older SB models... at 68 I can still wind up a window! What's it to be now then, a new VW Caddy & getting caught up in more complex technology & high servicing costs? (bugger!)