1996 Holden Commodore Reviews

1996 Holden Commodore Equipe 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2011
Engine and transmission 3.8 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired199000 miles
Most recent distance234000 miles
Previous carHolden Commodore

Summary:

A true milestone in Aussie motoring, for refined yet eager performance

Faults:

Car required new panhard rod rubbers before purchase! The rear end was wandering badly. This is not uncommon in 200k plus vehicles.

Odometer was not working at purchase. Again, not uncommon at these k's. Speedo was, so watch for it when buying - it caught me out.

Some front and rear suspension rubbers required replacement upon inspection.

Rear discs were worn and required replacement, an easy job if you have a big hammer.

Water pump pulley seized at 210,000 busting serpentine belt. Replaced pulleys and belt with Gates.

Water pump started leaking badly at 218,000. Easily fixed with ebay purchase and minimal tools.

Rubber on keys perished and useless in no time. Replacement silicone rubber kit is available and really cheap. Keys now like new, for under $40.

General Comments:

I love this car because it is the last of the raw yet refined Holdens.

No ABS, no airbags, no stability program, no intrusions of the electronic kind. Even the electronic beeps aren't too annoying.

Several features alone make this a great car to live with:

1. The headlights switch off when you open the drivers door. No stupid electronic warnings, and you can leave your lights on all the time if you wish with no fear of a flat battery. Brilliant.

2. Two stage central locking, a great safety feature.

3. Fantastic brakes with awesome feel.

4. Cheap to buy, cheap to run and fix (if you're handy).

5. Drives as smooth as butter (if it's a good one).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2011

1996 Holden Commodore SS 5.0 V8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 5.0 V8 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired97250 kilometres
Most recent distance113400 kilometres
Previous carHolden Barina

Summary:

Could've been a great car, if Holden cared about building them properly

Faults:

Sagging headliner.

Driver's side window wouldn't stay on track.

Door window seals falling inside doors.

Rear windows slowly dying.

Carpet lifting/poor fit.

Door rattles.

Dash rattles.

Useless air conditioning.

Average brakes.

Awful ride on anything but a perfect surface.

Doors moving/creaking within body structure.

Bad water drainage design in boot-lid (need to hold a cup under the boot-lid to open it).

Constant vibration through floor and steering wheel above 85kph, despite 2 sets of tyres, balance, alignment, reconditioned drive-shaft, 4 new shocks and new upper shock mount bearings.

General Comments:

This was a 2 older owner, low mileage SS.

It was completely stock, right down to the factory exhaust and 16 inch rims.

Full service history from Holden, regularly maintained by the factory from new.

This car was never a "thrasher" that most of this age have long since ended up as.

Looked good, sounded good, went like stink, handled pretty well, and was comfortable and had plenty of room.

Some of the things I can maybe understand, being 13 years old when I bought it, but even then, so many other cars at that age don't, especially the maddening vibrations at highway speeds. And being on the highway every day, it just wore too thin for me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th November, 2010

1996 Holden Commodore SS 5.0L V8 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 5.0L V8 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 kilometres
Most recent distance340000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

The way V8's were meant to sound!

Faults:

Automatic transmission replaced @ 220,000km.

Suspension/shockers serviced/replaced @ 250,000km.

Ignition barrel replaced @ 275,000km.

Some computer/modulator-related component (?) replaced @ 300,000km.

Engine mounting bracket replaced at 310,000km.

Ignition coil replaced at 335,000km.

Some minor oil leaks now, but @ 340,000km who cares! Still gets oil change every 10,000km. Rarely needs top ups.

A couple of fuel pumps, water pumps, and a new air conditioner along the way.

General Comments:

Good fun car to drive. As soon as you turn the key, you know you're sitting behind a real V8! Great note, great feel.

Handling great on sealed dry roads. Can be a bit dicey in the wet, or on gravel.

I've driven well over 300,000km in this car. I keep saying 'I will upgrade soon', but this it just keeps on going! (I have always used premium fuel, which probably helps...)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2009

1996 Holden Commodore Equipe Series II 3.8L, V6 from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1996
Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 3.8L, V6 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.4 / 10
Distance when acquired221400 kilometres
Most recent distance263600 kilometres
Previous carMazda 2

Summary:

Worn a little, loved a lot!!!

Faults:

Hi All.

I have a VS Equipe V6 and have had lots of fun with this one! These are the main ones.

The buttons have well and truly worn away on the key. Everyone I know has had a worn out key. My Mazda 2 had "hard" plastic buttons not these rubber ones. Why haven't Holden changed this after over a decade of prematurely worn key buttons?

Just a few months after buying my VS through a dealer (hmmmmm...) one of the bearings on the drive belt (the one and only belt in the engine) locked up and flew off whilst I was on the freeway at 90km/h. Thankfully I realized that something was wrong seconds after it happened. I first noticed that I had lost power to my power steering, and the split second that I saw the temperature gauge rapidly climbing up, I pulled right over and popped the bonnet. Long story short, I stopped the engine just shy of over-heating and needed to get a new bearing and belt replaced & retensioned.

I had to replace the rear muffler recently, for $180. I realize that this is fair wear and tear on any vehicle, but I've had to replace exhausts on 3 of the 6 cars I've owned now.

The biggest, most expensive and definitely the most dangerous is the failure of the Booster Unit for the power ABS Brakes. I took it to 2 different places for a quote, and gladly the specialist of the two quoted $332 compared to a much higher $415.

General Comments:

As all Holden Lovers (and more specifically Commodore Lovers) do, I love my car at the end of the day, although I am becoming very concerned about the Auto Transmission now, as I've seen a lot of costly replacements, repairs and rebuilds on this site.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd December, 2008

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 15 reviews