1996 Holden Commodore Reviews - Page 2 of 4

1996 Holden Commodore VS 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 3.8 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired124000 kilometres
Most recent distance126000 kilometres

Summary:

Basic reliable motoring with plenty of practicality

Faults:

Heats up quickly while waiting at traffic lights.

At 60kilometers per hour there is a whine in the rear differential.

Changes from first the second a little too hard.

Power steering whines when you turn the wheel.

Center rear stop light doesn't light up (simple globe replacement)

General Comments:

Whilst cruising then speeding up it picks up very quickly.

Generally comfortable to sit in.

Brakes firmly and it takes a fair bit of pressure to lock the wheels.

Feels a little heavy for its size, but I personally like it (the car is not hyper sensitive)

It would take a brave man to drive one at its limit continually.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th August, 2005

1996 Holden Commodore Executive 3.8 Ecotec V6 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.8 Ecotec V6 Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired55000 kilometres
Most recent distance398000 kilometres
Previous carHolden None

Summary:

Cheap, Powerful, and Reliable

Faults:

Head needed doing at 200,000km (expensive) and will need doing at 400,000.

Radiator went due to lack of maintenance by my dad.

Backfires on gas when it is close to needing a minor service.

General Comments:

For a naturally aspirated 6 its very quick.

Because its dual fuel its extrememly cheap to run ($15 to fill the tank depending on fuel prices)

Very reliable. It has only broken down once and that was due to overheating due to lack of maintenance.

It's cheap and it goes hard.

It can keep up with Turbo 4's running up to 12psi.

It has a fairly decent amount of torque off the line.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th February, 2004

21st Dec 2006, 07:11

You are asking for trouble with reliability and durability puting the holden v6 on gas!!!

1996 Holden Commodore VS 3.8L fuel injected from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 3.8L fuel injected Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired166000 kilometres
Most recent distance169000 kilometres
Previous carFord Laser

Summary:

Excellent 1st car. Powerful and reliable

Faults:

Previous owner had to replace coolant hoses and a gasket.

General Comments:

The car is an Adelaide Special Vehicles Commodore VS Series 2 ex-cop car.

Brilliant car. Last owner was stingy and never had it serviced. It's had a hard life.

Once I got the car up on ramps and changed the oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and the filters it ran wonderfully.

After I just got the car I found myself accidentally spinning the wheels. Much more powerful than Ford Laser.

Great car for beginners. I'm 16 and have just got my P's. I love it, as do my friends.

The car has performance mags, tinted windows, limited-slip diff, 215mm tires (rather than 205 stock), reprogrammed chip for faster take-off, FE2 police suspension, Adelaide Special Vehicles body kit, rear spoiler, thumping stereo with mp3 player, neons, dual airbags, ABS brakes, power steering, air-conditioning.

Best car ever. Holden all the way. Put your foot down and she goes hard. Stand-stills are a breeze.

Ride comfort is excellent, reliability great, fun factor is 100%!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2003

1996 Holden Commodore VS Series 2 Equipe V6 3.8 Litre ECOTECH from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1996
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission V6 3.8 Litre ECOTECH Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired54500 kilometres
Most recent distance67500 kilometres
Previous carHolden Gemini

Summary:

There is no other choice

Faults:

Alternator died at about 60,000 kilometers which was about $150 to fix at an auto electrician.

Sometimes my auto transmission can be sluggish and splutters around to find the right gear.

It shudders when accelerating in fourth gear over 80kmh which can be bad when overtaking on freeways. Both of these problems I have not found the answer for yet, but by using your power button and dropping the transmission to three it runs a lot better.

General Comments:

The VS is easily the nicest looking Commodore that holden has brought out and shows by holding its value so much better than the VR. Also a good VS is now the same price as some VT's.

My interior is in perfect condition and I intend to keep it that way with no faults at all from the cruise, electrics, Air Conditioning or dash.

The 147kw on a cold night really know how to take it from a stand still to 160+ kmh without even a struggle or a murmur from the engine. Its pick-up from the line is quick and smooth unlike the VN and I have no trouble beating new VY Commodores.

I have installed a sound system that includes a Sony head deck, 6x9's, splits and tweeters. A 600w Kenwood amp and a Pioneer 600w 12" sub.

I replaced the stock springs with Pedders Touring springs and new rear shocks were needed to cope with the smaller springs. The car looks awesome lowered. If you want to lower any commodore don't get a car with IRS as it wears the inner side of your rear tyres. I have the better radial tuned suspension.

I'm still a P-plater so insurance companies don't like me much. I have full comprehensive which stings me $1500 a year. That's on rating 3 in my name.

My last car which was a 1982 manual Gemini and since buying an Auto I really want the manual transmission back so VS buyers I recommend the manual transmission. This is not only for reliability, but also if you want to enjoy your car more.

I have plans of getting rims, either VX SS or big 18" VY SS. Also an exhaust system with headers (extractors) and possibly changing the cam and chip. All of that would see me with a 190-200kw V6 which would beat 5.0L V8's including VS Club Sports. This might have to wait until I'm 21, which is less than a year away.

Overall it is a great car to drive, the smooth handling, comfort, safety and power on top of the mechanical and economical side make this car a big thumbs up. I have no complaints although some series 1 owners do so get a series 2.

Expect prices to drop next year when the new V6 arrives just as the 5.0L did when the GenIII arrived in the VT series 2. Low kilometers is also good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2003

12th Oct 2003, 19:33

Sounds as though the torque converter won't lock up. May need to change it.

31st Mar 2004, 20:24

I've got a VS series 2 equipe as well... had the same problem with the acceleration on a freeway. It was a bit rough under hard acceleration on a freeway (particularly if I had a full carload and up a hill) and made a funny "choof choof" type of sound. Apparently the oil sumps in the VS was too shallow and I replaced mine with a deeper sump and it hasn't made a sound since.

Also I'm just curious... I'm 19 and I'm starting to modify it... which brand of extractors/headers should I go for?

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