1997 Holden Commodore Executive VS Series II ECOTEC 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


A joy to drive, especially over longer distances, if cared for and maintained


Car would not start cleanly, as fuel injectors were very dirty when the car was purchased.

A hole blew in the exhaust piping, and was replaced with a larger system.

The brake lights have blown quite frequently. Have not been able to find the cause of the problem.

The front windows (manual type) have become difficult to wind down and up.

General Comments:

The V6 engine has fantastic power in most cases, but loses a substantial amount of power when the air conditioning is operating. Also tends to struggle on hot days.

The automatic gearbox can be clunky, especially when slowing down and then accelerating from low speeds in a hurry however it uses overdrive fantastically well.

There is a significant amount of understeer, at low speeds. This is compensated by the relatively light weight of the car when compared to other large cars.

The suspension performance is very poor. The rear springs too soft, and this model (Executive) does not include independent rear suspension.

The overall driveability and dynamics of the car are good. It is extremely dangerous in the wet in the wrong hands. There can be high speed instability in high levels of cross winds.

Internal comfort excellent. No complaints.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2005

17th Aug 2005, 02:04

> The brake lights have blown quite frequently. Have not been able to find the cause of the problem.

Buy original Holden brake light globes -- the filaments are thicker (or so I've heard) and they last much longer. It's false economy to purchase 3rd party brake light globes.

1997 Holden Commodore VT 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Built like a brick


Nothing ever went wrong with this car.

General Comments:

The VT was a really good, refined & powerful car. 3 months after I bought it new, I was involved in an accident that wrote off both cars (my VT and a minivan)

I was traveling along a straight road at 80km/h when a minivan who was supposed to give way to me went straight through the intersection and T-Boned my car. I spun right around across the road, through a wooden fence, rolled it 3 times through large bushes and landed on the wheels with the hood of the car crumpled around a large gum tree.

The moral of the story is that the car was totally wrecked. the roof was gone, the back end was gone, the bonnet was totally smashed... It was about as wrecked as a car could be.

I WALKED AWAY from the accident, totally unhurt. The car was so well designed that I had to actually swith off the engine when I got out... it was still running! I couldn't believe that a car could stand up to such an accident and the engine would still run afterwards.

Congratulations to Holden.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th May, 2005

29th Jan 2006, 21:39

They are called crumple zones. Better a written off car than dead. These cars have excellent safety ratings.

20th Nov 2006, 03:47

Decent cars are supposed to cut-off the fuel pump in the event of an accident to prevent a fire. You were at great danger of the car going up in flames..

3rd Oct 2009, 22:01

It would have cut off the fuel pump after 10 seconds, our VX does the same according to the manual. 10 seconds after airbag deployment, the doors unlock, fuel pump is turned off, and the interior light comes on.

1997 Holden Commodore VS 3.8 ECOTEC from Australia and New Zealand


Everything you need in travel car, and plenty of fun for the mechanical enthusiast.


Window trim became loose and eventually fell off due to use of electric windows.

Stock speakers in the car began to sound as though they were tearing when listening to heavy bass (replaced speakers) Near impossible to remove door trims to replace speakers.

Power steering takes about 5-10 minutes to warm up, once it has warmed up however it is great.

The fuel efficiency is not fantastic for someone on a budget, generally around 430km per 59L tank, possibly more if you treat it very gently.

General Comments:

Comfort is something that this car scores highly on. The seats in the front and back are quite spacious and deep, allowing for maximum relaxation.

The storage capability of the car is nothing incredible, the Wagon variant ofcourse will have a much larger boot space than the Sedan.

Power isn't superb, but it does have a lot of guts for a stock family car. With any improvements eg: Exhaust, Supercharger - the car will pump out some notable power.

The 15" Alloys come stock on the Equipe models and provide a reasonable level of fashion. The best part about these rims is that insurance will not cost any extra for them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2005

14th Oct 2005, 04:37

I only get 350kms to 51 liters of fuel and that is with all new filters and plugs.

20th Jan 2006, 01:18

You guys must have duds. My 1997 VS Acclaim V6 gets at least 500 kms to a tank city driving! If I was getting your mileage I would be concerned. Heck, even my 2nd car, a 1985 VK Commodore 3.3 carby, gets over 450 kms to a tankful too!

27th Dec 2006, 01:57

Get the electronics checked out! My VN was really bad with fuel until I got a new O2 sensor.