A good honest car
The brakes needed machining shortly after I purchased the car. Fixed by the dealer at no cost to myself.
Driver's side door card rattles a bit on rough surfaces. A bit annoying, but generally it has no more squeaks and rattles than any other car with similar mileage on it that I've owned (Honda included).
I set out to buy a big, comfortable and reasonably quick car, and the big Commie has more than met the brief. The interior is cavernous. It's the first car I've ever owned where the driver's seat is not pushed all the way back (I'm 6ft 4). Good driving position and excellent seat adjustment. I was also impressed with the steering, ride and handling. I test drove a Falcon and an Aurion prior to buying the Commodore, and it felt much more nimble through the bends. It's noticeably slower than the aforementioned rivals, but 180KW is plenty for me. It can still take your face off if you need to pass a truck!
As for reliability, I was aware that Holden do make the occasional "Monday Morning Special", but mine has been utterly bulletproof over the 20,000km I've driven it. I did buy a fairly high mileage, ex fleet car, which was a bit of a gamble, but so far, so good. A work colleague has put over 250000km on a VE with no mechanical issues, which bodes well for the future. Also, the service from the dealership has been excellent.
The only blot on its copybook is the ancient 4 speed automatic transmission. It's a bit dimwitted and unresponsive at times. The "sport" mode does sharpen it up, however it will chew through fuel if you leave it in that setting. Irritating.
Overall, a very good car. And a credit that a small company like Holden can make a car like this. Claims that Holden have "benchmarked it against the 5 Series" need to be ignored. It's a unique car, globally speaking (along with the Falcon, of course!). I'm an immigrant (Irish), and Australians should consider themselves lucky that their "bog-standard family car" is a big, fast rear driver. Had I stayed in Ireland, the best I could have hoped for on my wages would be a diesel Passat. I know which one I'd prefer.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd February, 2011