15th Nov 2007, 07:52

I started my apprenticeship at a Holden dealership, and it taught me a lot of things. Most mechanics like them, they're real easy cars to work on, you don't usually have to go chasing little electrical demons around the place, and there's elbow space. I talk with other mechanics who whole heartily hate Japanese cars. Most Japanese cars are designed and built on a real tight budget. The engines are cramped and poorly put together with low tolerances, and the end product is a car that just don't last.

But they're not supposed to. Us kiwis and aussies like to get 20 years out of our cars. We see it as normal. Over there after three years they upgrade. So they don't have to design their cars to last. Most performance Japanese cars have high stressed engines, they go like rockets, but they just don't last long.

I've seen Toyota Tureno's and Levin's (the ones with VVTi) blow engines after 120,000kms! Sure they were thrashed, but so are Commodores and they go to 400,000kms.

The VN (1989) to VR (1995) Buick V6 engine is a low stress, long lasting, no frills motor. The Ecotec V6 has the same dimensions as the Buick V6 but is improved; slightly different metal used for the block, better balanced, better intake and exhaust, and still reasonably reliable.

Safety wise most Japanese cars are front wheel drive, and therefore less likely to crash, but when you do crash it's better being in a Commodore than a Camry or Japanese car. I had a Mazda Familia (323 in aus) T bone me at an intersection right in my drivers side door. In a VN Commie. The front of his car was crumpled back at least two foot; my Commo was fine. I opened the door and couldn't believe how little damage there was to my car.

({Comrade Marx}) Educated Bogan=>

23rd May 2008, 04:28

I was just reading the review, I agree with what you're saying I have had to replace a lot of things on my car, and things like the temp needle only working sparingly... mine does the same; I just bang the dash and all is good. The central locking is bad, as the codes never match up and the car doesn't recognize your remote. But I got my remote changed for 110, and mine works fine.

It's not a hoons car, though many p platers would disagree. This car is a 4wd in a sedans body... in other words it rolls more than a ball down a hill.

My car has newer parts on it than an off the line car; everything has had to be replaced, but I persevere as I love this car.

Your comments are warranted none the less, but I am a VP supporter till the day I die. For a car of 16 years, it's an amazing old girl.

15th May 2009, 04:19

I agree about how sturdy Commodores are - my 92 got rearended by a CITY BUS, and the boot did dent in, and the bumper fell off, but if I had been in some dinky thing, it would have been curtains for me... or at least severe injuries.

Bad points: it drives like a tank, and has virtually no pick-up. Speedo sticks, have to bang on the dash. Not very glamorous in looks. Good points: it drives like a tank, and is super solid. It's a real workhorse of a car.

I now have an 89 Calais with close to 400,000k that is still running strong, about to trade it in for another 92 Commodore with 200,000k - it really is a lot of bang for your buck!