1999 Holden Vectra CD 2.2 from Australia and New Zealand


A lemon


I have had the steering shaft and valve body (power steering related) replaced three times (most recently a month ago, out of vehicle warranty, but still under part warranty).

I have had the IAC (Intake air control) motor replaced three times. The fault causes the car to stall when downshifting - a very dangerous thing when moving through a roundabout.

I have had every window/door trim (external) replaced at least twice. The trim warps and lifts off at the door opening edge, usually breaking a clip in the process.

The timing sensor for the motor camshaft has been replaced twice (engine fault light comes on and stays on).

The car has very poor paint finish - the worst faults were fixed under warranty by a panel beater, as was the driver's side front door that wasn't aligned properly.

The latest fault involved the drivers side door lock failing. This was not covered under warranty.

I expect more things to fail and cost me more money. I have no faith in this vehicle.

General Comments:

This is the first new Holden I have ever purchased and whilst a very nice car to drive, I will never buy another.

The next car I will buy will probably be the new Mazda6.

My wife has owned a little Mazda 121 Metro, from new, for the same period of time I have had my Vectra (4 years) and has never had a days problem with it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st June, 2003

1999 Holden Vectra CD sedan 2.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A well featured, comfortable and enjoyable car


Nothing major has gone wrong.

I see a lot of people referring to a loud noise/vibration when they are taking off with low revs on. I don't experience this, but I do experience shuddering in the steering when turning the wheel while crawling the car (IE 3 point turns). Are they the same problem?

I get what I think is some pinging when the car is cold. It doesn't always happen, and when it does, it only lasts a minute. When I put my foot down, I hear rattles from the engine, I'm pretty sure it's pinging. I usually run it on standard unleaded, maybe I need premium, or maybe the fuel injectors need a clean out.

The standard CD player skips far too easily. I'm not sure if this is because the previous owner treated it badly. I will look into a replacement head unit sometime.

General Comments:

I am enjoying just about everything of this car. I bought it second hand at 3 years old, and it only had 23,000 on the clock. I've had it about 7 months now.

I have not experienced any of the stalling problems which appear to be a common complaint in these reviews. Perhaps the previous owner had this fixed, perhaps this car didn't have the problem. The car idles quite low compared to others I've seen - around 700 revs. It's never stalled or spluttered or threatened to stall.

The performance is very good, though it's not a drag race car. The engine has quite a bit of power down low, so you can cruise around without a lot of gear changing.

The gearing of the car is quite high, so 3rd, 4th and of course 5th gear are all useful on the freeway. However, in my freeway driving, I've only needed to change down for overtaking, not for climbing hills. The car pulls very well at the 1800 or so revs it cruises along at in 5th on the freeway.

The brakes I find outstanding. I haven't had much cause to crash stop in the car, but the one incident I did have to, it stopped very quickly. I have tried crash stopping on a quiet road, and it was very hard to cause the ABS to come on. I've heard that the Vectra has big front discs, and I'll believe it.

The brakes come with a downside - the front wheels get coated in dust pretty quickly. It comes off pretty easily if you wash it often enough. Even after a month, the dust just scrubs off with water.

The clutch and gearbox are good. The gearbox has a short throw, which I like. Sometimes it can take a couple of tries to get it in first when rolling to a stop at lights, though.

The handling is very good. The car sits quite flat, and it takes a lot of effort to bring the car unstuck. The traction control kicks in late, though I heard this was deliberate. Unfortunately, I usually beat it to backing off the power, and this can sometimes have the effect of the car losing a lot of acceleration because both the car and I reduce the power.

The interior is quite comfortable, I like the seats. There's not a lot of room in the back, though, but I rarely have passengers.

There is quite a lot of space in the car, though. I took the car skiing, and on the first day, I had four people (including me), plus all our luggage, plus ski gear for about 6 people in the car. The ski hole in the middle of the back seat was handy.

There are lots of little features on the car I haven't seen in others before: headlight angle adjusters, extensive system checking on start, including brake lights and fluid levels, etc. These aren't stunning features, but they can be handy.

The fluid warnings come on when you should put more in, not when the engine is getting dangerously low. I had a coolant level light come on. Sure enough, the coolant was getting low. I find this handy because I'm forgetful and lazy, and I don't like to spend all my time on the weekends going over the car.

There are a few little things with the car. The clutch pedal squeaks a little, the steering column squeaks a little. As everyone says, the driver's foot rest is too soft. It's fine for resting your foot on, but it feels like a sponge if you try to get some support out of it when moving yourself around.

There's no place to put my wallet / other stuff in the centre console. I don't have a need for the cup holders, so I would rather just have a hole there for my wallet!

Overall, I greatly enjoy my time in the car. I was choosing between this and a Pulsar SSS. The performance was virtually the same, but the Vectra was quieter, more comfortable and a more complete car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2003

18th Jan 2003, 08:42

Further to my review above, I want to mention the Air Conditioning.

I had seen a few people say that they didn't think the A/C was up to Australian conditions. I'd never had a problem before, it came on cold and strong.

However, today it was 42 degrees. My car is dark burgundy, so it sucks up the heat. The A/C just couldn't keep up, couldn't hack it. Turning the fan up to get more cold air through just brought more warm air through the A/C before it was able to do anything about it. If I turned the fan to full, I could feel it go from cold to very uncomfortably warm in about 20 seconds.

Because of the sun shining into the car and being absorbed by the body, the car was getting warmer faster than the A/C could cool the air. I will definitely be investigating any possibility of giving it a boost in the near future.

I've never had a car of my own with A/C before. Is this a common feature of most cars' A/C under such hot conditions?

1999 Holden Vectra JS CD 2.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


An absolute gem


It almost stalled once (1500km) and the dealer replaced the IAC. No problem since then.

General Comments:

I love this car. It's great looking with good performance and great handling. And despite being quite swift it has outstanding fuel economy. On a trip to Sydney from Melbourne it's easy to get 7.0l/100km on the freeway.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2000

5th Feb 2002, 04:00

A followup to this review... my car has now done 75,000km after 3 years, and has been fantastic. I still look forward to driving it, especially if I have had to drive anything else. The car still feels solid and performs well, and recently achieved 6.1l/100km on a 2 hour country trip, and 6.5l/100km on a 10 hour trip. Very impressive.

7th Nov 2002, 21:10

How much is this car I want one or two or three!!!

10th Oct 2003, 20:03

I have a 2001 Holden Vectra and it is an absolute rocket. We have had no problems with this car so far and the only complaint that we have is the quality of the Dunlop tyres that were on the car from new, they were shot at only 28000 kilometers. The handling is great, the finish is great and for a stock engine the performance is exceptional!

1999 Holden Vectra JS 2.2 litre from Australia and New Zealand


Catwalk supermodel


Dealer smashed hazard light switch, although replaced quickly.

Huge amount of dust from front brakes accummulates on front wheel covers.

Driver's footrest not firm enough

General Comments:

Great looking car, with deceptive performance. Very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th July, 2000

15th Jan 2002, 21:41

The brake dust may be annoying, and is a minor inconvenience offset by the excellent brakes which my Vectra has - certainly it is not a "fault"