2005 Holden Viva from Australia and New Zealand


Worse than a lemon


Timing belt at 45000km.

A/C problem (not sure how many kms).

Throttle body at 68000km.

Coil pack, spark plug, head gasket, oil pump at 70000km.

Oil pump at 72000km.

A/C problem at 76000km.

General Comments:

This is the worst car built, courtesy of Daewoo, slap a Holden badge on the front and you have instant brand recognition - BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, it screams, I am a mighty Holden. Wrong. I have had the misfortune of owning a Holden Viva for 2 years and something has broken down, on average, every 4 months. Holden service keep saying it's wear and tear, and I keep challenging; at 70,000km, no self respecting car should need the front end of the engine replaced. 3 months out of my 6 year extended warranty (which you of course pay extra for) the problems started, and Holden couldn't care less; their reputation it seems, doesn't matter to them.

It started with a timing belt, then it was dust on the throttle body, then a spark plug, later the coil pack, something or other in the A/C, the coil pack again, and head gasket and oil pump and timing belt, then the oil pump again, and just most recently a sensor in the A/C. In between all these repairs, the engine light comes on, several times, we take it to Holden, and they say it was "a bad bit of fuel" or "an anomaly, we can't reproduce it" - that is, until something else major breaks down.

I'm now $6,500 into repairs in 2 years, and have reached the point where I am trading it in for $5,800 because I can't afford to keep fixing Holden's problem child. More importantly, I'll never EVER buy another Holden, and I'll make damn sure to dissuade anyone I hear being silly enough to consider it.

Shame on you Holden, shame on you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th April, 2013

20th Apr 2013, 06:23

I agree, the Viva is a horrible vehicle. My ex had one that was purchased new in 2006 and sold privately in 2009 for $8K with only 25,000km on the clock. Although it was sold due to being surplus to requirements, it wasn't a pleasant car to drive. The auto transmission was one of the worst I've ever encountered. Slurry and sluggish gear changes. Poor paint quality. The top radiator hose kept blowing off and dumping the coolant. This once happened at traffic lights on busy Bowen Bridge Road in Brisbane and the car stalled in the process; took me ages to get it started again so I could pull out of traffic and call a tow truck.

I have a 2007 Focus that was used at the same time, and you couldn't compare the two; the Focus is far superior. I still have it and will keep it till the wheels fall off. The selling dealer told my ex during the purchase of the Viva that it was 'the Australian version of the Astra'. Hahahah, yeah right. Played on the fact my ex knew nothing about cars.

7th Mar 2015, 00:42

Holden Viva JF (2007).

I disagree with some of the comments. The car has been extremely reliable for over 7 years (bought new) and is still going well.

8th Apr 2015, 13:11

I totally agree 100%... I HATE my Viva!!! Nothing but problem after problem... I have spent $2,000 in total on repairs in the past 2 years, and now the engine light flashes like a disco light non stop!!! My air con has completely died and they want $950 to fix it!!!

I WILL NEVER EVER, EVER, EVER BUY A HOLDEN AGAIN, AND WILL MAKE SURE NO ONE I KNOW BUYS ONE!!! What's sad is Holden has wiped their hands of helping me any more with my car!!! They actually said it's a total lemon the last time I brought it in... Too bad I spent all my hard earned savings on buying this car brand new in 2007!!! I feel sad, angry and sick thinking about it!!!

15th Oct 2015, 09:53

The engines in these cars don't last long and can now be found in Holden's new 4WD vehicles. I've never seen an engine that requires a total strip down to replace a water pump. This is what the Free Trade Agreement did to us, replaced our good manufacturers with O/S junk that is basically unfixable as it is 'junk'.

7th Nov 2015, 06:50

Although we have made some pretty good cars here in the past, and most better than this rebadged Daewoo rubbish, don't get too nostalgic for Aussie cars, past or present, as some were really bad! (Remember the Camira, actually, better to forget it!) And some of the imports these days are really good.

27th Aug 2016, 05:40

Hi. Well I love my Viva and reckon you guys probably did not keep servicing it properly. I am a foreigner in OZ, and have had a great experience with my Viva.

2006 Holden Viva JF 1.8L from Australia and New Zealand


I like the car, but I regret buying it and getting rid of my previous car


Intermittently went into limp mode.

Stalled while slowing at a set of traffic lights, while the engine was running at normal temps.

Clunking and slow transmission.

Rear suspension struts "cracked" & "leaking" at around 15,000km.

Suspension still seems dodgy.

Loud ticking/clicking from engine at idle that the dealership seemed to not want to investigate. Took it in for service, they listed in their "Recommendations section : Rear brakes need to be replaced within 3,000km, engine noisy on idle."

Rattles in doors.

General Comments:

Pretty bad blind spots due to the shape of the rear pillars, which you get used to over time.

Unless you have a window guard/shield, don't even bother putting the windows down when it's wet, unless you want the water to leak in all over your electric window controls.

Fun easy car to have/own when it is operating correctly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2011

12th Nov 2014, 12:50

Same... will never buy a Holden again.