2008 Holden Viva Wagon 1.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Re-badged Daewoo rubbish


CD player swallowed CDs.

Plastic trim loose, scratches easily, and on the the odd occasion, falls off.

Auto trans slow to shift, and caused the car to stall suddenly when warm.

General Comments:

The Viva wagon I had was an 2008 silver example, which was a lease company car.

First impressions of the Viva were that it looked quite nice (compared to previous company cars we had). My first ever drive was like, OK, this isn't actually better than my last car (an 04 Corolla GL wagon). Doing the jobs I did in the Viva was OK, but I could only listen to one CD, as I put one in, and it wouldn't give it back (even though I don't have the car anymore, I still don't have my CD back).

The last 3 months I had the Viva, it developed a stalling problem. Sitting at the lights, light goes green, accelerate, car stalls, shift to N, start car, continue on. The Viva would only do this in hot days. The problems were still not rectified by the time the car went back to Holden, so I feel sorry for whomever owns it now :(

For a 1.8, it developed a pitiful amount of power for a car this size. I once got over taken by a car and caravan on a long trip, because the auto wasn't sure what to do, and the car had a full load, which didn't help.

Overall, the Viva is a cheap alternative to something decent. Our company now has Corolla wagons (again); need I say more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th May, 2011

11th May 2011, 06:13

Totally agree with everything here after my experiences with my partner's Viva hatch in Brisbane. However the only time it stalled was when it dumped all its coolant on the road at traffic lights. I have a review on it here. As I said in my review, buy a Corolla instead!! These Daewoo Holdens are rubbish.

24th Jul 2013, 05:41

Can anyone tell me what type of low beam bulb (outboard) is used on a Holden Viva? Is it an H7 55w? The manual doesn't provide bulb specifications.

7th May 2019, 14:04

Yes, it is an H7, both inboard and outboard lights use the H7. Suggest you replace with the H7 +100 or +120. Much better lighting.

2005 Holden Viva 1.8L petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Buy a Focus or Corolla instead, please


In the short time it was owned, the top radiator hose came off twice, the second time dumping all the water in one hit with no warning, which caused the engine to stall at traffic lights. It eventually started, so it could be driven out of traffic and the temp gauge finally shot up. It had to be towed to the dealer to have all the hoses and clips replaced. The head gasket appeared to be OK afterwards, despite the overheating.

The automatic transmission was very slow to shift, and didn’t give the feeling like it was going to last very long at all.

Paint very easily damaged. Alloy wheels were hard to clean.

General Comments:

This car is a rebadged Daewoo Lacetti hatchback. It is also known as the Buick Excelle HRV (China), Chevrolet Optra5 (Canada), Chevrolet Lacetti (UK & Europe) and Suzuki Reno (USA). This one was built in Korea.

This was my partners car, and it was purchased to replace a fuel guzzling 2004 Holden Commodore wagon. My partner is not cluey on cars, and the dealer had the nerve to say it “was the Australian version of the Holden (Opel/Vauxhall) Astra”. They’ll say anything to make a sale. I heard Holden still sold twice as many Astras to Vivas, despite the higher price of the Astra.

The car was plasticky inside, and felt like a cheap lightweight buzz box, which it was. The engine was loud and gutless, not helped by the automatic transmission, which was the worst part of the car. It was sold to a work colleague for $8000, who proceeded to drive it from Brisbane to Mount Isa (nearly 2000km). Apparently it made the trip, despite the overheating it suffered when the radiator hose blew off in Brisbane. I’ve got a 2007 Ford Focus turbo diesel, which felt generations ahead of the Viva, but it did cost a lot more.

Holden have replaced the Viva and the Astra with the Cruze; another car that looks better than it drives.

The only plus side with the Viva is that it is cheap.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st April, 2011

2nd Apr 2011, 01:21

And to think they resurrected an old Vauxhall model name for this wonder of Korean design and engineering.

12th Apr 2011, 06:44

Yeah that's exactly what I thought when I first saw the ads for them.

6th May 2019, 13:14

Interesting what dealers tell one. When I (mistakenly) purchased a demo Holden Viva in 2008, I made a comment to the dealer that it was really a Daewoo. I had actually seen a Daewoo and Viva side by side at avcar park. He tried to tell me it was totally different. My 2007 Viva was a lemon (transmission, brakes, suspension, cruise control issues, not wanting to start) yet my father purchased a new Viva in 2008, and has done nearly 300,000k in it. Only major expense has been a new air con compressor at 285,000k. $1700 to replace. Why the vehicle is still going can only be put down to the mostly high speed highway driving he does at speeds anywhere between 100 - 130. And he is nearly 90!! Only issue now is that steering is getting very heavy. Have checked the fluid level. It has been suggested that initially, a full flush of power steering system should be done. Any ideas anyone?