2003 HSV Clubsport 5.7 from Australia and New Zealand


Very dissapointing


Seems to leak fluids from every possible place in the car.

Central locking a constant problem; works sometimes.

Has a water leak from the floor that the dealer cannot find, making the car practically useless in wet weather.

Alternator died - the car had to be towed to a dealer.

Driver's side power window failed.

Engine bay is a mess because of constant oil seepage.

Air conditioning stopped working one summer (nice and handy in Western Australia).

Water pump was replaced under warranty.

Still has a coolant leak somewhere.

Wheel alignment has not been right since taking delivery.

Has a shocking appetite for front tyres.

General Comments:

A disappointment. Performance is great when it goes, and it is very comfortable, but I have lost confidence in it. Any long trips we do are undertaken in my Wife's Subaru Liberty. Now at least we know we'll make it there.

Having said that, the dealer has been very sympathetic, and has tried very hard to rectify my car, supplying a loan car whenever required. Will probably sell or trade it soon on another Subaru or Mitsubishi.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th December, 2006

2004 HSV Clubsport VZ 6.0 V8 from Australia and New Zealand


I just wanted one, I just got one and I’m not giving it up!



General Comments:

This car cost me $52000 including on road costs. Guys (I don’t expect any ladies will be rushing out to buy a Clubsport) you have to drive one to believe the performance. I traded a VY SV8 for this car (the SV8 has the same performance specs as an SS) and the difference is like chalk and cheese. Not that I am bagging the SV8, it was great value for money and very nice to drive, but the SV8 and the SS are not in the same league. The SS 5.7 needs revs to perform and unfortunately I’m forced to drive an auto (knee problems) so it doesn’t match an XR6 turbo off the line. The Clubsport is neck snapping from zero Ks and it just keeps getting better all the way to 7500 rpm, at least that’s what the tacho says. It is so smooth all the way to the tyre screeching change that you don’t even notice the revs.

Strangely, the ride is better than the SV8, it glides over bumps and small irregularities, but still doesn’t hop around on bumps and the roll is minimal. The 19 inch low profiles grip better than anything I have ever driven, but at $650 a tyre for the Pirellis I think I’ll have to compromise next time.

I am a lead foot; you don’t buy a Clubsport to drive it like a shopping trolley, I’m going to get every dollars worth of performance out of it until I buy another one. Fuel consumption ranges from 10 L per 100K on the highway to 17 L per 100K in heavy city traffic (no freeway driving included). You can expect a mix of half heavy traffic and half freeway to average out at 14L per 100K.

Everyone comments that this car has the most comfortable seats that they have sat upon. Both front seats are 4 way electric and hold you in extremely well when driving hard.

The Clubsport auto is exclusive to HSV (not in Aus Holdens) and is quite different from the SS auto. The changes are very quick and hard acceleration changes from first to second break traction for a second until the traction control takes over. If you’re making a slight turn at the time it can be very disconcerting to have the rear end step out so quickly, that is, until you are used to it. The traction control combined with the electronic throttle control make the auto quicker to 100K than the manual.

This is the last Clubsport before the next generation of Holden is released so you will find the instrument layout looks dated. Like most Clubsport owners I’m disappointed with the exhaust note, I would at least like it to sound like a V8 at idle, but I suspect that HSV had to strangle this model a little so they can produce a 350KW model down the track. The US version in the Corvettes produces 350KW. A six or even a five speed auto would cap this car off nicely. The ratios in the four speed produce 50K per 1000 revs which is way too high for cruising. No OHLINS and standard HSV brakes are well worth considering if you aren’t on a race track. I haven’t experienced fade and it handles and stops better than you can imagine.

How did I pay only $52000 for a Clubsport? Heavy discounting by GM and HSV has taken the price down to $50000 plus on roads and I have a GM Mastercard. If you haven’t got one then get one! GM offers up to $3000 cash back or a reduction in the price (good for leasing) if you accumulate the rebate using the card. 10% of the value of everything that you buy with the card will be added to your rebate balance. So far I have redeemed $6000 in the last 3 years.

Overall? Tell me where you can get all of this for anywhere near $60000, you won’t get as much bang for your buck anywhere near the price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th April, 2006

11th Dec 2008, 18:16

How could you be so sexist as to say you don't think any women will be running out to buy this car. I own a 2007 STI (will beat you from 0-100) and my girlfriend owns the HSV. So guys, don't think you are the only gender that can afford or loves and drives performance cars!!! Get into the 21st century!!

3rd May 2010, 04:05

Great review and good tip on the GM Mastercard. I will have an HSV one day, and that will make the purchase a little easier!