1996 HSV GTS Series 2 VS 5.7 from Australia and New Zealand


13 years old, and it will out pace and handle 95% of the cars on the road today


The only fault I have had is the car has shut down when at idle.

It was eating the inside of the rear tyres due to the lack of camber adjustment, but this is fixed by fitting an after market 4 point camber kit. The cost of the kits is around NZ$150, and fitting is about $450.

All these & similar earlier models leak water into the boot via the rear quarter lights, and the fix is to remove them and reseal them. There is an excellent photographic step by step guide in the www.streetcommodores.com.au forum.

General Comments:

I can't rate these cars high enough. I had a 1996 HSV Clubsport with the 5 litre motor, but these cars are something else with the stoker set up. For the money they cost, and the performance and reliability you get, there is little out there to compare.

I have not & won't be modifying the engine, other than the fitting of a K&N filter.

It seems to run smoother when I fitted a HotEarth hyper grounding kit to the car; dyno testing shows around 5 extra KW from this simple mod. I guess it shows what a poor job the factory earth grounding was doing.

I have done quite a bit to improve the handling, which I thought was a bit soft, and find the car is now a revelation to drive. Improvements included KMAC's front camber caster kit, Koni adjustable shocks and new low King springs all round. Also the new kinked sway bar link pin were added. If your car has not had these done, they will be stuffed, a very cheap and simple job to replace. Bendix Ultimate pads I would recommend as well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2009

2000 HSV GTS 5.7 litre V8 from Australia and New Zealand


I owned many HSVs before my GTS, but after that one, never again (regretfully)


I had a number of minor issues, most of which were fixed under warranty. The first that wasn't was the control unit for the SRS system. A new module for that was $400.

Most serious was a broken valve spring occurring a fortnight outside of the warranty expiration. The single spring was replaced under warranty, but I was informed by the dealer that all springs should be replaced, which HSV would not cover. I chose not to replace the remaining 15 springs, as the bill quoted was $4,500.

Second spring broke 6 months later, and HSV would not repair it as I had not "maintained the vehicle sufficiently" and then they quoted me back that they had recommended replacing the other springs earlier in the year. After a lengthy argument they supplied the springs free of charge, but I had to pay the labour charge ($3,500).

A year later one of the replacement springs broke and this time I went outside the dealer network, to be informed that it was hardly surprising as the springs used were not up to the task and was shown volumes of data from the US on this. HSV declined to enter any conversation about this. I had all the springs replaced with gear from the US, installed for $1,200.

For those wondering how hard I drove the car, it had never seen a track, was my daily transport for rural and motorway journeys and my previous 4 HSVs had never had any of these engine troubles.

Then just to cap it off, the airbag warning light failed. Here's me thinking a new bulb and a bit of fiddling around in the instrument cluster and she'll be right. But no, it is an integrated unit and required the whole cluster to be replaced. That's not the worst news though, as HSV could not source a replacement. As the car was "an older model" and parts were not kept, HSV here and in Australia tried to wash their hands of it. So here I was with a $100k car (when new), that due to a light not illuminating on the dash (the circuit was proved to be fine) could not be warranted for the road and therefore was not deemed roadworthy. Bad enough, but it took the involvement of my lawyer before HSV would even talk to me about it. In the end a new cluster was provided ($1,500) via Siemens.

I sold the car a month later.

General Comments:

When it worked, and when I wasn't worried about what repair bill would come next, it was fantastic.

It went like stink, it handled like a small car, looked great, and I loved it.

Repairs and faults aside it was quite cheap on petrol (mainly as my driving was open road and the very tall 6th gear meant low-low revs).

Tyres however were a different story. As the rear wheels run a fair amount of camber the insides wear quickly, and I was getting 12-15,000 kilometres out of a set with regular rotation. And I repeat, I am not a hard driver.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th November, 2008