Commenting on the suspension setup (what a shocker!!) Toyota must have been aiming for a different market as the suspension setup was incredibly soft and did not give me confidence throwing the car into corners at speed. The holden commodore has a much better suspension setup and is more suited to our driving conditions in NZ and Aus. It was a company car brought over from Aus...
I've only owned my 95 VS Lexcen 4 Months, but touch wood have had no problems since the transmission (Auto) has been replaced. There is a slight squeal from the engine pulleys even after being replaced. All-round a good reliable vehicle.
The comment saying Holden 'scabs' Astras from Euro companies is wrong. What happens is GM Australia (Holden brand) importing different models from the much larger GM Europe (Opel brand there). Sharing products around the world within the same company is expected.
I am constantly amazed by the confusion the Toyota-Holden product sharing arrangement of the 90s created among some people.
I own a 93 Toyota Lexcen VP, just referring to the squeaky pulley, I had mine replaced a couple of months back, and ever since then it has squeaked. I used talcum powder on the pulley, the noise then stops.
I bought a one owner VR series 2 Lexcen with 250k 3 months ago. It has been nothing but trouble.
I have replaced the radiator, thermostat, fan, fan switch and relay, fuel pressure regulator, fuel filter, air filter, plugs, one engine mount, two tyres.
It was getting hot under load, that ended up being the blocked radiator.
It was using 18 litres of fuel per 100kms around town, that is now down to 14 litres per 100 kms, (around town), after changing the fuel pressure regulator, good on fuel on long trips though.
Sometimes it was hard to start and blew heaps of black smoke until the revs got up to normal, that was the fuel pressure regulator.
Given the choice again, I would never have bought it.
I recently bought a 1995 Lexcen VR. 194,000 kms. So far, it drives like a dream. I was lucky I guess it was garaged and the interior is spotless. I hope I don't get these problems, however it is a 1995 model. I will maintain this vehicle, and with some luck it does not go down hill. But for right now, it's not bad at all.
I had the CSI and the VXI versions of the VS Toyota Lexcen and have not many problems with them. It seems that as soon as you put a Holden badge on them they have a huge amount of problems even though they're made by Holden.
I had 2 VSs, an Acclaim and an Executive, they were both unreliable, they would cost a lot when having them serviced because so many things would 'play up' or go wrong. The Acclaim would overheat all the time, the Executive would cut out when you were driving on the highway at a steady speed and the A/Cs were dodgy in both cars.
The Lexcens didn't seem to have these problems (replaced the fuel pump and fuel filter in the VXI), but the fuel economy was not great, but I didn't have to push these cars at all to overtake which was good.