1996 Holden CalaisReview
The Holden Vs Series Ii V6 Berlina —
Solid dependability with styling that has dated little in 13 years. She's still sexy to look at, but her paint is starting to fade and the clear coat has peeled in a few places. The engine has travelled over 214,000km and still going well although she is starting to feel her age a bit. Build quality on the VS is far superior to the VN of 88 thru 91, even though the VS has the same basic body shape and floor pan. The 3.8V6 ecotec engine still returns 10.5 litres per 100km in rush hour traffic (about 30MPG), with 9.5 l/100km (35MPG) on a trip over winding open roads. For a car with her milage and no engine work done, that's still pretty damn good. She had a fully rebuilt trans at 171,000 and now runs a K&N air filter and the next trick is to get the extractors and bigbore exhaust on and let her breathe properly. The uprated suspension and low profile tyres really let her take corners at far greater speeds than she could before. It certainly helps my kids car sickness issues and thats something to smile about too!! She's a ball of fun to drive - whether it's in a straight line drag against some boy racer in a rice rocket or around corners (on tarseal or gravel) or just cruising in the stop / go of weekday traffic - she'll just do what you ask, when you ask. That's all I need.
Primary Use: Commuting to work
Pros: Cheap spares, great build quality, reliability and flexibility of use.
Cons: The 4LDR5 gearbox can tend to be a bit fragile. Oil pumps and 3/4 gear frictions are common failings.
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