2002 Holden Commodore SS owner review

R B
Author
Published
PROS
  • Great value
  • Performance and handling
  • Reliability
CONS
  • Could have had more power
  • Inaccurate fuel gauge
  • Terrible view when reversing

About the Holden Commodore

R B purchased this Holden Commodore new with additional options for $40,000 (including all on-road costs). R B would buy this car again because: “Absolutely. Easy to drive, cheap to service and work on, extremely reliable, spare parts are cheap and for a V8 rather good on fuel turning over 1600rpm at 110km/h in sixth gear. Solid construction, comfortable seating and driver position, with enough features not to take away from the driving experience.”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

180,000km and all it has required was a rear main seal (extremely common), the recall for excessive oil consumption under warranty, and a clutch. All fixed by Holden under warranty without an issue and no further issues.

Plastic tanks on the radiator do eventually give out and the plastic heater taps are a very well known issue, so I’m surprised that someone hasn’t made a full metal one aftermarket.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

I couldn’t be happier. The car is very reliable, cheap to run both fuel- and maintenance-wise, great for the family (wife and two boys under nine), comfortable on long highway drives with good power to get out of trouble when you need to, insurance costs are reasonable as too are registration costs.

It can still hold its own compared to competitors 20 years later and still turns heads

How has the purchase and aftercare experience been with your car?

Holden and the dealership were always great to deal with. They both stood well behind their product and never questioned several warranty issues I had, including the major one of excessive oil consumption which was a well known issue of the first LS1s back in the day.

Mine was drinking 1.0L of oil per 100km. I was very proud of both entities standing behind their product

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

In 2002 a world-class V8 that could take on the might of top-spec European exotics for $40,000.

ABS, IRS, traction control, cruise control driver, and passenger airbags, excellent air-con, awesome handling and stability, amazing refinement along with both interior and exterior design and ergonomics still to this day makes it a great vehicle

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

Back in 2002 it was truly world-class. Fast forward 20 years and while it might not mix it with what is new in the marketplace, it holds its own being lighter and smaller than the VE/VF Commodore by 200kg so it still has great fuel economy and power-to-weight ratio.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

Back in the day it was a world-class vehicle, once again fast forward 20 years and now it’s lacking.

That’s not to say it can’t hold its own. ABS, IRS, Traction control, cruise, LS1 V8 engine, six-speed manual transmission and both driver’s and passenger airbags still show it is a safe and sure-footed vehicle.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

It is very comfortable, with sports hugging/great cushioning seats that give you a great seating angle behind the wheel, as well as similar passenger seats front and rear.

The FE2 suspension is subtle enough to soak up pothole county goat tracks that the government insists on calling roads and highways. The wheel and tyre combination works well in the city, highway, and spirited driving.

Body roll is surprisingly good for the size of the vehicle and the upgraded rear suspension for the Series II helps even more

Do you have any additional comments about your car?

Value for money, looks are timeless with curved body lines, reliability, great base for a project car make this SS an all-time favourite.

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Ratings
Overall9.3
Show Breakdown
Technology 8
Reliability 10
Ride & Handling 9
Price & Features 10
Purchase & Aftercare 10
Performance & Economy 8
Ownership Experience 10