Owner Review

1998 Holden Berlina review

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Let's just say the Holden is not only easy on the eyes – it's an Australian icon in motoring and for car enthusiasts. The VT Berlina 5.0-litre is the last Australian-built V8 engine (Not like the LS1 motor that gets slapped around more than an adult education starlet). At least with the 5.0-litre 304, every time the heavy foot hits the right pedal, the sound is of the true lion roar (while yelling "Eye of the Tiger").

The sedan's comfort is as good as it gets, being a family-size car, and it has just about everything you need on the electrical side of things. Electric windows, climate control, ABS, SRS, nice-sounding stereo (even having six speakers), option of the LSD and rear spoiler (hopefully it's still stuck on after all these years). Maybe the roof lining isn't sagging.

The reason why I have bought three of these models (Executive, Berlina and Calais) is that even with some small faults, it's still a great car to own. The car is like any other in servicing, but easy enough as its parts are available anywhere.

I've had both auto and manual combinations, and the auto suits me better. Old age has gotten the better of me. When I was younger, the manual suited me better because shifting through the gears really felt like you had full control.

One huge letdown is the placement of the distributor. If you don't want grazed knuckles that look like King Kong's after a night out on the town, I highly recommend taking it to a mechanic.

The parts in the VT through to VZ are mostly interchangeable. So if you do get bored, like a Carlton supporter does during each game, you can spruce up the interior/exterior for a more modern look. Not many Holden owners like this choice, but at the end of the day it's whatever the owner's choice is.

The VT was a huge success for Holden and the turning point up until the VF series. Even after 20 years, my VT is looking great and driving it makes me smile more than the fake dentists in those Macleans commercials.