HOLDEN ADVENTRA AND CREWMAN 2003 – 2009

2003 Holden Crewman SS


Holden Adventra was an early entrant in what is now called the crossover SUV market. That is a vehicle based on a station wagon, but with jacked up suspension and protection added to the body and underbody.

Its added ride height gives the Adventra a tougher look than the standard Commodore wagon. A restyle of the body, particularly at the front where the squared-off bumper gives it plenty a “tuff” look. At the rear, the tailgate has a back window that can be opened separately.

The Holden Crewman double-cab ute. It’s sold on 2WD and 4WD format, but we will only look at the 4WDs Crewmans here.

Neither was huge successful on the new-car market. We have said before that they are starting to show signs of becoming a latter-day classic. Prices being asked are all over the place at present, some may be highly optimistic, but let’s wait and see.

2005 Holden Adventra

They were rushed into production before fine tuning was completed so had quality problems in their early days. Chances are any mechanical issues have been sorted out by now, but have a look carefully at the body to see how it’s holding up.

Initially only a V8 engine was fitted because the then current V6 was soon to be superseded and the engineering budget wasn’t available to adapt the old engine to the new Adventra.

Holden Adventra was launched in October 2003, the V6s weren’t offered until March 2005. Crewman went on sale in January 2003 in RWD format.

The old Holden V8s engines guzzled petrol. The new-design V6 had almost the same performance as the V8 and used significantly less fuel. Then again there’s nothing quite like the feel and sound of a big old style V8.

Transmissions were all automatic; a four-speed unit is fitted to V8s. A then-new five-speed automatic was installed on the V6s.

2007 Holden Crewman Cross8

Adventra’s full-time 4WD system works reasonably well and not only offers plenty of traction on sand and gravel roads, but also gives added safety in slippery on-road situations.

These big Holdens are easy to service and repair due to their big underbonnet area. Don’t tackle the safety items unless you know what you’re doing. Even then, they are best left to the professionals.

There are plenty of Holden dealers Australian wide, even in remote areas. These vehicles are getting on in years so check in your local area to see if you can get them before committing to purchase.

Parts recyclers are an excellent source of spares for vehicles like Adventra and Crewman.

Insurance premiums are generally about average. It pays to shop around for the best deal – but check the fine print before making a decision.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Look for signs of off-road use or even bush bashing. The sills and bumper corners are usually the first to suffer. Look for scratches on the paint of the sides.

Get the Holden on a hoist, or crawl underneath if you want to save the cost of a hoist, for signs of damage, a real no-no if sumps have been hit.

There were build quality problems in the early days we suggest you should get an expert.

A full service record is handy in any vehicle, but quite a few will have been worked on by amateurs – some very good, others not so…

Check the tyres for damage, particularly on the sidewalls, they aren’t up to the hard life of heavy-duty off-road running.

There were power steering troubles in some early models. Turn the steering wheel fast with the engine running and the vehicle stationary. Movement should be smooth and easy.

During your test drive feel for steering that’s too heavy and also for it suddenly loading up.

Make sure the engine starts easily and doesn’t blow smoke when driven hard. After your initial drive allow it to sit and idle for at least a minute then floor the throttle. A big puff of smoke from the exhaust could indicate valve seal problems.

The four-speed automatic transmission can be harsher than average even when it’s working well, if you find one that seems too bad either give it a miss or ask for a serious price reduction.

The auto behind the V6 is a better unit. Again, be aware of any problems during your test drive.

A few we have driven had rattles in the rear tailgate on rough roads. Check ‘gate for signs of movement or even damage.

HOW MUCH?
Budget on paying from $3000 to $5000 for a 2003-2007 Holden Adventra LX8 or Crewman; $4000 to $7000 for a 2007 Crewman or a 2009 Adventra CX6; and $5000 to $8000 for a 2005 Crewman Cross 8.

RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/

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