1986 Holden Commodore Berlina 3.0L from Australia and New Zealand


Adequate performance, excellent reliability


Positive Crankcase Ventilation hose had a hole and the fuel regulator vacuum hose fell off. I was using 22L/100km for a while.

Valve cover gasket is starting to weep.

Broken bolts in exhaust manifold.

Left rear transmission mount broken.

Ignition barrel is worn fairly badly and needs replacing. You need to manually turn it backwards after starting so the air conditioning, radio, wipers, etc will work.

Tachometer sometimes doesn't work at first, you need to tap it before it goes.

General Comments:

I was very impressed with it, seeing as it's 16 years old. Previous owner had tinted the windows, put a 2.5 inch exhaust and mags on it. It is immaculate inside and worth a lot more than the $4600 purchase price.

There's nothing major that is wrong with it and the minor problems could be attributed to irregular servicing.

Driving in it is very comfortable. The driver's seat is fully adjustable and includes lumbar support.

It is a very big target for car thieves. My car was broken into, and it was saved only by the immobiliser I had fitted.

Insurance costs are ridiculously high for me (17 male). The cost of comprehensive insurance is half the purchase price of the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2002

30th Jul 2003, 17:51

I suggest get a steering lock. My experience has been that the thieves will see that and forget about it.

1986 Holden Commodore SL 3.0L straight 6 from Australia and New Zealand


Immaculate condition


Replaced starter motor; besides that, nothing.

General Comments:

It has a 5 speed gear box, Chaser rims, Recaro racing seats, new paint job, all new electrics, limited slip diff, speaker holders from the door trims of a VX Commodore, Panasonic head unit, Pioneer 6 inch splits, Kenwood 7x10, Sony Xplod 800w amp, 15 inch Sony Xplod sub woofer.

The car is in immaculate condition, and runs really smooth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2002

1986 Holden Commodore Berlina Turbo 3.0 turbo 6 cylinder from Australia and New Zealand


Good bang for your bucks


The transmission was burnt out when I got the car, so I got a sports automatic transmission made: all new and stronger bands, stage II Dominator shift kit and custom valve train, all up $2000.

This model was produced with three different alternators, two of which were Bosch and one of those superior to the other, I got the dodge Bosch one which I have had reconditioned to the best of the auto-electricians ability ($80). However it still needs replacing at some stage and the battery I got with the car is too small, not that I've had much grief lately.

Occasional when on full throttle she blows a little grey/white smoke, probably need to replace the fuel system.

The radiator is leaking on one side, only minor.

12,000kms before I got the car the motor and turbo were fully rebuilt, not the best job though, original bearings should have been used.

General Comments:

It's a tough car, beating just about anything, except Holden Special Vehicles Generation threes, but I'm working on that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st June, 2002

23rd Dec 2002, 23:46

Hi, I own a 1986 Vl Berlina, it has just had the block replaced, but, do does anybody know any other manual commodore that will do 120km/h in 2nd gear. Nissan 6 is silky smooth and super responsive. Blows a little white smoke when charging hard, but that's always a good sign that your engine is working properly. great car, great looks.

17th Sep 2003, 23:32

I owned an 1986 VL Berlina Turbo 5 speed. Best car I've ever owned. So much power, and still economical/versatile. I had it at similar speeds in 2nd, but it also had long legs on the highway too. I had it off the speedo with plenty more to go, but didn't kick it harder as she was getting real light to steer at 200kms plus. Wish I never sold her to go wandering around the world. I am looking for another, but they are rare in manual and people seem to hold onto them. I reckon one day they'll be collectable (my opinion).

20th Oct 2003, 20:54

I have a 1990 skyline wagon and I also looked at a VL commodore. Must say that the skyline is a much better option. It's done 218000kms and has never had any problems.

25th Mar 2004, 05:00

Have had my 88 VL 5 speed commodore from new. The engine is 3.0L Nissan. To say that this is the best car I have ever owned is an understatement. I think if it were an auto I'd be disappointed in its performance and fuel efficiency. (700Km on a 65l tank of shell Optimax)

Couldnt agree with you more about its rarity diffinately the pick of the bunch as far as transmissions go. If I were to replace this car it would be with a Calais II, 5 speed, turbo charged & intercooled.

Coonta Kinta.