1986 Holden Commodore VL Nissan RB30E 3.0L from Australia and New Zealand


Power, style, reliability... a classic Holden


Water pump needed replacing.

Timing belt needed replacing.

Alternator packed it in.

Fuel pump was noisy so I replaced it.

Exhaust manifold leaked - Replaced with extractors.

Power steering fluid leaks.

General Comments:

Quick Car and a Head Turner! The motor is reliable as and good on the fuel! I added cold air intake, extractors and a 2.5 inch exhaust and it goes pretty hard! I put some 16 inch 5 spoke rims on it and re-sprayed it with a rear spoiler and it turns heads! If you look after the cooling system on these cars you'll have no problems...

Anyone with any suggestions on how I can make this car go quicker let me know!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th January, 2002

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


A performance car with looks to match


The front disc's were warped. All they required is to be machined and they are fine.

It had the traditional water leaking in the boot, but I pulled the taillights out on one weekend and filled the gaps with some silicon, and I haven't had a problem since.

Other than those two things, absolutely nothing is wrong with the car.

General Comments:

My car is excellent because of the fact that the engine in it has only done 70,000 kilometres.

The lady that owned it before me cracked a radiator hose, cooked the motor and had to do a full rebuild.

Since I bought it I replaced the original springs with lowered hardened springs which gives it exceptional handling and great looks.

I have 16 inch 5 spoke semi-chrome mags on it at the moment. The tyres are 9 inch wide which helps with traction and handling.

It is a great cruising car and with just a few body adjustments eg. mags, lowering, it looks great and brings in the chicks.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2001

28th Mar 2003, 08:45

Yeah, the VL's are great. Mine is a 5 speed with extractors and 3" exhaust, lowered 2" king springs, VX SS 17's etc...


1986 Holden Commodore VL 3.0L 6 cylinder EFI from Australia and New Zealand


Excellent apart from all the problems that cost a fair bit of money to fix


Auto transmission slipping - required a rebuild.

Area around the wind-screens rusted - both front and rear needed replacing.

Fuel pump noisy - replaced.

Water pump leaking - replaced.

Air-conditioning has stopped working.

General Comments:

Good straight-line performance.

Has soft suspension and a lot of body roll through the corners.

Nissan 3.0L motor is quick yet smooth and refined.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th August, 2001

14th Aug 2001, 06:31

What is it with everyone and their VL Commodore's. Especially P platers. They are a menace on the roads! And this is coming from a 17 year old male. I was offered one, and turned it down, as I refuse to be part of the VL Commodore group. Especially as they have a bad reputation with the cops. If you have one, enjoy, but for me, no thanks.

2nd Jul 2002, 20:26

The VL itself is not a menace on the road, it is the driver that makes the menace. The same goes for the reputation with cops. You couldn't do much better than a VL for performance, reliability and comfort for such a low price. If you refuse to be part of the VL 'group', then don't criticise something that you refuse to drive.

1986 Holden Commodore VL 3.0 Nissan straight six from Australia and New Zealand


A cheap car with a cult status


No real serious engine problems except for:

Power transistor module in dizzy kicked the bucket on a hot day leaving me stranded in the Safeway carpark unable to start the car.

Crank angle sensor died right after a service at K-Mart tyre and battery, I was stupid to take my car there.

Replaced dizzy cap and ignition leads.

First muffler replaced.

New brake master cylinder.

Front and rear shocks replaced.

Front brake pads renewed.

Leaky boot.

Water fills up the tail lights causing them to short out occasionally.

Plastic interior parts and bumpers crack at the drop of a hat.

Rear brakes need attention.

A bit of rust here and there.

General Comments:

There is no doubt that the VL Commodore is a great car, the strength and unique smoothness of the motor was really what made the VL special.

But one has to take into consideration that VL's like mine are 15 years old. Although the motor itself has a good reputation and in many cases have been known to run well over 300,000 kms, many other engine sub systems like the distributor and braking systems usually become suspect after 200,000 kms.

But the only real design fault of the car was to have the radiator sitting below the block which directly leads to overheating when the radiator fluid levels are not checked.

For street performance (and great looks) you cannot surpass the VL, especially the turbo model. A mate of mine has spent over 30 grand on his Calais turbo and reckons he can get over 350 kw from the motor and run the quarter mile in ten seconds flat.

The cult that surrrounds the VL is something of a myth, one of the reasons why the VL was replaced by the gruff Buick V6 in the 88 VN model is because the motor was becoming too expensive for Holden to produce.

At the end of the day VL's are only really a cheap Commodore chassis with a killer Japanese motor under the bonnet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2001

11th Aug 2001, 23:00

Don't take this the wrong way, but how can you blame K-mart Tyre and Auto for your car packing up. By the sounds of it you have had heaps of problems anyway.

I have a VP BT1 and the car was dropping coolant after I turned it off and the coolant bottle was bubbling. I took it to Holden who had no idea what the problem was so I went to K-mart and it took 15 minutes to find that the radiator only was BLOCKED.

Trust me man, there are heaps of worse places than K-mart.