1987 Holden Commodore SL 3.0 from Australia and New Zealand


One of the hottest looking cars built. Goes well to!!


Well I used to flog my car so I had problems with the automatic transmission.

So I replaced it with a manual, Also the air flow meter, crank angle sensor and radiator needed to be replaced due to the age of the car.

I think all vl owners know about the above problems.

General Comments:

The interior is still perfect as if still in 1987. I have made a few changes to go and look better such as Vy s pack mags, blacked out windows and super low. 2.5 inch exhaust and a pod filter. Its not a drag car and was never intended to be, but I have shocked more than a few people when at the lights.

However now I just enjoy the ride look and feel of a car that to me hasn't dated since 1987.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2004

9th May 2007, 06:59

My VL was my first car and I treated my beast like dirt. I'm in big trouble now as my transmission has gone and I am looking at 1500 - 2000 bucks to recondition it. I don't know what to do because once I fix the trans I would probably struggle to get 2grand for it even though I have pimped the look up heaps, spent heaps on repairs and my $800 sound system.

What would some of you other fellas advise me to do. Keep investing my money in it or just get rid of it for a few hundred dollars for it.

1987 Holden Commodore VL 3.0 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Bargain based performance if you can find a good one


Outside of normal servicing, nothing had gone wrong with this car from new until 126000km's.

Tailshaft centre bearing replaced at 126,000km's.

Rear muffler replaced at 126,000km's.

Power steering rack replaced at 130,000km's.

Air flow sensor replaced at 154,000km's.

Engine temp. sender replaced at 165,000km's.

Battery replaced at 176,000km's.

Crank angle sensor replaced at 186,000km's.

Fuel tank breather hoses replaced at 198,000km's.

Clutch slave cylinder replaced at 225,000km's.

Crank angle sensor replaced at 241,000km's.

Radiator replaced at 257,000km's.

Air flow meter replaced at 270,000km's.

Crank angle sensor replaced at 270,000km's.

Alternator replaced at 270,000km's.

General Comments:

This car was quick in it's day, with 15.3 second quarter mile times straight out of the box. Being a manual, it can feel sluggish around town until wound up.

Highway driving and overtaking ability is still a dream that few cars can emulate.

The standard four wheel disc brakes feel more positive than the current model Astra.

Handling is good for a car of it's age though I'd recommend some new bushes and upmarket shocks. I had Koni adjustables fitted almost fifteen years ago and they've improved the ride considerably. Car can be twitchy at speed with head or crosswinds.

Steering is very direct and if you're doing serious country driving don't be tempted to fit wheels larger than 16" diameter as you will feel every pothole and bump through the body and the steering.

Reliability over the seventeen years I've owned it has been relatively good, except for the crank angle sensors on the distributor. They usually give no warning when they're about to fail and can leave you stranded. Air flow meters can send out all sorts of mixed signals when they're on the way out and can be time consuming to isolate. Most Holden dealers don't want to know these cars anymore.

Exterior plastic trim/bumpers can be fragile and very few VL's seem to have theirs intact these days.

Wind noise can be annoying, but replacing window and door seals will cure a lot of this, as the window channel seals especially, harden with age.

Overall it's been a pleasure to own this car from new, though to buy one now I'd be looking for one with limited owners and a reasonably complete service history. Mileage with the engine isn't really an issue if they've been looked after.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2004