1987 Holden Commodore Executive 3.0 Nissan from Australia and New Zealand


Bargain buy with great performance


The rubber figure 8 exhaust supports broke.

Exterior handle broke.

General Comments:

The car is in excellent mechanical condition.

The paint is brilliant for its age.

The interior is in very good condition.

Everything works well.

The performance and economy are great.

The power of the car is surprising considering it's a 6 cylinder and its 15 years old.

A Bargain for $3500.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2003

1987 Holden Commodore VL 3L from Australia and New Zealand


An awesome car. One of Holden's finest


Needed a new clutch and pressure plate. (that happens anyway)

Heater fan doesn't work.

Speedo is 25% out.

Back seatbelt stuck.

Shot Universal Joints.

General Comments:

Very quick cars that will go forever. Not really made for rallying though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th January, 2003

1987 Holden Commodore VL 3.0L Nissan RB30E from Australia and New Zealand


A very nice, powerful car to drive


Crack in the front windscreen when it was bought, previous owner said he'd pay for a new one. When the windscreen came out there was a lot of rust around the edge. Cost $300 to repair that.

Rust around the boot seal and where the spare tyre goes.

Boot release didn't work, easily fixed by adjusting where the boot rests.

General Comments:

Lovely first car, I'm glad to have it.

It has extractors and a 2.5" exhaust system, sounds really nice, and make it preform well too.

The engine had just been rebuilt before I got it, and it drives like it has only done 100k Kms.

It also has a Berlina dash and sports steering wheel which makes it nicer to drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2003

1987 Holden Commodore VL 3.0 straight 6 Manual transmission from Australia and New Zealand


The best car for its age


The most major injury my V L has had is being run into a fence by a good mate. Wasn't happy when I found out.

The boot leaks occasionally, but I can put up with that.

Blinker light blown just after buying it.

There was a rip in the seat when I bought the car, but the dealer had it repaired.

Squeaky front drivers side door.

General Comments:

I love the car it has plenty of power and it handles like it has a mind of its own.

Its was not an over expensive car and there were plenty of extras.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd November, 2002

1987 Holden Commodore SL 3.0 Nissan in-line 6 from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap, but a compromise


I have only had the car for eight months, so not much time has passed for the car to break down too badly.

Still, the car is already showing the signs of ageing.

The paintwork is silver, and I have since learnt that the original Holden silver colour was pretty poor until the VR II update. Thus, what was already fading paint is beginning to peel, and looks shabby.

The only other thing that is annoying me is the gearbox, which is getting pretty worn. The VL's 5 speed manual is supposed to be reasonably strong, and it is holding together, but the synchromesh must be starting to go because the stick feels pretty loose when in gear, and it can be tricky to get into reverse sometimes.

The demister also died upon delivery of the car, which was dissapointing, and wasn't cheap to fix.

The drivers window does not quite sit properly when closed either, which means there's a bit of wind noise at highway speeds.

General Comments:

The VL Commodore is a good car for the price you pay nowadays.

I looked at some VK Commodore's, but the old Holden 3.3 engine was no comparison. It was unrefined, weak and guzzled petrol.

In contrast, the VL engine pulls pretty strong for a base model and is smoother than the buick V6 3.8 that was in the VN, although the VP update was probably a better engine again. The engine is easily the best part of the car and, combined with the manual, will give auto VN's a good challenge in a drag.

The handling isn't so impressive. On some open country roads, it'll hold its own against Jap hatches like older Pulsar's, but the newer Commodore's eat it alive, especially anything with IRS. It also falls into a heap trying to keep up around suburban backroads, where it is too heavy and the tyres too skinny to do much good.

The brakes fade rather fast too, especially with rear drums. My advice would be to take it easy on them over time if you want to keep on the pace through a race, otherwise, you'll end up mounting a curb (or wrapped around a tree.)

The most fun I've had in this car is in the wet. Sure, terrible handling, don't even consider any hard cornering or sudden braking, but the car is pretty tail happy, but predictable and linear in its loss of traction. Way more fun than a front wheel drive rice burner!

The interior is another sore point. The seats are alright, but a very long way off Calais seats. Being an SL, its pretty bare bones, and isn't too classy. The cheap vinyl door trim and plastic dash is pretty bad too. People bag the VN interior, but Id take it over a VL cockpit any day. The truck-like steering wheel was the very first thing I replaced, for a SAAS sports one, improving the way the car felt unbelievably.

All in all though, its pretty reliable (so far) and seems pretty bulletproof, despite some typical P-plater driving. Its got a lot of flaws and is a long way off a newer commodore, but remains pretty good value for what it does.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th October, 2002

26th Nov 2003, 06:00

Nissan engine is rubbish blue 202 will eat them alive with the smallest modifications.

8th Jan 2006, 05:54

I have a VL SL. The motor has been worked to 40 tho over. It has been stolen twice and is still running fine. I've found that they are a great car to own and very hard to break.

21st Nov 2008, 21:24

Aren't VL's only 74kw?

30th Nov 2008, 03:40

Hahaha mate, they're not 74 kw.

Think a stocka is about 117 kw...