1988 Holden Commodore VL 3L from Australia and New Zealand


Not good not bad,


The other day while I was driving, my engine was cutting out, and the rpm would drop from cruising rpm at 2500 then drop below idle, then go back up, and then down again all in a matter of 3-6 seconds.

Boot release button doesn't work, ANY TIPS on fixing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2004

1988 Holden Commodore VL 3.0L six-cylinder from Australia and New Zealand


Best commodore ever made


The only problem I had was with the indicator assembly.

Very reliable.

General Comments:

This is a wonderful car, very quick for its age, handles well if you buy decent tyres.

Very reliable, nothing major has gone wrong with it.

It is the best Commodore ever made, and I have driven most models, including the new VY.

Absolutely awesome for circle work because of the light rear end.

Slight mods such as exhaust and cam gives great results as the engine is very tune-able.

Can out perform any Ford from that era.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th December, 2003

20th Jan 2004, 02:23

I agree 100%. I have had my VL Commodore sedan now for 8 years. It is the most reliable car I've ever had known. I love my car.

14th Mar 2004, 19:07

Your pretty cool man I love calais they rock dude, but yours must suck or your thrashing it, your mad, have you ever done a burnout? that's when the back wheels spin and it makes smoke. Good work Steven.

1988 Holden Commodore SL 3.0L RB30 inline 6 from Australia and New Zealand


Great reliable first car, which can be easily accessorised


Driver's seat is starting to wear.

Small rust spot forming behind the rear wheel arch (common problem) due to a leak in the boot seal.

General Comments:

Good first car, easily accessorised when working to a budget. The nissan RB30 engine is very reliable, you just have to look for common problems within the chassis.

The interior is nothing special, but has plenty of potential and has a substantial sized rear seat.

I suggest not buying a VL from a young person, as they are a very popular for hooning.

Another common problem is the transfer from first to second gear. If this is occurring when testing a car, it has most likely been "hooned" in.

For people with the money, the Nissan RB30 engine can be easily accessorised, and a 10 second car is well within reach. As with all early model Commodores, the paint work is less than desirable, and you will most likely have to fork out big bucks for a respray.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th August, 2003

1988 Holden Commodore VL 3.0 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Most reliable everyday driver, bang for buck performance sedan in Australia


Naturally the crank angle sensor.

The head gasket blew about 220000 km due to a common problem with the VL.

Minor rust front windscreen and underneath rear windscreen, nothing major, it is a 15 year old car.

General Comments:

The car has been great, more reliable than my automatic Seiko watch for that matter. I don't think I haven't heard a mechanic say this was the best and most reliable commodore ever built by Holden.

The car is quick, with 150 Kilowatts on tap and is relatively light. The car is used as a daily driver is not too bad on fuel, though it will guzzle it down it you have a lead foot.

Comfort wise, well it's definitely not a mercedes, then again it never was meant to be. I would definitely call the cabin "no frills".

The car can be deadly in incompetent or inexperienced hands, especially in the wet. In the wet the car should be treated with kit gloves otherwise you might end up going sideways on the wrong side of the road.

Apart from normal wear and tear I would recommend an oil and filter change every 5000Km especially for the Turbo, I find Penrite 25/70 oil great anything lighter requires top ups which indicate oil burning.

The car I own is a BT1 model which is basically an ex turbo cop car. Funny thing haven't had a problem with the turbo in all this time.

I owned a Honda Legend in between this car and after 18 months sold it to get back into the VL. The Legend was comfortable, but once you get used to the overtaking power of a VLT its hard to go back.

The suspension is great when you're in you 20's, but seems quite harsh in your 30's. There is a bit of body roll which apparently can be improved by aftermarket suspension packages, or so I'm told. To be honest there hasn't been a need.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th June, 2003