1988 Holden Commodore VT V6 Ecotec from Australia and New Zealand


Roomy and powerful


Nothing really wrong with the make, as I have acquired this car second hand, but:

Steering at low speeds makes a clunking noise, although theres no restriction.

Wheels are noisy, even though I have sound deadened the wheel arches.

The driver side seat (with power height adjust) frame broke off, annoying.

Horn doesn't work, airbag doesn't seem to work (been in an accident, I guess, the person who sold it to me is a bit dodgy)

Weather-shield (Holden, small ones) don't really work, removal leaves double sided tape on the window seals. VERY hard to remove.

Other minor stuff, like loose panels etc.

General Comments:

After driving an Excel around, this car seems so much more powerful. Its fairly comfortable, as it actually has air conditioning.

However, while the car drives much faster than the Excel, the handling feels about the same.

I've had to fix up a fair bit of stuff, but they are all caused by the previous owner, I guess, so I can't really blame Holden.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2003

1988 Holden Commodore VL 3.0L from Australia and New Zealand


A good allround bargain capable of easy modification


Rusted under boot rubber. Rust around windscreen.

Rear trailing arm bushes worn.

Front calipers seized, rear cylinders leaked.

Exhaust leaks at the head and flange gasket.

Coolant temperature sensor fail.

Air conditioning failed, as did ventilation controls.

Plastic body trims loose or falling off.

Fuel guage incorrect, suspect temperature gauge.

Seems to overheat slightly, may be temperature gauge.

Suspect starter solenoid.

General Comments:

Apart from the previously mentioned, the vehicle has not broken down. The previous owner has spent time upgrading the interior to Berlina trims and new carpet. However mechanically the vehicle has been neglected.

Fixing the problems has been relatively inexpensive, as I am able to complete most repairs. Buy a Gregory's manual and read it!

Suspension upgrades are imperative - the rear end is light, and could do with slightly lowered suspension. Don't forget the adjustable panhard rod if you are lowering. Polyurethane bushes are a good investment.

Braking system seems adequate. Disc brake rear is a better option. Ventilating the front discs using simple flexible large bore piping helps immensely.

Change the oil regularly- every 5000km is ideal. Use good oil, no cheap junk. Servicing is extremely easy through the computer. Read that Gregory's manual! Most importantly, check all of the vacuum hoses for leaks, remembering the automatic gearbox and the ventilation system use vacuum for operation. Curing these leaks will yield massive performance and economy gains. Also ensure rocker cover gasket is pliable and tight.

Upgrades should also include 2.25 inch exhaust with extractors and new catalytic converter, thermatic fan/s in place of the original clutch fan, intake pod filter retaining or upgrading the cold air induction. Headlights do well with updated 'blue' lights. Electronic rust protection is worth considering. (Yes, it actually seems to work!)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2003

1988 Holden Commodore VL RB30E straight 6 from Australia and New Zealand


A great car to learn in!


Several radiator hoses have come apart.

Accelerator cable is fraying.

Radiator coolant reservoir needed to be replaced.

Several globes inside the cabin have broken.

Tail lights are some how filling up with water.

General Comments:

I feel my VL has enough power to satisfy any P plate driver. I am only 17 years old, and I feel like I have picked up the best car a leaner driver could learn in. Although I haven't driven long enough to know a lot about cars, I think this model was good.

The RB30E Nissan engine starts every time, and the car drives better than both of my older brother's cars. A Ford XF, and a Holden VH.

The car has some scratches, but the interior is quite good. But hey, the car is 15 years old, and what more could you ask for a first car, without taking out a loan?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th January, 2003

9th Jan 2003, 06:34

I got the same car as you. I do agree the VL is a good car to start off with.

Even for a 15 year car they keep running with little problems.