1989 Holden Commodore VN 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


A great car


My leads and spark plugs have had to be replaced and I have noticed that one of the leads has a tendency to come off by itself.

I have also noticed an annoying rattle coming from the glovebox.

General Comments:

This is an enjoyable car that can hold its own and yet is still quite economical to run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2004

1989 Holden Commodore S 3.8 V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap, reliable, high performance car


Headlining became loose around the edges.

Door handles are stiff to operate.

Interior light globe keeps blowing.

Odometer works when it wants to.

Runs rough on low fuel.

General Comments:

For a v6 this car has amazing performance and economy.

It looks and sounds great (mine has a 2.5 inch sports exhaust and blows off quite a few v8's at the lights.

I measured the 0-100km/h time to be 8 seconds flat which is quite good.

It is very easy to modify and parts are easy to find unlike my new car which is a 1990 Mazda 929 turbo.

This car is dangerous in the wet and isn't recommended for 'p' platers though I am one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2002

1989 Holden Commodore S 3.6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Raw speed, but comes at a cost


The coil pack failed 166000.

The timing chain was replaced at the same time.

The door seals have had to be re-stuck.

Oil leaks have become a problem.

Power steering rack needs replacing as it leaks.

General Comments:

This car is quick, and fun to drive with the seriously stiff suspension, however, it is expensive to run (Fuel costs).

Despite all the repairs that have been performed and slated to be done, the car is still worth hanging onto. Its responsive and loves fast twisty roads.

A warning to first car owners, go easy in the wet. The tail has the tendency to whip around, and at times is not easy to catch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2002

1989 Holden Commodore 50th Anniversary 3.8 V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A real good looker


Driver's door trim had to be replaced.

Bonnet chips very easily.

New battery at 50000 km.

Driver's door window seal split.

General Comments:

Nice driver's car packed with extras including, driver's air bag, cruise control, trip computer, factory alloys, air conditioning, power driver's seat and door trims.

I never have the car in "power", that's how good it is.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2002

1989 Holden Commodore Berlina 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Quick, but very unrefined


Water pump



Air conditioner needed re-gassing

Main fuse blew.

General Comments:

Very reliable car.

Has only had one set of tyres for 60000 k's!

Suspension is a bit on the soft side, recommend lower/stiffer springs.

Good performance - can scare the V8's.

Cold air induction a very good idea, on a cold night very few cars are quicker.

Paint has faded very badly.

Interior is like a kiddy car.

Highly recommended - but not to P-Platers or those of a nervous disposition, this car is plain dangerous in the wet.

Wheel spin in second gear is possible, and even in third gear in the wet is easy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2002

17th Aug 2002, 08:08

Totally agree, the VN is a nasty car to drive quick in the wet. Suspension and brake upgrade a must if you like to push from time to time.

20th Oct 2002, 08:46

I agree. Having previously owned a vn I nearly wrote mine off when I was driving it in the wet. Even though I frequently drove it in fourth (i got told it stuffs up the box) and if you aren't careful when taking off you will find yourself in trouble.

6th Nov 2002, 21:23

Totally right, the VN's are a beast of a car in the wet, but overall a good car, even if a little scary at times, not that that's a bad thing of course, all good fun!

26th Jan 2003, 06:53

A V6 VN Commodore's acceleration off the mark is so quick it's likely to shock a driver who's unfamiliar with the car - particularly if the road is wet or greasy. After the VN, Holden toned down the torque of its Commodores for that exact reason. In fact, the VN V6 has a quicker 0-100 (8.2 seconds) than all later Commo sixes (though VP is line-ball). For that reason, I reckon the VN is the most fun Commodore to drive... apart from the V8s, of course.

20th Apr 2006, 19:23

I agree the vn is dangerous in the wet. I have one with the 5L engine and limited slip diff and it has nearly got me into trouble in the wet a few times, but apart from that it is one of the best older commodore I have ever driven and it has heaps of power. great to drive, but have to sell it anyone interested.

25th Jun 2006, 07:02

Yep I have a 1988 3.8 VN and sure can burn up some rubber on dry surfaces. I've had some trouble controlling those wild spinning wheels. I think it's a great car, but my thermostat is stuffed, and now it overheats like crazy. Any tips?