1989 Holden Commodore VN 3.8 Litre from Australia and New Zealand


A Very high performance machine for the year


Only ever had a broken fan belt at only about 130,000 with the car and maybe the window wasn't operational for a while and some other few things. Suspension isn't that great at the moment either. Also the RPM meter has stopped only a few times.

General Comments:

Considering this car has got a all powerful V6 in it running at abou 125Kw it has got to be one of the most powerful cars made that year. I must tell you it is one of the best cars I've driving and pulls out a lot of power. The interior is still nearly as good as when I bought it meaning that it's not in-fact cheap and very confortable inside. The interior is very nice as well.

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

Review Date: 15th June, 2002

7th Aug 2002, 06:08

That's very unusual for a VN. Most people find the interior to be very cheap and ugly. As for your list of problems, I would think it would be a lot longer than one broken fan belt. The VN was an alright car in the late 80's, but not so good now.

5th Nov 2004, 05:18

ALthough the VN has a fairly average interior, what 1980's model car is better? Come on it's pretty good for 15 or so years old.

9th Feb 2011, 18:48

It's a 1989 model so we can't really expect a BMW interior. Plus this car's main calling card is its power and grunt, yes it vibrates, yes it shudders, yes it feels a bit like driving a bus, yes you can feel every gear change in the auto, yes it has a growl. But this is all part of the beauty of this car... It's raw. :-) I love mine. No issues a quick trip to the mechanic can't fix.

1989 Holden Commodore VN 3.8litre V6 from Australia and New Zealand


A good buy for a first or second car for people on a budget


Radiator blew apart, while the temperature gauge was still sitting on cold.

Air conditioning compressor making loud noise.

Timing gear was replaced, in an attempt to find a noise in the engine. This noise is a rattle and has never been found by a mechanic, so it is still happening to this day.

Roof lining fell down.

Front passenger seat frame broke.

Windscreen and boot leak water.

General Comments:

The car although with a very bugging rattle in the motor, has never used a drop of oil.

Fuel economy is really good, considering a 170kilometre trip through mountain roads, cost me only $8 for fuel!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th February, 2002

20th Oct 2002, 08:48

Yes. I have a VN with the same problem and I changed the harmonic balancer and the rattle has gone ever since, but I totally love the car.

1989 Holden Commodore VN BT1 3.8 V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Buy it, it's cheap, big, fast, and not bad looking


Thermostat seized up due to rust.

Major oil leaks (engine and box), 3 trips to a mechanic fixed that.

Broken tie rod end.

Gearbox slow to change from 2nd to 3rd.

Sports exhaust rattling due to bottoming out on speed bumps.

Driveline shudders under acceleration due to lowered springs.

Rough ride (chopped king springs).

Transmission cross-member worked loose and the gearbox dropped about 3 inches breaking lots of seals.

General Comments:

The Series 1 VN Executive is a great first car, it has MORE than enough power off the line and chews tires (3 sets of rear in 1 year).

For a P - Plater this car can be deadly, it is too tempting to give it a squirt off the lights to beat everyone (and it does... nearly everyone) and in the wet this can be risky.

Could do with an LSD as the single spinner is too unpredictable when your rear wheels spin and the ass drifts out in high speed corners. Nearly killed myself over-correcting and spun out.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2002

5th Nov 2004, 05:22

My VN used to stick in 2nd gear for a while, I figured eventually that I was using the wrong fluid. I can't remember what its called, but theres one for pre-1989 vehicles. Using that fluid has cured it ever since. Could well not be that though. Catch.