1994 Holden Commodore VR 3.8L V6 from Australia and New Zealand


Would be a great car if I hadn't had so many problems


Just bought VR Executive series II wagon not long ago and already have big problems.

Seems to be a blown head gasket or crack in head and all my coolant is leaking into the engine and going through and then out the exhaust. The water in the engine makes it hard to start, idle rough and get real hot.

It will cost just about as much to get it stripped down, crack tested and machined as it will to just get a whole reconditioned motor.

Drivers side headlight failed and even after I got it fixed it still needs a good slap to get the terminals to connect properly.

Rear right suspension sagging, even though car has never towed.

General Comments:

I also have two mates which have VR wagons and one also has similar engine problem and headlight problem. The other also has a vibrating driveshaft which sets off the engine light warning.

Until I bought mine, I had heard great things about Commodores, and them running fine for at least 250 000kms.

Even though I think mine is a rare case, I wouldn't recommend a VR, go for at least a VS with the Ecotec motor.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th November, 2004

20th Jan 2005, 03:48

I had similar problems with my vr executive replaced radiator, gasket, fan switch the list goes on. Also front left bearing, still needs work as it idles, transmission doesn't feel durable...

18th Apr 2005, 06:13

I had problems with mine and coolant. turns out it was the inlet manifold gasket. it had shot itself through the corner of the gasket and out the front of the engine. We took it all off and replaced it. seems to be no obvious problems now. Good Luck.

17th Aug 2005, 08:15

I've got a VR and have had a string of problems since I bought it five years ago. Replaced radiator, fuel pressure regulator and fuel pump. Now need new water pump, transmision and head gasket. quote over $3000.00, I also get the engine warning light come on every now and then.

4th Aug 2006, 07:08

I bought my 93 model VR Executive this year (2006). It has 285000k/m and it's driving like new. I bought it for 1500 aussie dollars from an old guy. Best car I've ever had.

1994 Holden Commodore VR 3.8 unleaded from Australia and New Zealand


High performance bargain


Power steering pump required an overhaul.

Transmission slips when hot and changes into third gear roughly.

Crankshaft pulley and tensioner pulley required renewing.

General Comments:

This car is very quick for a V6 and handles very well.

Does great burnouts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2004

18th Aug 2004, 23:51

My VR has done 232,000km and the engine hasn't missed a beat, only repairs are the common power steering pump and radiator. The transmission slips when warm from 2nd to 3rd, but as long as you go easy on the change its not a huge drama.

These cars produce heaps of power, I know the specs say 130Kw, but they will give a '95 XR6 (165Kw) a run for their money.

1994 Holden Commodore S 3.8 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A good, well designed multi-purpose car let down by its reliability


4 Rear main oil seals. Three under warranty.

Central locking doesn't lock rear doors reliably even after more than ten visits to the dealer under warranty.

Constant auto transmission problems. Mainly slipping and rough gear engagement and check engine light coming on. Initial problem of fluid spraying out of dipstick onto motor were ignored by dealer until a recall was announced after the problem started affecting police vehicles.

Speed and fuel meters stick.

Cruise control buttons on indicator stalk failed at 20000 and 45000km. Dealer wanted to replace indicator stalk at 45000. Another auto elec fixed for $30.00.

Leaking power steering pump.

Seals around windows are loose and don't seal properly.

Alternator died at 72000kms causing voltage to rise to 19volts while engine was running.

Irs chews out the inside edge of the rear tyres. Outside edge can look fine, but inside edge can be down to canvas.

A/c drain pipe blocks easily and caused water to drip into cabin.

Seat runner bracket broke twice out of warranty and is expensive to replace. Better off going to a steel welder and reinforcing the piece and it will never give any more trouble.

ABS sensor in front wheel died at 12000km. Caused ABS system to activate for the first two or three stops after starting the car which was dangerous in the wet. Then the ABS off light would come on and car would drive normally (without ABS). Dealer very hesitant to fix even though problem was stored in computer memory.

General Comments:

A good safe big comfortable car that is easy to drive and has good vision.

Take off is excellent for a six. Engine let down by a slow to react gearbox, especially when overtaking.

Handles and corners really well with the sports suspension.

Brakes work well, but could have better pedal feel.

Seats are good, but need better mounts. Rear seat is a one piece foam design and are not comfortable.

A/C is very good, but heater takes too long to warm up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th July, 2003