1986 Opel Kadett GL 1.6 S from Norway
Small, cheap, fun and forces you to learn more about the mechanics of a car :)
What hasn't gone wrong?
2nd day I had it, I had to take it into the shop for a total restructuring of the electrical system, which drained the battery when the car was off. However, this was the fault of the previous owners.
You have the expect a lot of "wear and tear" on a car this age tho. Almost every bit of equipment in the engine compartment has been changed once or more.
The engine itself has been taken a part and put together again a few times. Luckily, I know people who knows more about cars than me, and doesn't mind helping me out too much with repairs.
The little "gadgets" that holds the sun-screens in place have broken off 2 or 3 times, and other similar "gadgets" also tend to break easily. The window-valve, glove box compartment, seat-adjuster, etc. lots of cheap plastic in this car.
Right now, I need to hold the trunk door open, or else it will drop down and hit me in the back of my head (which hurts like hell, if I might add). The hydraulics are pretty much shot.
Rust is everywhere, although it's not even close to rusting through the chassis anywhere. Yet.
Water sometimes get into the car when its raining, although we have not been able to figure out where the leak is yet. Not that we've been trying too hard either.
The seats show sign of serious use, but they are still in one piece.
Front window has a huge crack (make that 3 cracks) in it. There's always been a small "chip" in the window, but I never bothered to correct it. Then during winter 2 years ago, water got into it, and froze, cracking the window in 3 directions.
The gearbox will probably be the next thing that breaks down, unless I find a new car first and take this one to the scrapyard.
OK, with that out of the way, I need to say.. I really like my car. Many of the things what went wrong with it, was the fault of the previous owners and repair shops. I found out this car had been in a rather big collision, then put back together again and repainted.
The first 2 or 3 years I had this car, I would break down because of something every other month, which was very annoying. But the last years, it's been rock-solid in almost every way when it comes to reliability.
At least once a year, I visit my grandma who lives 500km away. So that's a total of 1000km back and forth per trip. And it has never broken down or shown any problems during these trips. Summer or winter.
I live up north in Europe, way north. Having winters with 35 degrees below Celsius is not uncommon. But the car will always start, on first try. Even if I have to dig it out from a ton of snow first.
The car have "soft plastic" bumpers, back and front. Which means you can pretty much slam it into the steel railing next to the road, and get away with it without a dent or even a scratch. Hey, it gets icy up here on the roads, OK?
Even tho it's just a 1.6, it feels a bit sporty and even fun to drive sometimes. And fuel costs are low.
The cabin is simple, just the essentials things needed. Seats are comfortable, but you might want to take a pit stop on long rides to give your back a rest.
Space in the back is also no problem, not even for tall people. And because you can put the backseats down, you'll can also have a huge trunk compartment. I once transported a bed in there.
What can I say to sum up this car? I bought it cheap, but had to pay for lots of parts and repair. But parts to this car are cheap and I got most of the work done for free. So, no regrets.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th June, 2005