1993 Vauxhall Calibra 16v 2.0i from UK and Ireland


High performance sleek-looking bargain


Got the car knocked down from £4k to £3425 due to 2 months MOT, so expected to do some work on it. Therefore budgeted £600 for work required. Have had:

Whole new exhaust (except CAT). Considering fitting a CAT replacement pipe cheaply and then refitting the CAT only for the MOT (since probably on it's last legs and NOT cheap to replace).

New oxygen sensor - tell tail sign was drag over 3000 rpm.

New pads and discs all round along with standard springs (lowered springs only left about half an inch of play and caused a very rough ride).

New battery and alternator. Beware! Some brushes in the alternator had gone which is not reflected with the alternator light! Therefore had no idea I was just running off the battery until all the dash lights came on and it cut out!

With 2 tyres, total cost about £900. Not bad for a now-sorted car though ;o) Incidentally, flew the MOT.

Still gotta fix the heater dashboard bulbs (common fault) and ashtray (broken runner), but quite trivial at the moment.

General Comments:

Very fast car when pumped hard. Tends to be slow on the uptake, but soon picks up over 3000 rpm when the lambda sensor turns off. About 8.5 seconds 0-60.

Excellent cornering on 205/65s (but perhaps not QUITE as well as when lowered).

Ageless design - 10 years old and still makes people look.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st July, 2001

1993 Vauxhall Calibra 4x4 2.0 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


Fantastic grip. A lot of car for the money


Engine management light is on more times than it is off.

4 wheel drive failed - faulty underbonnet valve. Bought a secondhand one for 70 (they are 1200 from a main dealer).

Voolant bottle split.

Driver's electric window motor came loose.

Had 2 fuel pump relays.

The ABS warning light occasionally lights.

The 4 wheel prop shaft came loose and needed re-threading.

General Comments:

I've taken the cat off, added a ram-air panel filter, increased the boost to 13psi and taken the 1st gear boost limiter away which has given it 240bhp and a 0-60 of 5.6 seconds, going on to a true top speed of 159 mph.

The handling is better than the reviews say, but for grip then that's a different matter - this thing will grip as well in the wet as it does in the dry - 10 out of 10 for performance.

Depends if you can live with unreliability - there is a big bill if your 4 wheel drive fails!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st February, 2001

6th Feb 2008, 16:49

Why were the AWD systems so unreliable on the calibra and cavalier turbo's?

29th Jun 2011, 10:34

Because unlike a lot of 4 wheel drive cars, where the engine is mounted with the gearbox facing the rear, and the rear wheels as primary drive and the front wheels secondary, the Vauxhall still had a FWD layout with a very complex and fragile transfer box, that sent some power to the rear. It was so costly to repair, that if they did fail, a lot of owners left the cars in FWD only.

1993 Vauxhall Calibra 4x4 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


If you like speed and style, this is the car for you


Had to replace the front and rear discs and pads.

Head gasket replaced under warranty.

ABS sensors play up a lot, need replacing but doesn't appear to affect the ABS system.

Oil leak, unknown cause.

Coolant light permanently on, sensor broken.

4x4 light comes on, but if the engine is turned off and on again light goes out and 4 wheel drive is re-enabled!!

General Comments:

Apart from that, a brilliant car to drive, very fast, eats most other cars on the road, capable of 150mph+ (not that I would know), good handling and very stylish. Plenty of mods available too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2001

1993 Vauxhall Calibra 16V Non Ecotec from UK and Ireland


A drive shaft is on its way out with a cheap bill of around £60 to repair.

Crank sensor £65.

General Comments:

Very limited problems for a high milage car, still goes as new if not better.

Regular oil changes keep the engine going for a long time.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2000