1987 Vauxhall Carlton Gsi 3000 3.0 litre from UK and Ireland


Animal - Does what it says on the tin


The rear arches have given way to cancerous rust.

Half leather seat are been torn.

Engine is a blue seal rebuild, 20'000 miles ago.

General Comments:

So to sum up, the car is seventeen years old, bit of a rust bucket, but still drives like it's on the tracks.

Watch this space!!! 'The Beast' will soon be under full restoration. WOW!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2003

1987 Vauxhall Carlton GSI 3000 3.0 12V from UK and Ireland


Cheap muscle car in sporty family limousine disguise


Rust on the right back wing, reaching the safety cell.

Temperature gauge not working, probably sensors.

Bearings need replacement.

General Comments:

It's a cheap European muscle car. My pre-1990 12v version has 177hp (although I suspect it is a bit less now).

The GSI fuel consumption is just under 20MPG in the city, and around 23MPG on long trips.

It has around 30 hp less than the 24v post-90 version (more than 200hp), and is more thirsty too.

Great sound, sporty and comfortable ride, good brakes and addictive acceleration. After getting used to the grunt and the torque, I could use some more. I paid £650 and am not planning to invest more. It should last until the next MOT, and then I'll probably replace it with a Carlton 3.0 24v Estate or a Senator 24v.

The one thing which is a bit of a disappointment is the gearbox and the gear change. The gear ratios are a bit surprising, the 1st gear being extremely short, the 2nd is nice, and I often use it to start from zero. A 6th gear for motorway cruising would be nice, but then it's an 80s car... The gear change travel is a bit long; the whole thing appears more out of a truck than being constructed for a car.

The GSIs are often slightly cheaper than the Senators 3.0 12v or 24v, but share most of the components, including the engine. My recommendation is an automatic, and therefore buy the normal Carlton 3.0 or a Senator (the Police Senator is often equipped with manual as well, normal versions have only been sold with an automatic transmission).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2000

28th Nov 2000, 05:12

I have just purchased and 89 model GSi and the engine seems very quiet at 125,000. Little concerned about a crypton report ready 75% on cylinder 3 though. All other cylinders seem to be Eh OK and I hope after I receive some expert advice that this car gives me a year or two of reliability.

At 60-70 mph I got 32mpg on the computer although I am not to sure how accurate this is.

I have decided to go with your advice of driving in town in 2nd, 4th and 5th gears. This seems fine. I agree with your short 1st gear ratio. However, so far this is a lot of car for the money.

This car behaves really well at all speeds and the comfort is A1.

Overall so far so good. But I shall return in a month or so with an update.

A little anxious at the moment as I have never gone to this league of motor. But it still looks the part and am contemplating a replica Lotus kit for it in the near future.

Please, if you know, could you advise me if this version 1989 F reg, non-cat can be driven on unleaded. The other non-cat 4 valve Carltons I have driven have had switchable timing clips that allow you to change octane rated fuel. My GSi does not seem to have this switch on the offside of the engine, under the wiper blade. The Vauxhall manual to me is a bit vague on this matter. Can anyone help as I would like to start putting cheaper fuel into this beast.


1987 Vauxhall Carlton GLi 2.0i petrol from UK and Ireland


Don't waste your money on a Cavalier


ECU warning light kept flashing on dashboard.

New ignition coil.

New speedo cable (a nightmare to fit).

Sunroof didn't close properly.

Smashed the windscreen trying to hang an air freshener from the interior mirror - don't ask!

General Comments:

Vauxhall were nothing short of useless when the car went in for a diagnostic on the ECU. One mechanic took great pleasure in wearing my sunglasses while the other stood and laughed at him. They charged me £25 to disconnect the alarm, which had nothing to do with the fault, and then £15 for diagnosing a faulty coolant sensor. The sensor cost £20, and didn't fix the problem. Eventually I ended up taking the ECU bulb out.

As economical as a Cavalier 2.0, but larger and more comfortable. Sure footed handling and strong engine.

Parts are reasonably priced.

Plenty of gadgets, but early GLi models didn't have electric windows.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2000

5th Sep 2010, 16:13

Hi, if you don't mind me asking, how did you break the windscreen! I once broke the window undoing my seatbelt, so you're not alone!!