An excellent, capable car with plenty of toys and great build quality
Very slight underside rust was no problem for the MOT and I am told will be fine now treated.
The timing belt protective casing rattles slightly. My local Vauxhall dealer admitted that this is not uncommon in GM 2.0L SOHC engines, but that is immaterial to the running of the engine. In fact, he said "change the oil & filters regularly and top up anything with a yellow cap and it should be good for a quarter of a million miles"
I bought this high mileage Carlton when I changed jobs and had to hand back my company car, a BMW 525. Although the BWM was a great car, the Carlton is every bit as capable on the motorway and now that I am paying the bills I am exceptionally happy with the Carltons cost of ownership.
Handling is as good as you can expect for a car of this size, weight and age.
Specification levels on the Diplomat are second to none and the ride and refinement remain good and I do not believe I could have found a more refined car for less than £2000. The 2.0l is smooth enough and really will pull hard if you make it, but for most situations has more than enough power.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 18th June, 2004