1981 Vauxhall Cavalier Review

1981 Vauxhall Cavalier Base 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership1992
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 miles
Most recent distance97000 miles

Summary:

The "safe" option

Faults:

Sills both rusted out, but it was 10 years old.

A curious electrical fault developed, where at night you could only turn off the engine if you put the lights off first. Otherwise you could turn the ignition and take out the key, and it would still keep running. Weird...

General Comments:

These things were ubiquitous in the 1980s, they took over from the Cortina as the quintessential rep's car, and you saw them everywhere. Such huge production figures meant that they were reliable, easy and cheap to find parts for, and always salable.

I remember being stunned by how pokey it was for a 1300cc car, and it got 40+mpg.

For all its competence, I got bored with it very quickly. Everyone else had one, and it was the automotive equivalent of a microwave oven. A machine you buy to do a job and nothing more.

I did a straight swap for a mk5 Cortina, which I owned for 5 years after. There was a certain "je ne sais quoi" that was sadly lacking in '80s Vauxhalls.. too bland and sterile.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th June, 2006

Average review marks: 9.0 / 10, based on 1 review