1983 Vauxhall Cavalier GL 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


A great second hand car


Stereo packed up at 85,000 miles.

Brake pads needed replacing at 93,000 miles and again at 111,000 miles.

Suspension fault developed at 102,000 miles.

General Comments:

The Cavalier gave me five years of reliable service.

It was a very comfortable and spacious family car.

I enjoyed its smooth handling and swift performance.

Cost £1,600 at seven years and proved to be a bargain buy.

Depreciated to £500 by the time it was sold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2006

1983 Vauxhall Cavalier 1.3 from UK and Ireland


Crusher material


Gearbox was badly worn and sounded like a coffee grinder.

Engine burnt a lot of oil and blew a piston after 5,000 miles.

Terrible build quality - rust everywhere.

Two doors jammed and would not open again.

Suspension broke through the rusty floor of the boot and wrote the car off.

General Comments:

This car was the worst I've ever driven.

Almost everything went wrong and nothing worked properly on it. Would never buy another Vauxhall again.

No redeeming features whatsoever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th April, 2001

21st Apr 2001, 09:02

Take a reality check mate, you are talking about a car that's 18 years old!

The MK3 Cavs are great. I had a 1990 2L with 176,000 on the clock with no probs until the missus pranged it. I would recommend one to any one.

25th Apr 2001, 13:44

Agree with the above. You don't buy any motor that age and expect perfection, but the '82 - '89 Cavalier was an excellent car. Yes, rust was a problem if, like me, you never washed it, but you could repair it using anything (almost). I understand Blue Peter made a replica Cavalier out of a washing up bottle and a pair of Val's old...well, never mind. Recommend you buy a Ferrari next time and watch that last as long. Ha!

7th Jul 2001, 07:36

Totally agree with the comments above.

You're talking about a tiny 1.3 litre engine which has been lugging that heavy body around for 18 years, probably without an oil change since the warranty expired. No wonder it blew up!

My 1.8 mk2 never let me down.


18th Aug 2001, 16:05

Every Vauxhall I've driven was built badly. Thank goodness I've never had to own one. Door handles keep breaking off, bits of trim come away etc. Why can't they build them properly? Dare I say it, you'd be better off buying a Ford...

12th Jan 2003, 15:07

In your review, you said about the rust problems and the low performance. What kind of performance you expect from a 1.3 engine?

Rust problems? My friend you are talking about a car made in 1983 (we are in 2003) twenty years past since, his production is very common expect this kind of problems in cars of this age, and itsn't only in Vauxhall cars, you can see this problem in many old cars (my friend for example, has a 1982 BMW 735 and the car is completely rust).

20th Nov 2009, 20:38

I also had an early mk2 Cav 1.3. It was totally reliable, and pretty good performance from such a small engine. My gearbox also did the coffee grinder impression, but never got any worse in 30,000 miles. Yes they did rot, and the mk3 1988 on car was just as bad in this respect. But then again, its 1980s contemporary, the Sierra, was certainly no better in the build quality stakes.

1983 Vauxhall Cavalier GL Mark 2 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Brakes not powerful enough for the car, owned five mark 2s - all had dodgy brakes, CV gaiters split.

General Comments:

Good cheap car to own and run...smile.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 1999