1986 Vauxhall Cavalier Reviews

1986 Vauxhall Cavalier 1.8 GLi 4-dr 1.8 Petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership1995
Engine and transmission 1.8 Petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carCitroen BX

Summary:

Quicker than a 2004 Vectra 1.8!

Faults:

Temperature gauge never worked.

Quite bad brake judder.

Rust on rear wheel arches.

Oil pump failed.

General Comments:

My relationship with my 3rd car didn't start too well when the oil pump failed whilst showing it off to my little brother on the first day I picked it up!

It went back to where I got it from and he duly offered to fit a new one (having a Dad in the police probably helped!).

After this it was a good, reliable bit of kit, and being only 19 when I owned it, was a lot better than most of my mates cars.

Compared to my old BX diesel it felt like a rocket ship, and actually wrongfooted quite a few new rep mobiles at the time, until you came to a corner, when it didn't anymore, but at 0-60 in 9.2 seconds it would annihalate a 2004 Vectra 1.8.

Also the brakes were crap, it drank fuel like the QE2,and the interior always smelled a bit damp, but I'll always have a soft spot for the MK2 Cavalier.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2004

1986 Vauxhall Cavalier CDi 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.8i petrol Don't Know
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired7600 miles
Most recent distance8000 miles
Previous carNissan Sunny

Summary:

A solid and reliable car..

Faults:

The headlight wipers were not working when I purchased the vehicle.

General Comments:

This car comes with all the modern conveniences such as electric windows and electric mirrors.

There is plenty of luggage space in the boot and the cabin is very roomy making it very comfortable for passengers.

However, the pedal arrangement is awful with the brake pedal being at least two inches higher than the accelerator.

The 1.8 injection engine certainly provides a bit of punch though, and the suspension is fairly good.

The engine tends to cut out a few times when starting it on a cold morning.

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

Review Date: 15th October, 2001

1986 Vauxhall Cavalier GLSi 1.8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance105000 miles

Summary:

Better than you'd ever believe

Faults:

Gearbox made awful noises - replaced for £40 from breakers!

Fuel pump relay burnt out.

General Comments:

No spoilers, no skirts, no splitters, nasty 13" alloys, yet would eat a BMW 320i for breakfast off the line. This car really used to wind people up. Especially when the gearbox died, and I replaced it with a close ratio box out of an SRI.

It had a lovely 1.8 engine, which was sweet and ridiculously punchy for its size. This car was more than a match for 2.0i Sierras, BMW's, Peugeots and the like. Shame it handled like a drunken barge, but what do you want for £400?

Build quality was awesome. Everything worked, nothing squeaked or rattled, and it would cruise along the motorway 5 up at 70 mph in fairly quiet comfort, with bags of power in reserve. It would sail through the MOT every year too.

I'm lucky enough to drive a company car now, and the year-old Peugeot 406 that replaced this car was slower, thirstier, rattlier and less well specced.

You can now buy a decent mk2 Cavalier with a new MOT for a couple of hundred quid. Makes ridiculous amounts of sense at that money, and I reckon to this day, it's the best car Vauxhall ever made!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2001

1986 Vauxhall Cavalier L 1.6 8v from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.6 8v Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance131000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Chevette

Summary:

Rusty and reliable

Faults:

The heater matrix leaked at 100,000 and the clutch cable snapped at 115,000.

That was it.

General Comments:

Absolutely brilliant second-hand buy (£1650 at six-and-a-half years old).

Setting the manual choke was an art form in itself, but apart from suffering from damp once it always started.

British racing beige, so the rust was a compliment. Re-built the wheel arch with a washing machine hose.

Quite fast for only 90bhp. Original clutch and gear box when traded in for generous £250.

Drank oil but never burned any.

Why on earth did I sell it? Fool!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st January, 2001

6th Aug 2001, 07:34

Why did you sell it then? Cavalier's are one of the best older cars around, I'm not selling mine.

1986 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 1.8i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8i petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance0 miles
Previous carFord Fiesta XR2

Summary:

A high performance bargain

Faults:

Key failed in the ignition and had to be replaced.

General Comments:

Exellent car.

Superb value.

Very fast.

Good build quality, although it lacks some luxury items, ie power steering, central locking etc. Has electric mirrors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th October, 2000

Average review marks: 7.0 / 10, based on 10 reviews