1988 Vauxhall Cavalier Reviews - Page 2 of 6

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier L 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 miles
Most recent distance120000 miles
Previous carFerrari F40

Summary:

A reliable car, bad performance

Faults:

The Cavalier is a good reliable car. It has never given me any problems. If you get it serviced every year it drives OK.

General Comments:

The Cavalier 1.6L is a reliable car. The good things about the car are:

It has never given me any problems.

The bad things are:

The car is very heavy and doesn't go very fast.

The Cavalier is heavy on petrol.

It doesn't have any good features.

The Cavalier as a whole is good, but if you want performance and want to save petrol then get another car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2002

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier L 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired35000 miles
Most recent distance88000 miles
Previous carOpel Ascona

Summary:

Reliable and cheap motoring

Faults:

Nothing major as yet.

But changed fuel pump twice now due to oil leaks and new two CV gaiters.

General Comments:

The most reliable car I have known. It does not have the most startling performance and the handling is somewhat vague and uninspiring. But it has been very reliable and parts are very cheap, even from main dealers.

This carburettor version suffers from spluttering on damp mornings until warmed up, despite changing plugs, leads, cleaning carburetor and pipes etc. It has done this all the time I have had it.

I find the seats give me backache on longer journeys - which may be due the strange left offset of the steering wheel.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th October, 2002

25th Mar 2007, 05:46

I've had the same problem with my 1.6L cavalier spluttering on wet mornings. Put in a whole bottle of fuel treatment into a 3/4 tank of petrol and it cured the problem by the time the tank had emptied, and the spluttering has not returned since. Cost: £5.49!

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier DIPLOMAT 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0 Automatic
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance104000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Mini

Summary:

A top spec car for low spec money

Faults:

Just the usual things, brake discs and pads.

Soggy rear shocks at 100K.

Front fog lights have packed up.

General Comments:

With an auto box its not worth trying to hustle it down twisty roads, but as a fast A road and dual carriage way car its ideal, fast enough, quiet and very comfortable.

I paid just over a grand for a car with more toys, bells and whistles than most of the current "so called" top of the range models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2002

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier LXi 1.8 injection from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.8 injection Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 miles
Most recent distance102032 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier

Summary:

A great 1.8 fast car

Faults:

Since I've had this car there hasn't been any trouble.

All I would say is that I changed the cam belt when I got it just for peace of mind.

General Comments:

This car is only a 1.8, but it is a serious race contender and now the suspension has been lowered it handles like a go-kart.

The interior on this car is great because the standard Vauxhall buckets seats hug you really well, and are seriously comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2002

21st Nov 2005, 04:30

Serious race contender?.. with what, a mini?

2nd Jan 2006, 18:56

These cars are quicker than many people believe / want to believe - they would surprise many modern cars in a traffic light grand prix!! I know, because I had one.

24th Mar 2007, 15:22

He is right I have a black lxi saloon and if you feel up to racing to try one of us out then go on lxi cavs are mean and rare.

15th Jun 2009, 09:41

Yes these are flyers especially the ones with the isuzu engines, I bought a 1989 for a run about and they fly.

17th Nov 2010, 14:50

I had a Cavalier 1.8 LXI, drove it for over 100,000 miles without a single problem. It went like the wind, really fast for what it was, and went as well at 240,000 miles when it died as when I first bought it. I am looking for a good one now, but they are like hens teeth. Shame..

21st Mar 2011, 17:19

I had an LXi in the late 90s, very quick car for what it was, and had a very nice interior too. Great old cars.

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier Convertible SE 1.8i from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.8i Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired64500 miles
Most recent distance65500 miles
Previous carTriumph TR6

Summary:

Cheap open top motoring

Faults:

Had to have the power steering brackets gas welded back onto the bulkhead, apparently a common problem with Cavaliers fitted with power steering.

Changed the alternator, exhaust, timing belt and water pump.

General service items.

General Comments:

It's only a 1.8i auto, hence low performance, but hey, who wants to change gears anyway!

Parts absolutely everywhere, and cheap.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st May, 2001

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 27 reviews