1988 Vauxhall Cavalier Reviews - Page 3 of 6

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier Li 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 miles
Most recent distance94000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier SRi

Summary:

Great car

Faults:

Can't believe this is still running so well.

Froze the engine and heater matrix, burst the heater matrix, awkward to get out. Then left the engine ticking over unattended, blew the radiator and fried the engine, refused to start.

Left it for a week while I located a new radiator, installed the new radiator and started the car, running perfectly ever since. Engines are bullet proof.

CV joint boots, leak in the hatchback. Leak in the sunroof.

Small holes in both front inner wings, favourite for cavaliers.

General Comments:

Great car, have 3 at present.

Go forever, last one had 145,000 miles no problems.

Cheap to repair.

Handles well with reasonable performance, chipped, boost valve, lowered and stiffened.

Seating is not comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2001

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier L 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 miles
Most recent distance91000 miles

Summary:

A very good workhorse/family car

Faults:

New battery, previous one failed.

New thermostat.

Extensive carb adjustments.

General Comments:

A very sound car, the paintwork is starting to fade but apart from that an excellent motor.

Not failed an MOT yet and a good polish would soon see it looking and feeling as new again.

Only a slight hint of rust on the rear wheel arch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2000

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier Mk3 L 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1988
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6 petrol Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance88500 miles

Summary:

A reliable and solid ordinary car

Faults:

Timing belt at 60,000 - going slowly so no damage.

Handbrake becomes inefficient between servicing despite new cables and brake pads.

Some rust around the rear wheel arches, sunroof and off-side rear door.

Operation of the boot lock can override the doorlock and it is possible to lock yourself out.

Otherwise only bulbs, tyres etc.

General Comments:

At 12 years of age it lacks some of the refinements of recent cars such as power steering and ABS.

It is very frugal when driven easily - I have achieved over 670 miles on a tank full.

It is very reliable and will cruise happily at 70 mph without complaint.

I look forward to running it for many years to come.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 2000

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier LX 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance97000 miles
Previous carNissan Prairie

Summary:

A work of art!

Faults:

Fuel pump.

General Comments:

This is a brilliant car that I got for £900.

It has genuine Recaro sports seats as supplied as standard from Vauxhall.

It's very cheap to run and maintain and has caused no major problems.

The LX range has great standard specs such as 8 spoke alloy wheels, tinted gold sunroof, and leather steering wheel complete with a rear spoiler to give it that sporting touch.

On top of all that you get excellent reliability and running costs.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th November, 2000

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier LI 1.8 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired88000 miles
Most recent distance95000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

Great when it's going

Faults:

Pistons shot.

2nd hand engine fitted.

Rear shocks rusted away.

Clutch worn out.

Exhaust mounts loose.

General Comments:

Pretty good motor. So much more poke than my 1400cc Escort. Incredibly low insurance for my age.

Cheap parts and goes great with a Peco 4" exhaust and K&N 57I kit fitted. Turns a few heads and loads of space for hi-fi gear.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th November, 2000

1988 Vauxhall Cavalier CDi 2.0i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 2.0i petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 miles
Most recent distance172000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Astra 1.3 GL

Summary:

Solid, quick, practical

Faults:

Clutch at 120,000 miles (fair enough).

Speedo cable.

Water leak around the rear light cluster.

Gas struts won't hold up the hatch in the cold weather.

Usual plethora of bulbs & electricals, especially the dashboard illumination (which was designed by a sadist).

Engine: oil light flickering at idle, mechanic says it's had it & put in some additive 3000 miles ago, still goes like stink.

General Comments:

Quick, comfortable, practical, & seriously cheap if you find a good one: be careful!

Almost cheaper than walking: I paid 3 grand for it in 1996, and 80,000+ miles later I'm happy - it makes a mockery of the "pence per mile" figures quoted in the motoring press.

Handling is of the "exciting" hang-on-&-hope variety, which is OK for a big old barge like this.

Ludicrously economical: I'm getting 40+mpg from an 11 year old, 2 litre fuel injected car.

Engine performance: plenty of torque up to 3000rpm, not much until 4000, then its goes like stink up to the red line.

If you enjoy yourself, the engine will deafen you & it'll eat the front tyres.

Huge hatchback has been very useful: it can actually fit 4 people & their luggage & still shift. Group 12 insurance isn't so nice, however.

My mechanic tells me the 8 valve engines are strong & a doddle to fix.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2000

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