1989 Vauxhall Cavalier Reviews - Page 3 of 6

1989 Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0 GLi Auto 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0 Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired109 miles
Most recent distance121 miles
Previous carRover - Austin 400

Summary:

A superb family car for banger money

Faults:

Thermostat failed, cost £15.

Rear disks are corroded and will need replacing soon.

Exhaust downpipe is on the way out.

General Comments:

I bought this car for the princely sum of £350 (with 12 months MOT) and it has turned out to be my best car purchase ever.

The car is very easy to drive, the 4-speed auto box is very smooth, it changes up quickly, but this suits the tourqey character of the 8v engine so is not a problem.

Performance is good, cruising ability is excellent - quiet, comfortable and economical.

Standard equipment is good considering the age with a few nice touches such as self closing windows when you lock the car and electric headlamp adjustment.

Economy varies quite a lot, from high 20's round town to low 40's on the motorway.

The only bad points I can think of are a bit cramped in the rear for the size of car, and the ride is not great over poor surfaces.

I admit I was lucky with this car, most cav's of this age are past it now, but if you can find a good one you can't go wrong!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th June, 2002

17th Jun 2002, 14:24

Nice review - these are absolutely top motors and they'll go on forever if serviced regularly. Change the oil every 6 months and keep on top of the maintenance, and you'll get 250,000 miles out of it without any problems.

1989 Vauxhall Cavalier 2.0Li Auto 2.0 petrol SOHC from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1989
Most recent year of ownership1991
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol SOHC Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance74000 miles
Previous carFiat Strada

Summary:

Good as a company car, but expensive on fuel

Faults:

Engine shed a connecting rod at 73000 and was replaced by a new unit.

Repeated failure of central locking system.

Failure on 2 occasions of fuelpump solenoid.

General Comments:

Fast, well made and practical car. Better on balance, than the Vectra I owned later.

Rapid performance, but the engine was always rough (the original and the replacement motors both felt the same).

Fuel consumption at 28mpg considered poor, though the car was always pushed hard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2002

1989 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 2.0 8v from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.0 8v Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired145000 miles
Most recent distance171000 miles
Previous carFord Orion

Summary:

SRi - family car, not a sports car

Faults:

Rear wheel bearing replaced, air flow meter replaced - £25 plus vat at a scrappy!!

Windows wouldn't open or close properly, silicon spray fired into the window rubbers sorted it a treat!!!

Apart from that, very reliable, always started in the mornings.

The car is a late F mk3 fitted with a K reg SRi lump.

General Comments:

- Gearing far too short making driving a constant up and down the box affair which actually seems to make the car slower.

- Steering very vague.

- Driver's seat seams to wear heavily on the side supports.

- In short this is a good family hatch and is practical and reliable, but is by no means a sports car and I don't really give it hot hatch status either.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2001

12th Jul 2001, 19:27

I feel that your review is accurate. The seats are not wide enough, so they take a pounding. The engine is not as happy as the 2 litre 16v. Too much weight for the power.

14th Jul 2005, 09:36

What rubbish, too much weight? The pre 1993 8 valve engines make 130bhp, the initial 16v engines make 150bhp, and then the Ecotec 16v engined SRi's make just 136bhp. Ecotec's are far more common than the red top engined Cav's. There's barely anything in performance terms between the 8 valve SRi and the 16 valve Ecotec SRi's - the Ecotec might just beat the 8 once you've passed 100mph.

1989 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 2.0i 8v petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 2.0i 8v petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired73500 miles
Most recent distance80200 miles
Previous carPeugeot 205 GTi

Summary:

Cheap, fast and reliable family 4-door!

Faults:

In the eight months I have owned the car all I have needed was to have a rear wheel bearing adjusted to pass the MOT.

I found the boot did leak, due to the hinge-spring launching the boot lid up at high speed if not held tightly! Silicon around the rim easily cured the problem.

General Comments:

My 8-valve SRi has a full service history, and at 80,200 is low mileage and I feel that I have a brilliant family 4-door motor that pound for pound would be impossible to beat.

The performance, while not blistering, is certainly more than adequate for a family saloon, and if "poked" will easily beat off the majority of rep-mobiles around today. The SRi cannot be described as an exhilerating drivers car, but it is an easy and comfortable drive, corners well and has predictable and responsive steering.

Mine came with an alarm fitted, but I have invested in a top quality imobilizer (as all SRis are well liked by joy-riders).

With one this good I am unlikely to find a similar one in a hurry. TIP: If you do get the opportunity to buy a good one, snap the sellers hands off! I promise you, you won't regret it!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th December, 2000

27th Jan 2001, 17:32

Yes I totally agree! I bought a SRi 2 litre 1988 model in 1997 and it has passed THREE MOT's in succession without any work needed. It can do 125 mph on a good day and the only problem I can report is it burns a drop of oil.

(130 thousand miles) and there is a recurring problem with the printed circuit behind the speedo/rev counter. It seems to rub through and short out every now and then. Apart from that it's the best car I have ever owned!!!

Average review marks: 7.7 / 10, based on 26 reviews