1989 Vauxhall Cavalier Reviews - Page 5 of 6

1989 Vauxhall Cavalier Base 1.6 carb from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6 carb Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 miles
Most recent distance85000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Metro

Summary:

Excellent, reliable, low cost transport

Faults:

Rear brake pistons leaking brake fluid (onto the linings!!!)

Exhaust needed replacing.

One tyre.

CV boot split.

Rear dampers have started to rust and will need replacing before too long.

Has cost me around £150 so far but it's a lot better than my previous car!

General Comments:

I'm very pleased with my Cavalier. It's fairly comfortable on long journeys and easily does over 50mpg on runs if treated gently. The ride can get a bit harsh on poor surfaces, but the car handles nicely and is fun to drive. The engine is a bit noisy in lower gears but is very quiet at motorway speeds. The gearing is very high, and the gear ratios are widely spaced, which means the engine has to be worked hard to build up speed before changing gear. Despite its age, there is no rust on it anywhere - even on the underside.

One dislike (a very minor one!) is that when I brake hard or stop the car, petrol in the tank can be heard sloshing around.

I'll definitely have another Cavalier after this one - hopefully one with a 2 litre engine!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th May, 2000

1st Nov 2001, 15:14

Update...

Now on 113,000 miles and still going strong. A few more problems though:

- Engine management light. Pain in the backside! Turned out to be water in a octane plug connector. Took months to diagnose!

- Front nearside wheel bearing needs to be replaced.

- Clutch is getting a bit vague but still works.

- Nearside rear shock failed. 2 new shocks needed.

- Cambelt snapped at 102,000 miles. No damage to the engine!

Still starts easily and returns high 40s mpg. Body still excellent for its age - hardly any rust.

Going to replace it soon though. Fancy a change!

1989 Vauxhall Cavalier GLi 2.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1995
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 2.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired82000 miles
Most recent distance145000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier

Summary:

Built for motorways

Faults:

Anti-roll bar changed.

Discs all round.

Exhaust lasted 110,000 miles!

Driver seat sagging.

Some rust in wheelarches.

General Comments:

It just goes on and on. Present owner is now on 160,000 with no further faults. Remarkable economy (44 mpg motorway, gives range of 580 miles). Tyres lasted 60,000. Still on original clutch!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th March, 2000

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

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 2.0i OHC Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.3 / 10
Distance when acquired86000 miles
Most recent distance91000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Astra

Summary:

A brilliant car that costs very little money

Faults:

Nothing major, the window wipers went about a week after I bought it. Just a loose nut on the motor. Battery (still under warranty), pads and thermostat.

General Comments:

A good car with lots of potential, I've had it chipped and put a K&N induction kit on it, both together made a lot of difference. Performance is good and I brought the car because its only group 11 and I am 21 years old, so I couldn't have the GSi. All the Vauxhalls I have had have been reliable and never let me down. A top car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2000

30th Nov 2000, 07:39

Nice comment. I have a Cavalier SRi 1989 G-plater hatchback 8v! Just to clarify something, does the SRi produce 115bhp or 130 bhp? I tried to debate this with the man at the rolling road, he wasn't impressed!

30th Nov 2000, 07:41

Be careful when adding K&N/JR Weber filters. The car tends to jerk when you put your foot down at low revs.

Rear arches go all the time, so make sure that you get them properly treated by someone who knows what they are talking about or do it yourself!

And watch out for ticking hydraulic tappets!

8th Aug 2002, 15:32

I have just Bought a G-plate SRI 8 valve, and looking forward to driving it. I am glad to hear they are not too expensive to insure as I am only 24. And to clarify the other readers comment, the SRI produces 130 BHP according to the owners handbook. Happy driving Cav fans!

5th Jun 2003, 07:05

I am on my fourth cavalier SRI, present one being the 2.0 16 valve version. 1995. superb drivers cars. I think that says it all.

15th Dec 2004, 16:06

I bought a cavalier SRi 8v for my first car and I am 18! was cheaper than a 1.4 nova to insure!! Put a K`N filter on and performance exhaust and made a massive difference to the power of the car, highly recommend to all young drivers. Engine is also extremely strong and very reliable.

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