1990 Vauxhall Cavalier Reviews

1990 Vauxhall Cavalier L 1.8 from UK and Ireland

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.8 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired59000 miles
Most recent distance124000 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

A good reliable competent car

Faults:

Whining speedo. I understand the speedo broke on the next owner. It was intermittent and not too loud.

Auto-choke carburettor had a severe mixture problem. I decided to change it for £200 for an aftermarket Weber direct replacement, manual choke, which worked really well.

Top coolant hose went about 1 month after I bought it. The petrol pipe to the carburettor was sweating petrol, dripping onto the coolant hose, which perished the rubber and burst at 70 m.p.h. Petrol pipe was replaced with a proper fuel injection rubber pipe.

CV boots replaced. Some aftermarket ones only lasted 2 years. Used the proper Vauxhall ones - thicker rubber, after the first repeat failure.

Cylinder head tightened due to oil leak from head gasket, leak down front of engine. Same thing happened on next Cavalier 1994 model bought 2002.

Water pump leaked and was replaced.

Only got rid of the car because I hit an exhaust section lying in the road (early morning, dark) and damaged the drivers door.

General Comments:

Very comfortable, economical, 35 m.p.g average. 1.8 litre engine.

A little excessive body roll, but could take 5th gear at 30 m.p.h.

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

Review Date: 11th October, 2009

1990 Vauxhall Cavalier CDi 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Model year1988
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 2.0 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired79000 miles
Most recent distance164000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier

Summary:

Been a great car and will be sad to let it go

Faults:

Where do I start?

Corrosion to the rear arches, roof & all panels. Mostly all been professionally repaired to maintain a good appearance.

Numerous oil leaks from the engine, a frustrating problem caused by ageing gaskets.

Water pump went at 120k miles, replaced with new.

Failing idle control valve, replaced with new. Have since learnt that the old one could have been cleaned & refitted instead!

Leaking fuel tank replaced by new item.

Poor brakes, used to be very good, but the dealer has never been able to get them working terribly effectively again.

Sports box light flashed on & box went into limp mode, a fluid change cured it immediately.

Now at over 160k miles, the prior reasonable performance of the car isn't so hot anymore.

Terribly poor dealer service (have tried all the Vx dealers in my area), Vauxhall really need to make improvements in this area... they're probably going to lose me as a good customer anyway.

General Comments:

Generally been very happy throughout ownership, this car has been in my family for over 10 years now & has been treated like a family pet.

Only lately have I decided a change is on the cards due to increasing regularity of repairs required & poor dealer service. An Audi is next I think.

Have spent over 5000 pounds on the car during ownership (crazy, I know) and have receipts for over 8000 pounds in total with full dealer history.

The car has never broken down, the engine or transmission have never failed, it has been ridiculously reliable and has travelled up & down the UK without fuss.

It is reasonably comfortable & well equipped for its age.

For me the car has been expensive to own as I'm very fussy about my cars, but the car actually looks better now than when I first acquired it!

Take care of a good Vauxhall & it will take care of you.

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

Review Date: 22nd September, 2005

1990 Vauxhall Cavalier GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired84600 miles
Most recent distance108000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier

Summary:

The most reliable and comfortable car I have ever had

Faults:

I find this hard to fill in because I have had so few problems, but here goes...

Radiator had a small leak at 100,000 miles, which was I was able to cure with a liquid radiator leak finder.

New ignition switch at 101,000 as the old one started shorting out.

General Comments:

What can I say, but this is the best car I have ever owned, and only really had 2 minor problems with it over the 22,600 miles that I have driven in it.

It is very comfortable, the upholstery has to be the best I have ever come across, still no sign of any wear. It is very warm and plush, and the seats hug you in such a way that you can drive a long distance with ease.

Running costs are very low. I get about 45 miles to the gallon, and combining that with do it yourself servicing it is a very cheap and luxurious car, it really is a shame they don't make them any more.

Overall the best £1500 I have ever spent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2005

11th Sep 2005, 09:01

These go on forever. My mate's dad had one new in 1991 as a company car. He put a massive 135,000 miles on it in 3 years, and then bought it off the company in 1994 for a pittance. Kept it as a runabout until 2001 when it had just clicked over 200,000 miles, and then gave it to my mate who ran it around until last year when it got rear-ended by an artic and written off. The odometer was reading just shy of 230,000 miles at that point.

Engine was original (and still sweet as a nut, despite never having been run in!)

Gearbox was original

Only on its second clutch.

I drove it briefly about a week before it was wrecked and to be honest, apart from a sloppy gear change and a threadbare steering wheel, it drove perfectly OK.

There's some life left in yours yet!!

13th Sep 2005, 17:36

I wrote the review on this. Goodness, yes I would have liked to see that Cavalier, sad though it may be. And I bet he was wearing brown trousers, He walked away in one piece though, so this goes to show how safe they are, even at a reduced length!

16th Sep 2005, 17:44

It was a bit of a mess as the artic was doing about 40 mph. Everything from the B-pillars back on the Cavalier was crushed, the fuel tank ended up compressed between the front seats, and my mate was fine apart from being knocked out by the stereo flying out of the dash!

They had to cut him out as neither of the front doors would open, but once they checked his head out, it was all fine.

He has a photo of the car in the insurance assessor's yard somewhere. None of us can believe to this day how he got out of it alive!

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 49 reviews