1990 Vauxhall Cavalier GL 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cheap, cheerful and has never let me down


Small leak in the radiator.

Some rust on the bodywork, but this is expected in a ten year old car.

Discs and pads replaced due to rather un-nerving whirr at high speeds and lack of braking performance.

Electric mirrors do not move.

Centre console bulb blown (surprise, surprise).

Electric choke occasionally fails on cold days.

General Comments:

Got this car last year as a general run-around. I'm over 6'6" tall so for the money I had I was faced with either a Cavalier or a Mondeo. Took the right decision when I went for the Cavalier.

The 1.6 engine pulls well in low gears, however in higher gears it does not perform but this is a heavy car so can be expected.

Not sure about the economy - looks to be around 25-30mpg but town traffic is always heavy on the fuel. Also, this car tends to feel very laden when the tank is full.

It's a very comfortable car given my height - it has always started first time and once warm runs smoothly.

I've put a small install into it, and it sounds okay - loads of sound-killing soft furnishings make it slightly flat though.

Over all a very forgiving car to drive - cheap(ish) to insure and very reliable.

Not sure it's one for performance or looks, but for reliability it's an excellent choice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th March, 2001

1990 Vauxhall Cavalier GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Excellent car


Bought the car with a dodgy box, hence only £500. A 20k Tigra box cost me £80. I then did the discs and pads... oh and that's about it.

Oh, the wiper linkages are now a bit worn and they make a lot of noise. They have also started to overload.

Not a problem though.

General Comments:

Excellent. 201,000 miles and still going.

Get one.

Better than a Ford.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th March, 2001

10th Mar 2001, 15:41

Once had a 'E' reg mark 2 Cavalier, great cars. It was just run in at 210,000 miles. Finally gave up after 280,000 miles due to rotton bodywork, the engine was still sound!

8th Aug 2001, 06:18

201,000 miles, bloody hell! That's excellent. I really love Cavalier's, I am taking your advice and I'm going to buy one asap. Well done with the high miles!

1990 Vauxhall Cavalier GL 1.6 from UK and Ireland


High priced crap


Head gasket at 128,000.

Door panel at 128,000.

New wheel arch at 129,000.

Wind-screen cracked at 130,000.

Rust got resprayed at 130,000.

Central locking started playing up at 131,000.

CV joint started to go at 131,000, not fixed for another 4,000 miles.

Starter went at 132,000.

It's had a new battery and lots more general work like timing, pipes, pads etc.

General Comments:

I've lowered the car and bazzed it up a bit, but this car has very poor reliability. I still like the car even if it has gone wrong so much.

I suspect the car has been clocked and been bodged up a lot, but I bought it sold as seen so there's nothing I can do about it. I soon hope to get a GSi 2000 model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th February, 2001

21st May 2001, 14:32

I couldn't agree with you more - I also had a clocked heap of crap - I'm surprisef you gave the dealer 7/10 - couldn't be a Vauxhall dealer.

1990 Vauxhall Cavalier Turbo 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


Serious saloon power for cheap money


Gear box at 134,000 miles.

CV joint started to go at 136,000.

New turbo at 143,000.

Windscreen cracked at 144,000.

Front shock went at 152,000.

Central locking sticks on the boot.

Heaters don't work.

General Comments:

This car is fast, it will do 150mph in comfort.

It has been lowered 60mm and it has problems with speed bumps.

It has 17 inch wheels which fit on easily and stops like you just dropped an anchor.

Best car I've ever had, I really recommend this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2001

15th Jul 2005, 19:35

Well said I agree totally.

1990 Vauxhall Cavalier GLi 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Who needs the extra insurance for a GSi, buy a Cavalier GLi


Interior door handle came loose once.

As for rattles, it has none.

General Comments:

I am only 18 and I love this car. People always ask what it is because I am beating SRi's, keeping up with GSi's and even I don't know how it does it. If you kick it hard enough it will easily hassle GTE's capable of 8.4. If someone can explain this to me please do.

Loves mods and I have done plenty. 17" League 65 alloys, GSi body kit, Peco Powermaster back box, have painted the wing mirrors black and a silver mesh grille.

Air box sports 6 2" holes giving off a beautiful induction noise, definitely recommended.

Also plenty boot space for my Fire and Ice amp and 2 10" subs also wired to 2 6x9 Sony speakers.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th November, 2000

27th Nov 2000, 08:10

My CDI keeps up with GSI's also, glad to hear someone else who rates the 8v engine higher than the 16v. It's just as fast and a lot more reliable.

14th Mar 2001, 14:05

I agree with you, I have a 2.0i gl and boy can it kick ass!! might not have as many mod cons as the gsi but who needs them. cheap to insure, cheap to run.

24th Sep 2001, 14:24

Just bought a 2 litre GL 1990 off my big sister, 53,000 miles on the clock in excellent condition. It goes like hell, sounds nice, everybody should get one.

The mirror switch has broken and it needs a drive shaft boot, but what do you want for £600. My last car was also a Carlton, I have still got it but the head gasket has gone.

29th Oct 2001, 04:59

I raced a Cav GLi in an 1.8i, 8v VW Scirroco, and from the start the Cav had no chance. I'm not just saying this. I was surprised by the difference. I also raced a 2.0L GTE Astra and beat it by a car's length when reaching 50.

28th Feb 2002, 15:26

I have a completely unmodded 1993 Cavalier 2.0i 8v GLS. I completely agree with what's said here about the performance - I have no complaints! I couldn't tell you exactly what it's highest speed has been, as it was off the scale! :-S (I estimate it was about 145mph) Of course, it won't do that on demand - I did have a pretty big run-up! But it will still quickly and easily get to 120mph and beyond, and it runs as smoothly as ever, even after 213000 miles! I couldn't have hoped for more from a car...

6th Jul 2004, 06:58

Got a 1990 GLi 2.0 114,000 very tidy £300 - a total steal!!

It's a lovely smooth drive at low revs and gets you out of trouble fast up the top end.

A beautiful beast, they've aged really well the cavs - and it goes like poo off a greased shovel.

Very very happy with it.