1991 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 2.0 8v petrol from UK and Ireland
Quick, economical, fun, and it just works!
Fuel pump relay at 100,000 miles.
Clutch at 135,000 miles.
Radiator at 160,000 miles.
Front wheel bearings at 170,000 miles.
Front outer CV joints at 195,000 miles.
Shocks all round and track rod ends at 200,000 miles.
Without a doubt the most reliable and best built car I have ever owned. It continues to clock up the miles with ease, and despite 205,000 miles without ever having been apart, the engine is sweet, smooth, powerful and doesn't burn oil. I service the car myself at the recommended 9,000 mile intervals, but also carry out an oil change mid-way between these points.
It's old, but it doesn't get mollycoddled. I drive it hard and regularly visit friends in Germany where it will still make an indicated 140 mph on the derestricted autobahns. Allowing for speedo inaccuracy, this is still a genuine 126 which is not bad for a 200,000 miler. If anything the engine feels freer and gutsier now than ever before.
The bodywork is holding up well too and is still rot free. Waxoyl treatment around the rear arches and sills seems to have paid dividends, and the paintwork still polishes up almost as new. I always said I'd get rid of the car when it started to become unreliable or tatty, but it shows no signs of either. Fuel consumption varies depending on driving - 28 mpg driven hard around town to 43 mpg on a steady run. Not bad for a car that will still outperform most current 2.0 family hatches made today.
The other bonus is when parts need changing, they are dirt cheap. The clutch for instance was £140 fitted by a local independent garage, and has done 70,000 miles without problems. The radiator was £80 supplied (easy job), wheel bearings £100 fitted, CV joints £60 a side supplied (easy job), the shocks and track rod ends £200 and sharpened the car up almost as new. What other car can be kept running sweetly for 200,000 miles for just £600, outside of normal servicing? My old Peugeot 405 SRi cost twice that in three years and 45,000! And the only failure that caused a breakdown was the pump relay. One breakdown only in all these miles!
Come on Vauxhall, why don't you build 'em like this any more?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th April, 2003