1991 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 8 valve 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


One front wheel bearing failed, starter motor failed (at 200,000 plus), radiator replaced - leak from cracked mount, driver's seat mounts collapsed, head removed at 200,000 because of rough tickover (no problems found, cleaned & valves re-seated), head gasket failed at about 255,000 (pattern gasket used at 200,000, replaced with GM part), one ABS wheel sensor failed, dodgy central locking operated when hatch slammed (never bothered to fix it).

Breakdown recovery required for a broken alternator earth wire, the starter motor, and the head gasket.

Water pump failure at about 90,000.

General Comments:

Other than the above; serviced every 9,000 miles (non-franchised garage), discs/pads replaced at about 50,000 mile intervals, rear shocks replaced twice, windscreen cracked twice by stones, entire exhaust system replaced once (piece by piece) - except back box which was replaced twice, cambelt replaced every 36,000 miles, drive shaft gaiters replaced once.

About 36 mpg average - motorway commuting 150 miles a day, not driven gently :-)

Original clutch, gearbox, front shock absorbers, engine.

The car is still in use, I sold it when I bought a cheap Astra diesel (33,000 miles) - good economy (50+ mpg), but horrible in every other respect. If I could find a low-mileage, FSH SRi 8V, I'd buy it. (The mechanic who serviced the car HAS bought an SRi, so has his son!)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2000

6th Feb 2001, 09:46

Have any owners experienced a starting problem on the SRi? My 1992 model is having starting problems after the engine has been driven some distance. No problems from cold, but a warm/hot engine is proving hard to start. Local garages have not been able to solve the problem.


15th May 2001, 05:56

RE hot starting problems did anyone find an answer if so mail me I'm desperate. midnight_caller@btinternet.com.

1991 Vauxhall Cavalier GSi2000 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


Within 3 weeks of buying it, there was an oil leak - this required a new sump gasket fitting. Whilst this was being fitted the speedo gave up the ghost and was replaced.

All then OK for 6 months, then in 3 weeks, new water pump required & new exhaust back box (though that was my fault).

All OK until 100,000 miles. At this point it required new front disks, which would have been great had the garage fitted the right pads - disks changed again inside 3 months as they'd warped - so put correct pads in at the same time.

No problems for another 12 months, but then the big ones - Clutch went at 130,000 miles and also found that the ABS needed new parts, and the sump gasket had given up the ghost again and hot oil was spraying onto a very hot catalytic converter, a good fire risk. Further investigation showed that there were only 3 bolts holding the sump on instead of the customary 10 or 12....

No more problems for 6 months, then one rear spring snapped, only 1 set in this country and that took 2 weeks to track down.

Nothing again for 6 months, but then the final straw - the head. It was either a porus head or a head gasket. As the cost was going to be prohibitive (£1000+ for a head), I decided to give up on it.

General Comments:

Bought it in 1995 with 79,000 on the clock. From the off, performance and economy was astounding. Over the whole life of the car it averaged in excess of 35mpg, which I thought to be very good.

Tyre choice was critical - Uniroyals lasted < 9000 miles. Goodyear Eagle NCT 2's lasted over double that.

Never failed to start or to impress.

I miss the sound and feel of it every day since I sold it from the head debacle. The real hurt part of the GSi was that it took me 4 dealers to find a good one - DH Davies of Tredegar in South Wales - our SRi goes there now, and the other one is that about 3 months after they told me about the head, a fix was found. Ah well, I'll just have to find another!!!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 1999

18th Oct 2003, 23:12

A pity about your (what seem to be unusual) mishaps. Do get another one. I live in Ireland, and there isn't one to be found anywhere, so consider yourselves very fortunate to live in the home of an absolutely gorgeous car in every way.

Does anybody please have any suggestions as to how I could pick up a completely genuine, preferably unmodified (I actually LOVE the genuine alloys, which don't seem to suit the Calibra at all), Cav Gsi 2wd, in pristine condition, and IS GENUINELY in good condition i.e. no clocking etc.?

P.S. I much prefer the Vauxhall badging and image (and I'm an Irishman!,-I really do love your car, congratulations), than the Opel variant, of which there are very few here as well anyway.

P.P.S 35+ mpg? Any comments anybody in the know? I really do wish...

3rd Nov 2007, 14:54

OK this car is getting quite rare now... I can't even remember the last time I saw one on the road. Its got classic status and if you have a good one.. hold on to it and keep it maintained. Try and keep it original.

Bandit ;0)

11th Dec 2007, 07:31

Hi! I have just recently purchased a cavalier gsi. It is very good condition outside but need little work on interior. Other than that it looks good. As for fuel consumption I have no idea at the moment. As the speedo and fuel gauge are not working, I have tried a new speedo cable, but still no good. Are there any suggestions or advice? It would be greatly appreciated.