1993 Vauxhall Cavalier LS 1.7 TD (Isuzu engine) from UK and Ireland
Strong, reliable, economical and extremely comfortable - a distance travellers' dream come true
Drive-shaft seal was leaking oil when purchased. Only cost £25 to have the engine steamed and the seals renewed.
Typically for Vauxhall, the nearside wishbone and strut were quick to wear - but very quick and cheap to replace.
Heater fan would only work on highest setting, which also failed after a further 10,000 miles. Owners Network state that a faulty plug-in resistor in the engine bay simply requires swapping to fix.
With the Isuzu engine, this is a supremely reliable and comfortable motorway car.
The Cavalier isn't the fastest to 60mph, having only the "low blow" type turbo fitted, but it does get there comfortably in respectable speed and even at nearly 200,000 miles still drives like new. Not many manufacturers can claim that for their cars! It is by no means slow, but isn't a car that appreciates being "ragged". Let it get there in its own time (which isn't too long) and it'll reward you amply with bags of torque, and power to spare.
This car (with the Isuzu engine anyway) will run comfortably on vegetable oil - duty paid where applicable - and just never seems to break down. With regular oil changes and a good "stretch" weekly, they really do just go on forever.
The gearboxes are very strong and smooth (unlike the Peugeot boxes I'm more familiar with). Milling your way to a silky 70mph on the motorway, cocooned in the near-silent cabin's armchair like seats, you really can just eat up the miles and hardly notice you've left home.
Cavaliers have superb handling and, where well maintained, excellent and somewhat soft suspension. They aren't necessarily the best car for cities or back-street "rabbit run" type driving, but over distances they come into their own.
There is ample space for adult passengers both in front and at the rear, although very tall (6'2" plus) gents may find the curved roof/ceiling a little cumbersome in the rear, where the car slops downwards towards the tailgate somewhat. Boot/luggage space is ample bordering on cavernous.
A pleasure to drive and very economical to maintain and run (with 55+ miles per gallon on a long journey), this is a car I'd buy again and again.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 22nd June, 2007