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.

General Comments:

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

1993 Vauxhall Cavalier gls 2.0 from UK and Ireland


The best cavalier of the thirteen I've owned


Radiator blew up.

General Comments:

My cavalier has totally original engine and bodywork. it is more comfortable than most car's on the road today. even though thirteen years old has no rust or filler unlike most newer cars around. drives like a dream and handles brilliantly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th October, 2006

1993 Vauxhall Cavalier GLS 2.0i from UK and Ireland


An excellent-value, fast hatchback


143000 new cam shaft belt £10.

152000 central exhaust box £40.

160000 front discs £40.

186000 front suspension strut.

194000 fuel pump relay.

201000 spark plugs and ht leads £38.

210000 rear and central exhaust £92.

General Comments:

A great, reliable car. Since I paid £450 for it in 2003, I've put another 70 000 miles on the clock (£450 for 70 000 miles - why pay £10 000 for a new car!?), with NO major problems, just the usual oil, disc pad, exhaust replacements you'd expect to be necessary in a car of this age. It's comfortable, and can be very fast (although the cornering isn't as rock steady as some). Also holds a lot of luggage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2006

1993 Vauxhall Cavalier i 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Rubbish stink bomb


Fan belt came off 141000.

General Comments:

Last year I needed a car fast. My brother phoned me up as one of his workers had just smashed up his company car. Needing another car fast, he asked me where he could get one? I noticed that next to Surrey Keys Station was a car showroom full of old bangers. I cycled up there and the cheapest car was a Vauxhall Cavalier 1.8i for £220.

It was a freezing cold January day and a deal was done £200 for cash. A few hours later, a phone call to let me know the heater was not working! This meant the car was useless in the freezing January weather. A few weeks later, I had to travel down towards Dover to pick the car up. It was now mine. The heaters are disconnected on these cars as it is an expensive part to replace, and when they go they make a big racket. The exhaust was also missing, but that was not really noticeable.

Driving back on the M20 was the coldest journey in a car ever experienced by me. Not having driven much in the cold without a heater, this is not saying much. Also the inside of the car stunk of damp cloth. Apart from that, everything worked. I kept my speed down to about 60 as a shaking started at that speed.

Logged onto the Internet to get an insurance quote of £400, as I was now a car owner and wanted to be legal about it. Tax was not bothered with though. Going to the shop and back proved uneventful. The car did 30mpg and legal speeds were easy to keep up with. The car had a sunroof and electric windows, and my neighbours were impressed I could drive.

After a few months, I decided to make a trip up the motorway to see my sister 50 miles away. When I got there however, the engine battery was dead. A look under the bonnet showed the belt had snapped for the alternator. A trip to the garage got a new one for £7. The brakes had a strange sensation to them as well - it seemed they were down to the metal. Not wanting to spend money meant the car was scrap.

Phoning up the local scrap dealer, he offered to take it off me for free. I left it outside the state of the art car stripping plant - no more scrap yards it seems.

The insurance gave me a £250 rebate. So all in all, a very cheap 3 months motoring, as 1000 miles were covered for the price of the petrol needed to fill the tank.

PS They wanted £200 for an exhaust, which I did not buy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th July, 2006

24th Sep 2006, 14:27

LOL, that was funny. Sounds like yours was half dead before you bought it.

18th Sep 2007, 06:11

"Tax was not bothered with though"

That means your insurance was invalid!

No-one likes paying tax so why should the rest of us subsidise people who won't pay theres?

10th Dec 2008, 16:14

You shouldn’t have scrapped it, these cars are a particular favourite of mine and more and more people are just scrapping them. They deserve more than that.

26th Sep 2009, 14:59

I don't know what people expect from a car that cost £200 from a dealer!!

Should have checked the heater (and all functions) before you paid for it.

Belts are consumables and should have been replaced on a car that age. Should have replaced the belts immediately before they snapped if there was no history for them.

Brake pads are also normal consumables.

If you buy a car for £200, drive it illegally and don't take basic care of it, then why complain that the previous owner didn't treat it any better?