1993 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


Despite the faults, a bargain sports saloon


Possible head gasket problems, replaced under warranty.

Possibly has a porous cylinder head as there is a trace of white residue in the coolant tank which, I am told by my mechanic, is oil getting into the coolant. Also the engine was losing coolant, but no apparent leakage. Possible cost to repair is £500+ to replace the cylinder head, but some garages may be able to do it for less. This is apparently a common fault on 2 litre, 16 valve, 148 bhp, non-EcoTec engines.

Occasionally noisy hydraulic valve lifters. Oil sump cleaned out.

Suspension bushes.

Engine was running too cold, thermostat replaced.

Steering wheel shook at 60 mph+. Wheels needed re-balancing.

Brake judder due to unbalanced wheels. May need to replace brake discs.

Exhaust rattle.

Annoying squeaky clutch pedal.

General Comments:

The car is quite quick with brisk acceleration. Excellent for overtaking. As good as a GSi, but generally cheaper than the GSi.

Handling is pretty poor due to its standard suspension. Needs to be driven with care around twisty B-roads.

Dashboard is a bit plasticy and boring.

Build quality is sub-standard if you compare it with a Toyota or BMW, but that shows in the price difference.

Fairly comfortable sports seats. Driving position not the best. Sometimes can get hard on the left foot when driving in town.

Looks better than other models with side-skirts and alloy wheels, and in my opinion the saloon model looks better than the hatchback.

Prices are very cheap compared to an equivalent German or Japanese saloons.

This can be a bargain sporty saloon without the faults, but you do get what you pay for in terms of build quality and reliability.

Go for the lesser-powered EcoTec version for reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th October, 2002

1993 Vauxhall Cavalier GLS 1.6 Single OHC from UK and Ireland


I purchased a nail - I'm sure this is an exception


Exhaust badly corroded and fell off mid journey.

Sold with a handbrake cable adjuster from a mk2 cavalier.

Engine Control Unit failed meaning replacement at great expense.

Handbrake cable snapped while going down a hill (after cable adjuster changed)

Interior rattles incessantly.

Rear driver side load sensor compensator valve split leaking brake fluid all over the real axle.

General Comments:

The more I look at my car I realise what a good car it could have been if regularly serviced and looked after by it's previous owner. I have had great expense trying to put things right and it is rapidly becoming a money pit.

I originally purchased a Cavalier after my Astra Belmont was written off in an RTA. It was bought on the understanding that it would be relatively cheap and easy to repair compared to either a Mondeo or a Peugeot 405.

Without sounding too gloomy it can be reliable when it wants to be and is easy to drive on motorways, but I'm not sure if it's overly suited to inner city use.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 24th September, 2002

1993 Vauxhall Cavalier LS 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


This car could have been built around me and my motoring needs, but could have a little more power


Cracked front suspension spring at 118000 miles. Replaced the pair.

Made the mistake of ignoring a noise at idle for a week which resulted in the water pump seizing and the cam belt snapping. No engine damaged resulted and not particularly expensive to rectify.

Drivers electric window slow to operate, have put up with it since I bought it, perhaps one day it will fail, probably when its raining!

General Comments:

Extremely comfortable.

It is almost as if it was built for my 6 foot 2 height (next point is the only exception).

Steering column not adjustable which is a shame, it is too low.

Somewhat sluggish which can be a little frustrating.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2002

21st Dec 2008, 11:14

If you spray silcom lube on the window flets it should cure the problems.

1993 Vauxhall Cavalier V6 Cesaro Limited Edition 2.5 V6 from UK and Ireland


Amazing performance for peanuts!


Traction control and ABS unit failed during the warranty period (best part of £1000 - ouch!) and water pump failed at 85000 miles. Other than that it has been completely reliable despite being driven hard.

General Comments:

The V6 cavalier is a well-kept secret when it comes to performance bargains. If you consider that this car is 150kg lighter than the replacement V6 Vectra, then you see why it can hit 60mph in 2nd gear in 7.2 seconds. Add this to a huge torque curve and a top speed of 145 mph and you can see why this car is a seriously fast Q-car in a straight line.

The downside is the legendary poor chassis Vauxhall used for the cavalier/calibra. Likes straight lines, but not corners! At least pickup out of corners is good!

The V6 Cesaro is an interesting limited edition in itself and for a performance enthusiast is probably the best V6 in terms of spec since it looks quick and includes:

- sports tuned suspension

- sports seats (very supportive)

- rear spoiler

- sports decals

- SRi style alloys (optional)

I have had the car over 3 years and it has been impeccably behaved despite some seriously hard driving. Even now at 95000 miles, the performance is still there and the car shows few signs of wear.

For all those who desire performance on a budget, go seek out a good V6. With a standard main dealer service at below £100, this is a quick motor that doesn't hurt your pocket.

I'm now looking to upgrade to something quicker, but it is proving a difficult decision to find something to take the place of the trusty V6. Perhaps a celica GT4 or a Fiat Coupe 20V Turbo?...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2002