1994 Vauxhall Cavalier Club 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Old school cool


CV joints, driveshafts, exhaust, brakes and suspension etc replaced as needed.

Cam-belt change, regular oil changes.

Coolant leak, replaced pipe.

Locking mechanism's were terrible, easy to break into and central locking failed soon after I bought the car.

New battery and alternator.

There was more, but never anything major or expensive. Cosmetically there was a lot of paint fade in its final years, but never any rust problems, I kept it clean and looked after.

General Comments:

One of my first cars. The Cavalier was a very common sight on UK roads in the 1990's and beyond. Very rare sight today however.

This 1.8 club model is very basic. Roll up windows, no fancy electrical features here. Get the CDX models if you want more. That said, the interior was laid out nice and logically (something more modern cars could learn from), with no stupid distracting features, and the seats were very comfortable. Mine was white with wheel trims, very dull but alloy wheels would look much better. Friend of mine had a 2.0 SRi at the time in bright red and it looked great.

The 1.8 gave good enough power, while doing 35 miles per gallon on average, a little more on longer summer drives. Gear change was good, handling was average.

I had it a long time and was sad to see it go, though I think with nearly 170,000 miles on it and over 20 years old, I got my time out of it. Moved onto an Insignia now, a nice car. The Vectra's in between the Insignia and Cavalier however were not as reliable I have heard. Still, Vauxhall can make good cars when they try.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2021

12th Feb 2021, 14:06

Some later "Club" models had electrics and alloy wheels. They were generally a poorly equipped car unless you get the very highest specs though. Still, reliable if a bit dull is how I would sum up the Cavalier. Later Vectra's were not as bad as the motoring press made them out to be - I had two, a 1997 2.0 GLS, and a 1999 V6 model, both were reliable enough with nothing other than wear and tear expected of any car. The V6's are best left to specialist garages however; same with the faster Cavalier's.

22nd Feb 2021, 14:07

I had a "club" Cavalier back in the day. Definitely had electric windows in the front, wind up in the rear, maybe he was referring to the rear wind up windows in the review. Definitely sure it came with alloy wheels as well, mind you a lot of people got newer alloy wheels or just put old steel wheels on when the old alloy corroded, usually too expensive to refurbish.

Anyways mostly agree with review and above comment, the Cavalier was a good car, the Vectra that replaced it was not quite as reliable to be honest. Later Insignia's are holding up much better though apart from the common modern car faults such as DPF filters clogging up if it is a diesel. Never had those problems in older cars at-least, simplicity was their appeal.

1994 Vauxhall Cavalier GLS 1.7 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Get a good one and there's nothing better! Would you rather have a Mondeo?


Alternator required replacement (causing rev counter to fail and warning lights on dash to light up) £75 + VAT.

Dashboard bulbs needed replacing (less than an hour to do myself) £2 + VAT.

Accident damage rust (i.e. bumps and scrapes left untreated by previous owners)

Odd problem with central locking activating when passenger door electric window activated (possible dodgy earth or frayed wiring - but then it is 15 years old...)

Fuel tank has a small leak due to being stood for so long (71k in 15 years - 3500 miles a year, on average!)

General Comments:

There's not many left and was lucky to get this one for £550 with 71k on the clock. No history, but the condition of car bears this out.

Comfortable, economical (45mpg+) and so easy to maintain. Yes, OK, it's boring, but for commuting backwards and forwards to work it's ideal, can't beat it!

Don't ignore the oil changes at every 4,500 miles (easily done yourself though) and treat it with normal mechanical respect - I'm looking at 600k out of this one!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2010

15th Jan 2010, 18:47

Yes I would rather have a Mondeo!

I worked in the car trade for 10 years, mainly selling Vauxhalls for a living and know how these two drive very well, I've driven every Cav from a 1.4 base model to a Turbo 4x4.

The Mondeo was launched in 1993 and was ahead of the Cavalier in nearly every respect, that is -- handling, engines (all at least 16v except the diesel), refinement, safety (the safety cell was more rigid and it was widely recognised as the safest car in it's class when launched).

The motoring press loved it, it won the 1993 car of the year award, and it was better except in the minds of weirdly loyal Vauxhall fans who deluded themselves into thinking a Cav handled, rode and performed better, I obviously told them it did when selling them!

Anyway, I'll stick to my 2008 car with a 4 star euroncap rating thanks, not a 15 yr old one that'll implode with any kind of collision.

Oh, and you've only had it for 1000 miles, maybe run it a bit longer before saying how great it is?