1995 Vauxhall Cavalier CDX 2.0 16V petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Great car from simpler times

Faults:

Alternator + battery.

Various electrical gremlins like central locking only working when it feels like it.

Rear hatch struts.

Suspension, CV joints, brakes, exhaust, wear and tear etc.

The car had the timing belt done and oil changes almost 100% to the service guide through its lifetime. Cosmetically, paint faded a bit, especially on the bonnet. Never had any major rust issues though - probably because I kept it clean and garaged.

General Comments:

Loved my old Cavalier, bought in the year 2000 at only 5 years old with only 45K on it for a fair price. Had it 10 years and served me very well; the bullet proof reliable 2.0 petrol engine was great and so was the gearbox; never an issue if serviced on time.

Driving this car is nothing special, but the 2.0 engine can move fast if you needed to overtake in a hurry. Gear-change felt a bit clunky sometimes, but was OK when you got used to it. Did anything between 35 - 40 MPG if you took it easy. Brakes felt solid and suspension was tight enough, though a bit soft for some drivers. I've heard the SRi and GSi models were much better to drive.

My CDX was pretty well equipped for its time, with lots of electrics and nice alloy wheels. Looked great in dark red metallic. Very comfortable interior. Not a car to stand out, it was a typical sight on motorways through the 1990s and early 2000's, but you do not see many anymore.

Vauxhall got a bad rep for dealer service; I cannot really comment though because I rarely used them - by the time I bought mine it was already out of warranty, so I used reputable independents, and kept the costs down. A very easy car to live with, most garages had a good knowledge of these cars, and parts and repairs were very cheap.

In the end it was in an accident in 2010 after being rear ended (not my fault!) and at 15 years old and with 165K on it, it was obviously uneconomical to repair. I miss the car even today, it was the last of the Cavaliers before they changed over to the Vectra, which I've since had a couple of those cars as well - not as bad as the motoring press made them out to be, but perhaps not a huge improvement on the Cavalier and little average or under in its reliability. But the Cavalier was one of the last of cars from a simpler time when you could get a used car very cheap and run it for years without having to worry about major repair costs - shame I cannot say the same about much more modern cars.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2020

1995 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Great car; a wolf in sheep's clothing!

Faults:

Lambda sensor at 150000 miles.

New brake disc's and pads on the front. 149000 miles.

General Comments:

Personally I think the Cavalier is an excellent car. It was the perfect rep mobile and now it seems more and more boy racers are getting their mitts on them because of the mod's available and the performance.

My car, which is the ecotec model, has covered 150000 miles and it still feels tight as a drum and pulls well. It's a 1 previous owner car and is immaculate; it's totally standard and could possibly do with updating. The previous owner said that the only problem he had was a head gasket failure at 89000 miles, and apart from regular servicing and maintenance, never had to do anything to it!! Since I've had it I've covered roughly 13.500 miles in about a year and have only replaced the lambda sensor.

I'm told that these will go up to about 125mph, but I don't thrash mine as it serves me well and has been reliable!

The handling is not as good as an Alfa Romeo, but the overall value for money is better by miles. Alfa Romeos are my love affair, but for every day motoring, which is not mundane and boring (sorry Mondeo driver's) this is the car. Definitely a future classic; get one while you can!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2008