1995 Vauxhall Cavalier Reviews - Page 7 of 9

1995 Vauxhall Cavalier GLS 1.7 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.7 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance110000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

An excellent value car that gives a mundane drive

Faults:

Valves started sticking at 100k or so and it wouldn't start in the morning - took over a week at the garage to get sorted. Found out that the valve sleeves needed replaced (I think). Problem sorted and very cheaply.

Alternator needs replaced due to above fault. Currently disengaged the Central Locking so seems to be OK starting.

Front shocks went and rear springs need to be done soon.

Front Brakes were a bit dodgy when I bought the car, but just needed the brake disks changed.

Exhaust went about 90K.

General Comments:

Great Car, but very dull!

Excellent MPG - you can sit on the motorway at 90 MPH or do loads of start/stop town driving and still get 50 MPG.

Reasonable for cruising and overtaking (just give it enough room to speed up and then she's off!)

Girlfriend has the same sort of car and no issues with it either.

Good comfort car with loads of room.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th November, 2002

1995 Vauxhall Cavalier LX 2.0L 16v from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0L 16v Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 miles
Most recent distance101000 miles
Previous carRenault Clio

Summary:

A quick car that can be expensive

Faults:

The camshaft sensor has been replaced twice which cost £170 each time, apparently a common fault.

The crankshaft sensor has been replaced at a which cost £200.

The alternator was replaced after overcharging which cost £150.

One of the ABS sensors needed replacing which cost £90.

The car needs filling up with oil more often due to its 110,000 miles.

The car will stall while stood at idle speed.

General Comments:

This car has been quite expensive to maintain.

However the car can be fun to drive and seriously quick.

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

Review Date: 28th September, 2002

1995 Vauxhall Cavalier SRi 16v 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.0 16v petrol Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.8 / 10
Distance when acquired44000 miles
Most recent distance72000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier

Summary:

Hopeless engine let down a good solid car

Faults:

Timing belt tensioner broke up, destroying the engine. Replaced under warranty.

Kept stalling and misfiring. Dealer assured me there was nothing wrong with it. On the 12th attempt the ECU was deemed faulty and replaced under warranty. Problem solved.

Coolant temperature sensor failed resulting in 16 mpg for a few weeks!

Immobiliser did its job too effectively and needed replacing.

General Comments:

My third Cavalier proved to be the least reliable. The ECOTEC engine is a dog, and nowhere near as durable and reliable as the old 8 valve unit. It doesn't even offer any extra performance over my previous 1990 SRi.

The rest of the car was typical Cavalier, and I mean that as a complement. Beautifully built, comfortable, reliable (engine apart), dependable and with a good turn of speed. Handling was better than the early versions as well, although the Mondeo Si I now drive would paste the Cavalier a twisty road. Still, you would expect that from a car which is 8 years newer in design.

A top car let down by a hopeless engine which, alarmingly, is used in almost everything they make now. Bye bye Vauxhall reliability, I will remember you fondly.

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

Review Date: 5th September, 2002

10th Feb 2004, 12:05

Vauxhall 16-valve units are getting better in the newer (less than 3 year old) cars, but for cars of the age like yours, they were more problematic. My father-in-law is a second hand car dealer and has told me that, for older Vectras, he can sell the 1.6 8-valve cars for more than equivalent 16-valve engined cars because of greater reliability and maintenance affordability.

30th May 2007, 12:29

Periodically cleaning the sensors on the ECOTEC will save you a lot of trouble. Sure they have their problems, but the engine itself is a good unit - its just a shame that there is so much emphasis on economy and emissions these days. Things like exhaust gas recirculation and having a catalytic converter strangle modern engines, and the early ECOTEC's were bound to suffer teething problems due to the sheer amount of sensors now involved. Mechanically though its tough, as Vauxhall engines have always been!

1995 Vauxhall Cavalier CDX 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1995
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.0 16v Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired90000 miles
Most recent distance93000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Cavalier

Summary:

Top of the range car at a bargain price

Faults:

Exhaust heat shield rattled and was cured with gasket cement.

Centre section continues to rattle and is incurable as it's the baffles in the the centre box, very irritating.

Constant smell of petrol in the cabin, although I can't find any leaks and the car is very economical.

Idle control valve and fuel sensor used to stick, causing free revving between gears, but they were cleaned and and engine runs perfectly (vauxhall advised new ones for £200!).

Air con intermittent.

High insurance.

General Comments:

Very comfortable, fast and reliable.

Lots of extras, good fuel economy and great prices second hand.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2002

24th Nov 2009, 14:26

For the smell of fuel in the cabin, I'd check the flexible hoses just behind the fuel injection unit. Could well be a small leak on them. Used to be able to buy replacements from Halfords. Had the smell of fuel in my 2.0 8v for months before I opened the bonnet with the engine running one day and saw a tiny fountain of super-unleaded spurting from one. Wasn't too bad until I poked it!

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 50 reviews