1989 Vauxhall Senator Reviews - Page 2 of 2

1989 Vauxhall Senator 12v 3.0 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 3.0 Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.6 / 10
Distance when acquired140000 miles
Most recent distance150000 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

A pile of junk

Faults:

Hole in the sump - £70.

Exhaust - £500.

Headlamp - £70.

Rear ABS sensors - £370.

Mystery misfire - £300, still not running.

General Comments:

Handles like a house, and a house must be cheaper to run, I wish I had kept my BMW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st May, 2001

17th Jul 2001, 15:35

Interesting review, and the first adverse comment I have EVER seen about the Senator. I have had five and would not swap any of them for a Merc, Lexus OR BMW. Did you buy the car second hand? If so, perhaps you got one which had been maltreated and not maintained (all makes suffer from this now and again, unfortunately). I would recommend the Autobahnstormers Club (on the Internet) for support and advice, either to put this one right or to get another - good - one.

27th Feb 2008, 20:47

Hi there, yours wasn't white was it? May had been a ex police car.

1989 Vauxhall Senator 3.0 12v from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 3.0 12v Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired131000 miles
Most recent distance132000 miles
Previous carRover - Austin Mini

Summary:

Incredulous bargain

Faults:

Nothing wrong after 1000 miles.

General Comments:

G reg picked up at auction for a bargain £375.00, with nearly a years MOT.

Still looking for that major fault, and haven't found it yet (previous owner from 1995, disabled driver, so possibly a main dealer part exchange).

Offer me around £2000 and it's yours.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2001

1989 Vauxhall Senator CD 3.0i 12v petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 3.0i 12v petrol Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired180000 miles
Most recent distance222000 miles
Previous carVauxhall Senator

Summary:

A luxurious, fast, safe motorway cruiser

Faults:

Cruise control ECU.

Air conditioning radiator.

Starter motor failed.

General Comments:

The items listed above were all easily cured by the nation's expert on Vauxhall Senators (Paul Spence 0850 693141). The Vauxhall main agent was unable to sell me the right sparking plugs and distributor cap for it (as indeed they were for my 24-valve Senator and 1.6 Cavalier).

For servicing and repairing a Senator, I personally DO NOT recommend Vauxhall main agents; and MASTERFIT will not even look at it for exhausts, MOTs, servicing, etc "because it's over 10 years old"! Are they saying they consider 10-year old Vauxhalls to be not worth maintaining, then?

The repairs were a bit expensive, but then the car is high-mileage, it was relatively cheap to buy and is still a better, feather-bed motorway cruiser than all other prestige saloons in which I have ridden, including BMW 7s.

PERFORMANCE - 132MPH, but I have only given it 9 instead of 10 because it is not as fast as my 24-valve 5-speed manual Senator (149MPH).

RELIABILITY - Only 9 out of 10 because I had to call out the RAC when the starter jammed (can happen to any car).

ECONOMY - Not as good as the 24-valver, but not much worse than 1.8 Carltons and 1.6 Cavaliers I have owned.

COMFORT - Luxurious, armchair, relaxing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th November, 2000

1989 Vauxhall Senator 25i 2.5 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 2.5 petrol Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired68000 miles
Most recent distance205750 miles

Summary:

A superb car

Faults:

Waterpump at 80k (warranty).

Two rear gearbox mounts due to a leak from the speedo drive, I should have fixed the leak first time, seals were only £4.

Alternator exchange from auto elec specialist £45.

Threw away viscous fan & fitted Kenlow, R/H/R electric window motor £25 from breakers.

ABS problem, eventually found to be sensor wires to the front wheels with an internal break.

Normal wear & tear - discs, exhaust.

General Comments:

Love it. Performance, character, grunt and class.

I have just bought a 1991 H at 80k, will miss the cruise control (never had a problem with mine) and heated seats but I can live with that.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th August, 2000

1989 Vauxhall Senator 3.0 24v petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
Engine and transmission 3.0 24v petrol
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.4 / 10

Faults:

Head gasket, distributor, air conditioner, cruise control, water pump, thermostat You name it !!

General Comments:

What a pity -- it's a great car!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th April, 1999

1989 Vauxhall Senator CD 3.0i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
Engine and transmission 3.0i petrol
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10

Faults:

Recently bought it at 181,500 miles.

Air-con does not function.

Active suspension fault.

Headlamp adjustment does not work.

Knocking noise under acceleration from drive-shaft, diff, not yet diagnosed.

Areas of rust caused by earlier life on the coast of Scotland.

General Comments:

Incredible value for money.

Very fast and comfortable and will hopefully prove to be not too costly to run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th October, 1998

1989 Vauxhall Senator 3.0i petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
Engine and transmission 3.0i petrol
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.4 / 10

Faults:

Exhaust, brake pads, some trim loose, electric aerial, fan, power steering.

General Comments:

A very good car. Mine has got 157k miles on it and drives wonderfully especially on motorways. Most electrics have lasted the course and the engine, apart from some earlier fuel injection leaks, runs fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 1998

1989 Vauxhall Senator 3.0 CD 3.0 12 valve petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1989
Engine and transmission 3.0 12 valve petrol
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.8 / 10

Faults:

Mechanical

-----------------

Heater.

AirCon.

Shocks at rear.

Water Pump.

Brake Disks warped.

Electrical

-----------------

Heated seats don't any more.

Various shorts causing fuses to blow.

Headlamps really poor, not up to performance.

Starter motor.

General Comments:

Brilliant performance and generally superb to drive, the electronic suspension is just a toy and means that new rear shocks cost £220 ea.

The Engine is prone to overheating and the cooling system really is useless, the air con radiator is very prone to stone damage.

Overall a great car, just not as good as a Merc E280 ! Oh and GM dealers are the worst there is, rating of 1/10 is generous.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 1998

22nd Oct 2007, 15:02

Must have had something wrong to overheat I find thty tend to run slightly cool on all the ones I have had never had a problem with over heating.

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 13 reviews