Product Type: Vauxhall cars
Newest Review: ... Mondeo is overall a better car as it was designed about 6 years after the MK 3 Cavalier, however if I had the choice I'd probably go for ... more
nice and sensible
Member Name: st5229
Date: 23/02/01, updated on 23/02/01 (320 review reads)
Advantages: comfy, roomy and reliable. Effortless to drive
Disadvantages: rides a bit substandard, turbo lag, lifeless steering
I bought a cavalier 1.7TD last year on a late k-reg for around £2K. It's predessesor was a rather elderly Renault 11, which I must stress that I loved dearly, and if I found another one in good nick, I'd probably buy it. As a travelling sales rep, I opted to go diesel for the obvious money saving reasons. The cavalier has drivers air bag, leccy windows, c/l, ffsr etc, although I missed out on ABS by about six months. Oh well, the standard brakes aint that bad, though pedal lacks feel and is rather 'soggy.'
The Cavvy is not about adrenhaline, its comfy, reliable and easy to drive but hardly exciting. The powersteering is feather light like an old Jaguar, lock to lock is easily achieved with one finger! Needless to say, there's not a great deal of feel. The ride is below average but adequate, and there's loads of room. The boots a good size, and rear passengers have an armrest and always comment on how smooth the car is.
The turbo-diesel is not the most economical oil-burner that I've driven, returning only 30mpg (with good use of the turbocharger), but gentle driving on A-roads should return 40mpg which aint bad for a car of this size. As the units only 1679cc, turbo lag is a bit of a pain, but once the turbo kicks in at around 2000rpm, it will overtake safely, and is comparable to the 1600 petrol. Top speeds about an indicated 117, with effortless cruising at 90mph, and there's just about enough top end accelaration on the motorway.
In general, the Cavvy TD is a nice enough motor to live with. Best to go for a 1994 model with ABS and airbag. Be sure to check condition of driveshafts and suspension as they tend to wear out fairly quick, and can be a bit pricey, although part costs are lower than average.