Replacement Car - nikki
I have a 1989 MkIII Cavalier 2L Automatic CD Hatchback from new which has done 118k miles. I an looking to replace this in the longer term with either another newer Cavalier or a Xantia again automatic. Which is the best of the many Cavalier models? and which is the best of the Xantia's. Or alternatively do you have other suggestions of a safe reliable vehicle by another maker that is over three years old and compares with my excellent Cavalier. Many thanks for your opinions!! NIKKI
Replacement Car - Morris Ox
Late-model Cavs are sound buys (esp. 2.0 litre models equipped with ABS), but depending on your budget you could get something younger and better.

For what willbe the zillionth time on this website, I'd recommend a 97/98 R-plate onwards Mondeo 1.8/2.0 litre, which you could get for £3-4k with aircon.

Might have a few miles on, but as HJ himself will testify, these are among the soundest, most eliable cars on the market and represent remarkable value now.
Replacement Car - TrevP
The Cavalier was OK in it?s day ? but the world has moved on.

The reason the Vectra was slated was because it was no advance over the Cavalier ? with less reliability.

The most reliable 3-4 year cars as a group are Japanese ?
Toyota Corolla, Mazda 626, Nissan Primera, Honda Civic or Accord etc.,
with a few non-japanese up there ? Skoda Octavia has been building an enviable reputation.

Some will tell you these are not good ?driver?s cars? ? whatever that means.
Replacement Car - bazza
<<<< Toyota Corolla, Mazda 626, Nissan Primera, Honda Civic or Accord etc.,
with a few non-japanese up there – Skoda Octavia has been building an enviable reputation.<<<<<<

Trev P is right, any one of these is a good bet. I'm still not convinced by any Ford, their track record is not good in terms of reliability.

Replacement Car - MichaelR
The top Xantia is the VSX, but I'd get an SX if I were you. The VSX adds truely awful tartan checked velour over the nice grey velour in the SX, and also adds the Hydractive Suspension, which is computer controlled and lets you swap between Sport and Standard mode. Seems like a bit of a liability on an older car.

I'd get a Xantia SX. Oh wait, I did :D
Replacement Car - DavidHM
Why change your car at all? The 89 Cav was head and shoulders above everything in its day, except maybe the 405, and now goes for a pittance. You'd be lucky to get £400 for it privately and three figures would be a result at an auction.

Obviously, if there is something wrong with it, then by all means get rid of it but this car has done all its depreciation and spending up to £1500 on a potentially problematic 9 year old Cav from a dealer seems a false economy to me.

Then, when the car finally dies, you'll have saved enough money to get something up to ten years newer, although obviously a lot depends on the mileage you do each year. Personally, I do think a 98 Mondeo is the best possible result - I saw a very tidy 1.8 LX with 100k go for £1300 at auction - but even spending £3500 on the very best 50k mile 2.0 Ghia could give you ten years of motoring for £30 a month in depreciation.
Replacement Car - Dynamic Dave
If you want another Cavalier with all the bells and whistles, then go for either the Diplomat (leather trim, aircon, ABS, alarm, alloys, pas, air bags, electric windows all round, and electric sunroof, all as standard kit) or the later CDX model - again same spec as the Diplomat apart from the leather being optional. Engine wise, the 2.0l 16v, or the v6 2.5l for performance. The 2.0l 8v engine suffered quite a loss of power when the CAT was introduced.

Value my car