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Nowadays vehicles of the pre-war period are rather legends than an actual means of transport. Nonetheless, Opel Kadett proves otherwise. First launched in 1937, the car is still used by many drivers across the world. While the last unit was produced in 1991, it is not unnaturally to see the icon on the streets. Let’s review Opel Kadett of the 6th generation.
Opel Kadett E Highlights
Initially, the Kadett was designed as a small family vehicle. However, its popularity stimulated the development of other body versions. Thus, in 1984, the last-generation models were introduced in five different coaches: a 3-door hatchback, a 5-door hatchback, a 4-door sedan, a 5-door station wagon/estate, and a convertible. A year later the car earned the European Car of the Year award. Moreover, the Kadett was reintroduced the same year in the UK as Vauxhall Belmont.
External & Internal Refinement
Opel Kadett E was exposed to exterior restyling in early 1990s. The chassis received a new grille, while the turn signals became transparent. The boot deserves special consideration; its capacity beats all competitors in class: hatchback versions offered 390 liters of space, sedans – 550 liters, estate cars – 470 liters. The possibility to fold the backseats gave an additional enlargement up to 1000 liters, 1140 liters & 1520 liters respectively. Besides, low boot floor ensured trouble-free loading/unloading.
The cabin is able to accommodate four/five passengers. The fascia features a decent information kit that consisted of different gauges in various modifications (i.e. a speedo + control indicators, a speedo + tachometer + indicators, a digital shield with a mechanical haulage).
All switches are equipped with the backlight, the steering wheel column allows for height adjustment. The saloon has got all plastic panels and cloth upholstery. Comfort is ensured thanks to the available heating and ventilation systems. The seats are void of anatomy, although the GT version boasts premium seats a-la Recaro. Internal storage is abundant: large door pockets, a glove-box, and stowage.
Engines & Transmissions
Opel Kadett of the 6th generation was supplied with a bunch of existing engines along with a series of new ones. The newcomers were: a 1.3-liter petrol (75 horsepower), a 1.6-liter item (82 hp), a 2.0-liter unit (115 hp). In 1985 Opel launched sports version of the Kadett – the GTE – bundled with a 1.8-liter engine (115 hp). A couple of years later the lineup was replenished by a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter solution (150 hp) that enabled 0-100 km/h acceleration for 8 seconds. It consumed 10 liters per 100 km, achieving the top speed of 217 km/h.
As far as other powertrain elements are concerned in Opel Kadett review, all vehicles were shipped with either a 4-speed or a 5-speed manual transmission (a 3-speed automatic aggregates were optional). The gearbox was renowned for solidity and allowed for easy handling. The driver could change the clutch plate, the release bearing and the crate without the necessity to remove the box, thanks to the mobile clutch casing.
Suspension & Other Hardware
The long-standing popularity of the Kadett E can be explained by its flotation ability. This is due to the implementation of high-quality hardware base. First of all, Opel might be praised for the choice of suspension: front independent McPherson, rear semi-dependent unit based on trailing arms with springs. Therefore, this aggregate ensures smooth ride on different types of terrains, including pothole areas.
Sport-oriented Kadett modifications were adorned with a stiffer suspension, a spoiler on the trunk lid and lower bumpers. The chassis on the majority of bodyworks employed front disk and rear drum brakes. However, the GSi trim boasted both all-disk braking system. ABS system was also a selective facility.
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