Winner Estates Vauxhall Vectra Estate 1.9 CDTi 120 Design Year ’07/07 Price £6500 The Vectra Estate is the ultra-smart buy for those who value versatility and practicality, and that’s why it continues to be our favourite used estate car. It rivals some MPVs for space, comfort and refinement, yet will set you back from only £6500.
Last year, we chose the 1.8-litre petrol-engined model, but with a change in the numbers of cars available, as well as prices, it’s the 1.9 CDTi diesel that’s the better choice this time round. With 120bhp and 206lb ft of torque, it’ll easily take the strain when the car’ fully loaded and, boy, you can really load the Vectra.
With the back seats in use there are 540 litres available, but fold them and the long, level load space will swallow 1850 litres.
However, it’s not all about the boot. The Vectra is a comfortable way to travel, with good cabin space for a family, and little in the way of wind-, road- or engine noise. The ride is geared towards comfort rather that sporty handling, but the Vectra still grips well and has accurate steering.
Judge's view Martin Keighley, VIP DATA ‘A combination of practicality and reliability, the Vectra Estate ticks all the boxes. It has more than enough room for the kids and the dogs, and is a true value-for-money estate.’
It’s easy for drivers to make themselves comfortable in the Vectra, because the seat has a wide range of adjustment and plenty of space, while visibility is decent, too.
The Design trim level isn’t the most common version of the Vectra, but our judges think it’s worth hunting down because it adds a few nice details, such as the chrome grille and window trim, along with tinted windows and upgraded alloys. It also comes with electric windows all round, air-conditioning, cruise control and rain-sensing wipers. All cars come with front, side and curtain airbags, along with ISOFIX child-seat-mounting points.
Car supermarkets and large independent garages are a great place to barter over a Vectra.
Need to know
Power 120bhp Fuel economy 47.8mpg 0-60mph 11.2sec Max speed 121mph Insurance 23
Road tax £155 CO2 emissions 159g/km Euro NCAP rating 4/5 Reliability rating 3/5 Service intervals 30,000 miles
Toyota Avensis Tourer 2.0 D-4D T2 ’05/05, £4943 A bargain workhorse of a wagon that still retains some style, and should prove very reliable.
VW Passat Estate 2.0 TDI 140 S ’06/55, £8500 Nimble and good to drive, yet practical and sensible. The Passat is also well built and has a good image.
Ford Mondeo Estate 2.0 TDCi Zetec ’07/57, £9120 The Mondeo Estate offers 1733 litres of space, yet it’s just as refined and good to drive as its hatchback brother.