I bought one of the last Vectras made from a car supermarket last year, to replace an end of lease company car and try and save some tax. Mine is a 1.8 petrol engined 2008 Life model, which was just over 3 years old with 16k on the clock when I bought it. While it's not the most exciting car in the world it is very comfortable, economical, and has been totally fault free in the year I've had it. In fact at 4 years old and with 27k on the clock it drives as new. Upsides - great seats, very quiet, brilliant long distance car, feels more mechanically refined than I'd expected for a Vectra (I do wonder if the later ones were better built?), reasonable level of trim (aircon, cruise, nice stereo) even though mine is the poverty spec model, and 40mpg in mixed driving. Downsides - no MP3 input for the factory stereo, bland interior, the 1.8 petrol engine feels a bit stretched by such a big car. However, perhaps the real advantage the Vectra has is price, ok it's an obsolete shape but this meant it was around £2k cheaper than most competitors I considered such as the Mondeo, 407, C5, or Passat. In fact the Vectra was way cheaper than similar aged smaller cars such as the Focus or Astra, it may be bland but the later models drive quite nicely, seem solid and reliable, so are great value as a second hand buy.
Had our 2005 SRi since 2008. Despite some niggles; dodgy coil springs - now replaced with much stronger Eibachs, faulty alternator and the dual mass flywheel, this has been an excellent value family car;
* Tremendously flexible engine which belies its modest 120 BHP - we've since had ours remapped to 160 BHP but even in stock form it's still a great engine that's smooth but punchy when needed. * Huge boot easily swallows luggage for 4 plus more to spare * Lowered and stiffened suspension gives the car a planted ride, especially on the motorway * Lovely seats up front, bucket style which are different from Exclusive and Design trim * Fantastic in gear acceleration - 3rd gear is amazing! * Great economy in and out of town * Looks fantastic with its SRI body kit and alloys - especially with the metallic black paint we have
* Stiffer suspension means you'll feel every pit in the road! * Terrible factory stereo (CD30), easily solved with better speakers (JBL's) * Legroom at the back a bit cramped for taller people * No cup holders up front and the door bins are pitifully small and narrow * Dashboard design not to everyone's taste (including mine)
Despite its shortcomings this is not the awful car Jeremy Clarkson would have you believe. At £3800 this was an excellent family car bargain and has given us 4 years of relatively cheap and trouble free motoring. Still turns heads even now. Great used car bargain, we'll miss it when it'
I bought this car because of the offers available to the armed forces and the massive savings I made. I then drove the car from Staffordshire to Gibraltar, covering 1600 miles, and I enjoyed every minute of it. As soon as I got away from the traffic in England I turned the cruise control on and the stereo up and, 25 hours later, arrived at my destination still with the same grin on my face as I did when I picked the car up. I have owned many high end cars, such as Mazda's and BMW's, but I really enjoy the Vectra. The shape of it, even without the VXR Pack that I went for, still gives it that sporting look whilst still being the practical family car. The interior's very generous giving the people at the front and the back loads of leg and head room and as for the boot, I could live in there!!! Overall, I'm very pleased with the car and am now tempted to buy Vauxhall again in the future.
In December 2008 I did somthing that I have never done before, I sold a car (1.6 vec) that had been faultless, the reason, I got hold of a 2004 1.8 SXi for well the right price,55,000 miles. Although the car had two VX dealer stamps it did not look ;like they had ever changed anything other than the oil,I also have done the cam belt,fuel filter, I have now done nearly 3000 miles in a very short while, as my sister in law is very ill, but lives 240 miles away, the car handles very well on its 215/55/16 inch wheels, and averages 43.5 mpg at a steady 70mph, it is very comfortable, 480 miles in one hit no aches nothing, round town 35.6 mpg, plenty of room for the fishing tackle and two mates,the car has never missed a beat I might just have got a good one though.also it uses no oil unlike my 1.6. One gripe, with it having the cr box it is doing 3000 rpm for 70 mph., FOR THE MONEY A BARGIN
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