SRi interior improves the overall cabin styling immensley with half leather trim, air con, all-round air bags *(2002 model, last of the old shape).
130 bhp 1.8 engine is a little uneconomical around the suburbs but reasonable on longer journeys depending on how much right foot you use.
Far superior in looks and exterior styling than the earlier Mondeo's although the new shape Mondeo is better (doesn't look jelly mould like).
Ride quality is firm well poised if not a little keen to oversteer if pushed even in the dry. Disc brakes all round and abs makes stopping on a six pence easy.
Summing up, after owning 10 Fords over a period of 10 years, this being my first vauxhall I must say it is the best car I have owned, albeit the newest.
The car is mainly used for motorway travel between Sheffield and London, which it excels at.
I've owned it now for nearly 2 years and it has not missed a beat. Reliability has been excellent. All the car has cost is 2 sevices and 3 new tyres.
The car is not the best at handling, which I expected, but for a motorway cruiser for the money the car was purchased at, I feel there is no better car on the market.
There are plenty of prejudices about the Vauxhall Vectra, but as a nearly new purchase, it makes serious sense. I picked mine up 6 months old with 2,500 miles on the clock for over £6k off list price. In CD trim with the largest diesel engine, that represents a lot of car for the money.
The handling isn't the best, and it does feel its size on some of the twistier roads, but for long distance cruising, it is hard to beat.
The CD trim means air con and a CD changer are standard, and unusually it also comes with an electric sunroof, a rarity these days. Interior space is also good, although rear headroom is on the tight side.
The arrival of the new Vectra means prices will be even keener now. Economy, as a diesel is comparatively good, but it by no means suffers for pace, being particularly strong on hills.
The Vectra is a mixed pot of good and bad. The car is spacious and comfortable and great at motorway cruising. Running costs are low, but it seems less durable then an equivalent Japanese car, or even other German cars. Interior quality is not the best, but it is acceptable.
The engine is very smooth and revs freely. It only pulls well from 3500rpm, which makes quick pull-away's at roundabouts as risky as Russian Roulette. The gearbox all but refuses to engage lower gears while cold, but improves as it warms up. This is the biggest drawback of the car, because it makes smooth driving very challenging.
It is however a good overall package as it has masses of boot and passenger space. The kind of buyer it will attract will likely be more interested in space and practicality, which it does well, than driver appeal. If you want both however, look elsewhere, but you will pay more. This is its biggest draw card; as a used car, its unbeatable value, a safe and sensible choice if you can live with its shortcomings.
This is a workhorse with inoffensive styling and should prove to be a serious Mondeo competitor, with a better build to boot.
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