Used Vauxhall Vectra Estate 2002 - 2009 review

Category: Estate car

Practical, cheap and tough. Makes more sense than many MPVs

Used Vauxhall Vectra Estate 2002 - 2009
  • Used Vauxhall Vectra Estate 2002 - 2009
  • Used Vauxhall Vectra Estate 2002 - 2009
Used Vauxhall Vectra Estate 2002 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Vauxhall Vectra estate like?

The previous Vectra estate was poorly thought out and not that roomy, but this one couldn't be more different: its cabin and loadbay are huge, and there's plenty of room for a family of five and their luggage. The rear seats drop down to free up 1850-litres of space.

For the driver, comfort and visibility could scarcely be better, but a few controls are awkward and some owners find the one-touch indicators annoying.


Practical, cheap and tough. Makes more sense than many MPVs

  • Huge loadbay, cheap enough to buy and run
  • Smaller engines struggle
  • Ford Mondeo's a better drive

The Vectra is also a fine car to drive, as long as you avoid the sporty models that ride too stiffly. Mainstream versions are more comfortable, but still steer and grip well, while the car's real strength is its refinement: there's no wind noise in the cabin, even at motorway speeds, and the engines remain quiet unless they're worked hard.

Euro NCAP awarded the Vectra four stars out of five for occupant safety (good but not class-leading), but it's let down by a one-star rating for pedestrian protection.

Ownership cost

What used Vauxhall Vectra estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Vauxhall Vectra estate?

From new, the Vectra suffered savage depreciation, but because it's been off sale since early 2009 that shouldn't prove a concern.

On the whole, there's little here to worry you, because daily running costs are affordable. The 1.8s fall into insurance group 7, most others sit in groups 10 to 12 and only the 3.2 takes you as high as group 15.

Servicing is cheap and simple, too, and even more so if you go to an independent garage rather than a main franchise. An on-board computer tells you when work is due, so driving sensibly can keep your bills down even further.

Finally, for a big car, the Vectra's fuel economy is good. The 1.9 diesels achieve over 47mpg, while the 1.8 petrol manages the low 30s. The 2.2 does slightly better because it doesn't have to work so hard, but, as you'd expect, the 2.0 turbo and V6s are far less economical.

Our recommendations

Which used Vauxhall Vectra estate should I buy?

Four petrol engines, three diesels and no fewer than six trim levels bring almost too much choice. We'd make it simpler by ignoring the smallest petrol motor, the 1.8 (too weak) and the biggest, the 3.2 (too costly to run).

As for the other petrols, the 2.2 gets our vote because it suits the car, giving the best trade-off between power and economy. But, the 2.0 turbo is quicker and still a good choice.

Overall, though, a diesel engine is a far more sensible choice. They're available as a 1.9 (with 8v or 16v), a 2.0, a 2.2 and a 3.0, but the pick of the bunch is the least powerful 1.9 because it promises an easy 40mpg but still pulls well. We'd forget the 3.0 because its economy is no better than a 2.2 petrol's.

Even base models get a full set of airbags, anti-lock brakes, electric windows and air-con. The Exclusiv ('05 onwards) is a safe bet, but you could dig out a car with Club trim (two steps up from the most basic), because it adds alloy wheels, an excellent stereo and other luxuries.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Vauxhall Vectra estate?