What should I look for in a used Vauxhall Vectra estate?
The diesels can suffer from misfires, often caused by an electronic glitch, and the 2.2-litre turbodiesel can drink a fair bit of oil.
So, inspect the dipstick level, check for any signs that the oil has been allowed to run low and avoid any cars without a full service history. The 2.2-litre petrol isn't problem-free, either - the timing chain may snap. The vast majority are trouble-free, provided they haven't been heavily abused. Apart from a good service record, look for a clean, undamaged loadbay and cabin (signs of a careful owner), and tidy bodywork. Check the electrical kit works properly, and ensure the car tracks straight and there are no noises from the suspension or wheel bearings. Claims made to Warranty Direct suggest these areas can give trouble, but, again, the figures confirm the basic durability of the Vectra. Our latest Reliability Survey placed the 1999-2002 Vectra (including saloon and hatch) a respectable 33rd out of 100.