My family owned this Vauxhall Omega 2.5litre, 4 door saloon for only 4 years and during those 4 years we struggled to keep it.
Petrol was horrendously expensive for doing the school runs every morning and afternoon and had to be filled up at £60-65 a week. For only doing less than 100 miles a week!
Tax for the car is at a higher rate, £215 so quite expensive and insurance is too just for the sheer size of the engine and even for my dad who has driven for 40 years and on Saga Insurance had to pay a premium of £700, mine however being a learner was near the region of £4000, even being female did not make the premium go down.
The battery zeroed out quite a lot and had to be replaced twice during its lifespan with us of just 20 000 miles.
The very small rear window makes it very hard to park as it is a surprisingly long car so a standard space is not to be underestimated, especially if you are just learning to drive and practising on it... eep....
The interior was very comfortable for everyone and the front seats even had "bum warmers" for those cold winter days but the air conditioning however did consume petrol when using it, so it is best to use an eco setting or just open the electric windows. There is even a child lock for the back doors and the back windows also.
Towards the end of the Omega's life, one wet winter destroyed it, on the passenger side it would flood inside the car and make the car mats damp and the smell quite earthy and stale. There was nothing to be done about this aside from an expensive sealant which would have to be investigated from inside the engine bay. During dry days however, the car was dry also thankfully.
The cars engine made a satisfying noise when driving and was like a purr, speeding with it on a motorway felt like flying or cruising. One time my dad did not even look at the dash for a while and saw the needle go through 120mph and it was so easy to do as the ride is smooth. However, this is no compromise for the upkeep of the car itself and all the expensive problems we encountered with it.
One would assume that these days if you spend enough money building a car, and charge enough for it in the showroom, then it's got to be a reasonably good car.... hasn't it? Well, prepare to meet the Vauxhall Omega and be completely under-whelmed. I have covered around 2,000 miles in a CD 2.6i V6 24v Auto now (as a fleet car) and can only come to the conclusion that no-one but no-one would ever spend their own hard-earned on one of these things new. Corporate/fleet sales must account for every new one sold! So, what does your twenty-odd grand actually get you? Well, all the usual toys are there - ABS, airbags, (single) CD stereo, heated front seats, electric windows seats and mirrors, air conditioning, etc., etc., (although leather is extra). The controls are presented to you in a functional but somewhat bland interior that says "well this is what it's supposed to do" rather than engaging the eye in anything pleasing. It has to be said that this lack of any styling cue is continued on the exterior with a rather anonymous "euro shape" bodyshell that has remained fundamentally unchanged for far too long now. You can imagine car designers fresh out of college designing this car to be 'safe', to not upset the bosses at Vauxhall with anything too stylish. The driving experience is equally un-involving, and you always feel like you're perched on the car rather than cosseted in it. Yes it's quiet, with tyre noise being soaked up by the generously heavy, sound-deadened body (although wind noise isn't dealt with so well). Likewise, the ride is smooth at low speeds with minor irregularities being soaked up well by the soft suspension. All in all, it copes as you'd expect any big car would when being driven around town or cruising at 70mph on a motorway, but at over £20K it darned well should! Ugh, the auto box on this 2.6i model is just plain unsophisticated, lacking any subtlety except when th
ere's a very low demand. Vauxhall really could learn a thing or two about 2 litre-plus automatics from someone like Mercedes. Performance from the 2.6 litre V6 is again only adequate - you are going to be embarrassed by almost any other similarly sized exec' car out there, and pushing it merely rewards you with a harsh engine note and poor mpg. Indeed, it's all too easy for things to get flustered and untidy when you press on, with the car wallowing on anything but straight roads. Let's face it, this car simply doesn't inspire any enthusiasm, whether you're driving the thing or trying to write a review of it. The fact that it is such a mediocre executive car so heavily dependant on fleet sales, is amply demonstrated in the poor residuals. A "V" reg 2.5i CD Auto that cost you around £22,000 new is going to fetch you under £8,000 when you trade it in - that's about £7,000 depreciation per year over two years! So, what about buying one second hand? Well, if you want to risk Vauxhalls rather average long term reliability, on what is going to be an expensive model to fix when (not if) it goes wrong, just make sure you have plenty of money stashed away, and that your local Vauxhall dealer offers courtesy cars! Sure, you will enjoy a quiet and comfy car, but then for class, reliability and performance, it is bettered by just about every one of it's rivals.