Product Type: Vauxhall cars
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A car for all seasons
Vauxhall Vectra 1.9cdti Exclusiv
Member Name: tallpete33
Vauxhall Vectra 1.9cdti Exclusiv
Date: 14/07/09, updated on 24/09/09 (1605 review reads)
Advantages: Comfortable, roomy, reliable, economical for its class
Disadvantages: Unispiring looks, a bit dated
I have owned my Vectra (hatchback) from new for a year now during which I have covered 16 000 trouble free miles. This is the third incarnation of Vauxhall's popular family motor that was superseded by 2008 Car of the Year, the Insignia. I chose the 1.9Cdti because I wanted a comfortable and practical mile muncher with decent space and it fits the bill perfectly. The Exclusiv is in the middle of the Vectra Range, there is also a Plus Pack for this model which includes alloys, DAB radio and front fog lights which I wish I'd gone for to be honest.
Performance and Handling
I have the 150PS model (other option being 120PS) which gives decent, but not stunning performance. It will not win many drag races away from the lights but has decent torque above 30mph and the turbo makes over-taking a safe and easy task. Handling is good but not sporty. I did not opt for the more sporty Sri version as I don't enjoy a bumpy ride and this is a decent compromise of handling and comfort. Motorway cruising is effortless and I often do 600 miles in a weekend with little discomfort to my 6ft1" frame. The six-speed gear box was quite clunky to start with but has worn in nicely too now. I sometimes end up selecting 4th instead of 6th but not very often these days. A gear indicator on the dash would be most helpful.
When I first purchased the car I was getting 530-540 miles on a tank of standard diesel covering a good mix of town and country motoring. Now it's fully run in I can squeeze approx 600 miles from the same tank which works out at approx 49mpg, slightly better than the official figures. For a car of this size this is very impressive but economy obviously depends on your driving style. I'm no boy racer but don't drive like a nun either. I don't often go above 3000rpm and usually change gear at around 2000rpm. With the price difference between diesel and unleaded fuel negligible or even at parity these days, the diesel engine makes more and more sense.
The seats are on the firm side and the cloth trim is smart, if a little itchy. The driver's seat has height and lumbar adjustment so you should be able to find a comfortable position. The centre console has a good armrest for those long journeys. The floor mats are custom fitted and attach to lugs so do not slide around which is a good safety feature. The steering wheel is height and rake adjustable. Seat belt is height adjustable also. Tyre and engine noise at speed is good.
Often a big criticism of the car and a fair one to be honest as the body shape is quite boxy and dated now. It's definitely best approached from the front. Mine has Metro Blue (as per the photo) metallic paint which is quite smart, chip resistant and does not show the dirt. This isn't the car to buy if you want to stand out, but having said that it's unlikely to attract any unwanted attention also. The wheels are plastic covers but look like alloys and are quite attractive.
The dash is functional and smart, well laid out though hardly cutting edge these days. Heating controls are simple to use, analogue rather than digital, which I find less fiddly to be honest. The air con performs well on those hot days but do not forget this can adversely affect fuel economy (up to 8%) quite a bit if used heavily. The FM radio is average, ditto the CD player but it redeems itself somewhat with decent steering wheel controls. As I'm a big sports fan, I don't enjoy the hissing on AM listening to 5live or Talksport in certain areas. See why I wanted that DAB radio now . . .
The front electric windows work well but the rear are manual. The door mirrors are electric too and work fine but are not heated. The hazard-warning button is easy to miss which is poor design. It should be bit more visible for emergency use IMO.The car has cruise control and a speed limiter, neither of which I have much use for. One gripe is the fuel warning light which is hidden by the windscreen wiper stalk. The headlights are ok but could be brighter to be honest.
I chose Vauxhall as I had previously owned an Astra 1.7Cdti from new and it only gave me one minor issue (a fuse) in 3 years and 68 000 miles of motoring. So far my faith in the brand has been repaid with not a single squeak, crack or mechanical failure.
The boot is a good size, nice and deep and will take a couple of large suitcases plus change easily. There are handy side cubbyholes in the boot area also. The spare tyre is stored under the floor but is a "skinny".
Inside the car, the centre console has two handy storage areas underneath it and drinks holders in the front part but these are too small to be practical and I use it for loose change. There are two large pop-out drinks holders in the front of the rear seat, which are more useable. The rear seat has a ski-flap for piste lovers. There is also a handy sunglasses cubbyhole in the ceiling but beware your shades will get hot in here in the sun! The glove box is far from the biggest in the world unfortunately, no doubt due to the passenger air bag of which there are several others around the vehicle.
Insurance group 12
Official fuel consumption (Government figures)
Combined/urban 48.7 / 37.3 mpg
CO2 emissions 157 g/km
The Vectra will not set the world alight but is practical, comfortable, roomy and economical so suits me fine. It is available (obviously second hand now) in a large range of body styles, trim levels and engines, does everything well and has no major faults whatsoever so there's one out there for everybody.
Summary: Solid car that won't let you down