After driving a BMW 330i for almost 2 1/2 years and the ever increasing cost of fuel, i decided that i need to downsize and somewhat, downgrade my car, in order to save a few pennies.
I seen a cheap Vauxhall Vectra "B" Sri for sale on Ebay and at a meagre £530 decided that i needed to have it. It was located approx 80 miles away so a little trip was needed to pick it up but it meant that i could give it a good run out just to get the measure of it and get an average mpg etc.
Its a massive change to a 1.8 froma 3.0 but to be fair to the Vauxhall, the 130 bhp didn't mean too much of a dip at cruising speeds. As per most, if not all Sri's, it benefitted from the usual extras like air conditioning, alloy wheels, fog lights, boot spoiler, sports seats with extendable lumbars in both passenger and driver's seats and all other electric goodies like windows, mirrors etc. With there been a non-factory standard radio fitted you do lose a bit of the information on the lcd display and the steering wheel controls will not function but this was not missed.
The ride was little more firmer than what i was used too, feeling a few of the small pot holes slightly more but the suspension was derived from Lotus who have a fine sporting pedigree so it was to be expected.
Room wise and interior wise, the boot is absolutely huge!! We had trouble fitting our 2 buggies in the boot of the BMW but with this, not a problem. We can even get a full weeks shopping in even with the 2 buggies in too which is very convenient. Inside the cabin, the same can be said. Car seats fitted to each side and both children have ample leg room and both my chair and the passenger's still have room to go back if needed.
The dashboard is easily set up so everything is within easy reach. 2 cup holders just above the ash tray, perfect for the early morning coffee's at McDonalds. Behind the handbrake there's also an armrest, which, when lifted provides additional storage.
Fuel economy wise, around town for £10 (approx 9 litres) i am averaging around 60-70 miles. Now, compared to the BMW, this is meaning i am getting approx 25-35 miles more per £10 which has put a smile not just on my face but the partners aswell. Apparently money saved = more shoes??
I have had the car for 5 months now and i am totally over the moon. With most mass produced cars, parts are readily available and very affordable.
SO if you are thinking of purchasing one of these cars, there are a few points to be wary of:
* The boot may smell a lilttle bit of damp/mouldy. This is an easy fix. A new boot liner/rubber will sort this.
* First gear may seem a little hard to get when cold. Again, your car may have the F-16 gearbox and this is dead common. A bit grease/oil in the gearbox should ease it.
* Knocking noise coming from the front like metal on metal. Droplinks would need replacing. Cheap enough to replace both as cheap as chips.
* Door clunks when opening. Again, easy fix, door hinges to be ajusted.
I have replaced both drop links, new brakes front and rear and new boot rubber. All parts on Ebay came to less than £90. Beats dealer prices by far.
Thanks for reading