renew my car later in the year - autumnboy
I've said in the past that shortly I would like to renew my later in the year for a New Vectra Estate 1.9td.

But after watching Jeremny driving that VXR on Top Gear, I've had second thoughts. I know most will say we shall never have to drive like that. Which is true. But it worries me where I shall also tow a caravan and I don't want to worry about ploughing straight on with or without the van in bends or corners.

If you drive in wet/damp conditions or even on a frosty surface, you could in effect have the same cronic Understeer at low speeds.

So my question,

Is the New Vectra 1.9td really as bad he shows
Vectra - good or bad ??? - autumnboy
Moderators could you edit the post " renew my car later in the year" thanks {Done, but I'm not doing all the subject headers - DD}
Vectra - good or bad ??? - tanvir
Well, the one on TopGear was a VXR with 240bhp going through the front wheels - it was bound to understeer like that. The Mazda was fine as it was 4WD as opposed to 2WD, and the Mondeo had less power going through the front wheels. As the 1.9CDTi has at least 100bhp less than the VXR, I don't think you have to worry about understeer!
Vectra - good or bad ??? - autumnboy
"a VXR with 240bhp going through the front wheels - it was bound to understeer like that"

Well the Focus ST with 225bhp was no where as bad as the VXR when tested, although it had understeer as expected.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Caveman
As the 1.9CDTi has at least 100bhp less than the VXR,


Depends which one you're refering to. There's both a 120 & 150bhp CDTi to choose from.

Re: the understeer. the balding curly headed one on top gear was overemphasising the point of understeer purely because of his hatred of most Vauxhalls (VX220 turbo & Monaro excepted). Enough about that though in this thread or I'll get DD or one of the other mods after me for not keeping those sort of comments to the top gear related thread.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - autumnboy
"Re: the understeer. the balding curly headed one on top gear was overemphasising the point of understeer purely because of his hatred of most Vauxhalls (VX220 turbo & Monaro excepted). "

Ok I agree, But why did the Stig do so badly with it also ???
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Zippy123
I have had nothing but trouble with mine!
2.2i petrol design 2004 04 reg

2 new central locking systems for the back doors.

New control for the wipers after they refused to reset.

New computer after the cruise control would not work.

It died just in to the new year due to a fuel delivery problem and took 2 weeks to fix with no curtesy car.

Oh and the wipers are playing up again and refuse to wash the windscreen - the pump wont activate!
Vectra - good or bad ??? - midlifecrisis
They disable all the traction control and other safety aids.

I've had my Vectra 2.2 SRi for 18 months and it hasn't missed a bit. Very comfortable, quiet. I think as a nearly new purchase, they're excellent.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - rtj70
Had one as a hire/courtesy car for a week once. I thought it was very nice. It was only a 1.8 Elegance but much better than the old model - I once had a 1.8LS and 2.0 GLS of the Vectra B. The 1.8 without traction control could spin wheels easily, hence swapping for the 2.0 with traction control (company cars)... in fact maybe not dissimilar problems to TopGear turning VXR traction control off???

I'd summarise it as being a very comfortable drive but the indicator stalk took some learning. The Mondeo (sorry) which I now have does the easy three flashes for changing lane but has a proper click down for them; but the Vectra really has a bad implementation for indicators

As for commenting on the handling on top-gear, well apart from Jeremy not liking Vectras at all... putting 240bhp through front tyres and then turning off all driver aids was bound to cause problems. And they showed what would happen. I'm sure for normal drivers in even a VXR it would not be a problem on the road. And you're talking about the 1.9CDTi anyway so don't worry.

I'd get a decent test drive though. Whilst I thought it comfortable the leg room in the back is not brilliant if you have tall teenagers. The estate is better though as is (dare I say it) the Signum. They both have the longer wheelbase.

Personally tempted by the Ford S-SMAX as my next car though. And I don't need 7 seats.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - rtj70
Oops forget my legroom comment. You're looking at the longer wheelbase estate anyway.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - autumnboy
"They disable all the traction control and other safety aids."

I'm sorry, but they do it on all thier tests when testing any car fitted traction control and that does not explain why it was as bad as shown compared to others tested previous such as the Focus 2.5 ST.

So far no-one has said " Yes, its as bad as shown TV" or "No, its no where as bad as shown on TV.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Dynamic Dave
I'm sorry, but they do it on all thier tests when testing any car fitted traction control and that does not explain why it was as bad as shown compared to others tested previous such as the Focus 2.5 ST.


I think you'll find the Focus 2.5ST weighs considerably less than a Vectra VXR.

Any powerful front wheel drive car with the engine at full chat will experience understeer; add with that some ballast and it will make matters worse.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - tr7v8
I doubt if the weight difference is that massive, not all FWD car understeer especially that badly, drive an Alfa or Mondeo or Focus. Significant that it's so tuned for understeer that even at Stig speeds he couldn't get the tail out. I'd like to see it in the wet! That level of understeer would be positively lethal.
Yet again Vauxhall have got a good engine & it's in a crummy chassis.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Dynamic Dave
not all FWD car understeer especially that badly, drive an Alfa or Mondeo or Focus.....

Yet again Vauxhall have got a good engine & it's in a crummy chassis.


Er, the Alfa 147 GTA (247 bhp) was worse than the VXR (albeit only 0.3 of sec) on the power lap board, and had just as much understeer.

The Mondeo ST220 was a whole 0.8 seconds faster than the Vectra VXR. They didn't show the lap, but to only be 0.8 seconds quicker, it couldn't have handled that much better than the VXR.

Seems to me the Mondeo and Alfa chassis is just as crummy.

Or could it simply be that FWD cars don't like all those horses being fed through the front wheels, regardless of which car it actually is?
Vectra - good or bad ??? - MichaelR
The Mondeo ST220 was a whole 0.8 seconds faster than the
Vectra VXR. They didn't show the lap, but to only be
0.8 seconds quicker, it couldn't have handled that much better than
the VXR.


It could - for two reasons.

a) On a track the size of the Top Gear track, a second is a lifetime.
b) The Mondeo ST220 is noticeably down on power to the Vectra VXR - it is simply a normally aspirated V6, whereas the Vectra has a turbocharged V6...
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Dynamic Dave
I have had nothing but trouble with mine! - 2.2i petrol design 2004 04 reg


Mine's a 2004 53 reg 2.2 Elegance.

So far; nearside front fog lamp replaced due to the lens misting up, and the rubber radiator mounts replaced. All done under warranty.

ps, my previous Vectra-B wasn't bad either.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - DP
Vectras have always understeered viciously when pushed, as have all front wheel drive Vauxhalls. The performance versions, for obvious reasons, are the worst offenders. I have yet to drive a "hot" FWD Vauxhall which felt as if its chassis could deal with the power (without resorting to electronics).

Whether it's a problem depends what roads you drive on primarily and how hard you press on. As an all-round car, there's nothing wrong with the Vectra at all, but a Mondeo/Mazda 6 would take it apart on a twisty road and be a lot more rewarding too. On all other types of road, or when driving more sedately, there's virtually nothing in it.

Vectra - good or bad ??? - Shaz {p}
Never understood why Vauxhall / opel do this. There Rwd (Carlton / senator/omega) all seemed to have good chassis.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - autumnboy
>>As an all-round car, there's nothing wrong with the Vectra at all, but a Mondeo/Mazda 6 would >>take it apart on a twisty road and be a lot more rewarding too.

Thanks for all who replied, but I've read what I thought about the Vectra. I said earlier I don't want to plough straight on in a corner whether I'm towing a caravan or not on a damp or frosty surfaced road.

That one of my choices thats crossed off the list.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - midlifecrisis
I wouldn't cross it off so hastily. I've been driving 3.2l Vectras in a very demanding Police role since the C model was released and it's proved a safe and durale car. In fact, its reliability in extreme conditions convinced me to buy one myself.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - TheOilBurner
autumnboy, don't be so harsh.

I've got a 2004 1.9 CDTI and the handling is fine. I drive very enthuthiastically on country lanes in the wet and ice without any problems. Comparing a 2.8 V6 turbo VXR driven by someone who hates Vauxhalls is not the same as real world driving in the 1.9 CDTI by you or me.

Trust the people (like me) who actually own and live with these cars, not overblown opinionated journalists with a chip on their shoulder...

I suggest you get a Vectra on a test drive (do Vauxhall still do the 3 day test drive?) and give it some punishment, you'll be surprised how good it is, despite the comments of certain brainless journos.

;-)
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Gromit {P}
...do Vauxhall still do the 3 day test drive?


Checked their web site this morning: only for company car drivers, apparently. You need a VAT number, or proof that your company is VAT exempt, to qualify.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Dynamic Dave
Thanks for all who replied, but I've read what I thought about the Vectra. I said earlier I don't want to plough straight on in a corner whether I'm towing a caravan or not on a damp or frosty surfaced road.


At what speed do you intend towing your cavaran at? It won't plough straight on in a corner unless you intend driving the car flat out with the engine at full chat and suddenly and violently turn the steering wheel onto full lock. Do this with any FWD car and it will plough straight on.

As others have said, take a test drive before condeming the Vectra. What you're currently saying is the same as not liking a particular type of food, but never actually tasting it before disliking it.

Even HJ himself said in his roadtest of the 150bhp CDTi "So if someone told me they preferred their new Vectra to a Mondeo I wouldn?t get into a silly argument.

www.honestjohn.co.uk/road_tests/index.htm?id=151
Vectra - good or bad ??? - autumnboy
I can feel someone twisting my arm from behind.

Before I close on this subject, anyone know if the bodyshell galvanised like some or not. ????
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Marc
I don't see how anybody is twisting your arm.

You're asking if a 1.9 diesel driven reasonably will show up it shortcomings the same way as a VXR pushed to the limits on Top Gear. It's not really a like for like comparison. You then decide to dismiss the Vectra without even test driving it! You're obviously not serious about buying one.

Incidentally I have a pre facelift 2.0T Vectra C (with supposedly even worse handling than the latest model) that I have done about 40k in over the past 2 1/2 years. Admittedly most of my driving is motorway but I do a fair bit on A and B roads and my car handles just fine - even with approx 170bhp through the front wheels.

If you're seriously looking for a comfortable, well built, family sized car that is a bargain nearly new the Vectra is worth considering.
Vectra - good or bad ??? - autumnboy
I don't see how anybody is twisting your arm.



To be honest, my wife.


Do these Vectra's have a Galvanised shell ????
Vectra - good or bad ??? - Dynamic Dave
Do these Vectra's have a Galvanised shell ????


Yes, or whatever the equivalent protection is. HJ's CBC Breakdown says it's got a 12 year body warranty, but the Vauxhall website says 6 years.

Don't worry about the lightless of the bonnet either - it's made of aluminium, as are the suspension parts.
renew my car later in the year - Manatee
I would take the fact that the worst JC can get it to do is understeer as a recommendation. If you go too fast you get over or understeer. The latter is usually considered safer.

That said I haven't driven a Vectra ;-)
renew my car later in the year - Hamsafar
I have hired from Enterprise both the Mondeo and pre-facelift Vectra, and preferred the Vectra every time, I always seem outnumbered, but to be honest, I really hated the Mondeos, they handled VERY well on twisty roads, but that made me push and push it, and the whole journey becomes like hard work, like you've just spent an hour ona go cart track. Almost any modern car will be limited by the speed limit rather than capability these days and increasingly so. The Vectras handle well, but are more confortable for cruising and sedate driving, and had more powerful aircon in hot weather. Also, the 1.9CDTi SRi is impressive with the 6 speed auto, and worth considering.
 

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