1.9 CDTi Opinions - Snakey
Well, after 6 months of suffering the botch job Renault call the Megane I've decided to ditch it and go for something mainstream and easy to live with.

I've seen a few 2004 model Vectra 1.9 CDTis which come into my bduget at around £6-6.5 which is what I reckon my 2005 Megane 1.6 is worth (if anyone buys it!)

Having read the CBCB ad Parkers reviews it seems like a fairly dull but good all rounder. Having made the mistake of not researching the Renault properly I would appreciate honest opinions of anyone who owns/has owned one of these cars, expecially regarding:

1) reliability - I'm not expecting Merc build quality but are they generally OK?
2) comfort - I'm 37 with a dodgy back and need a car with reasonable comfort. I've had a short test drive in a 2004 vectra but long term opinions would help
3) economy - what have you got (especially in the 1.9 diesel) in the real world?

I'm not overly concerned about handling, or performance as I spent most of my commute at either 50mph or stationary in the mile long queue at the Tyne Tunnel!

I wish I'd gone for the Vectra instead of the Renault but thats life - I always bought Fords and Vauxhalls in the past so I will learn by my mistake.

Edited by Pugugly {P} on 08/12/2007 at 12:26

1.9 CDTi Opinions - steveb
Have a 55 1.9 CDTi 150 SRI Vec Estate.

Good points -

Size & space
Refinement at m way speeds
Power - the 150 model is the one to go for
Economy - its a big car yet does an easy 42mpg mixed and I don't hang around
Good online forums - eg Vectra-C.com full of useful advice

Bad points -

Questionable reliability of the common rail diesel engine
Questionable reliability of the dual mass flywheel
Questionable reliability of the DPF
- Not experienced problems myself however on any of these
Very poor low speed ride IMO - crashes and bangs everywhere - this is my main criticism of my car - been into dealers and not resolved. Could be something to do with the lowered SRI suspension.
Very poor quality of dealers generally....

Would I buy another - probably yes but not a SRI - Design or Elite preferred.

Hope this helps,

1.9 CDTi Opinions - Robert J.
Snakey, I have a 53 plate vectra (a petrol, so I cannot comment on the diesel). It has been excellent, nothing has gone wrong, it is free from rattles and feels solid. I like it very much. I would say try the seats though. I find the side bits (bolsters?) very hard after a long journey. Or maybe that says more about the size of my backside than it does Vauxhall seats.
Also have a look at HJ's column in todays telegraph!
1.9 CDTi Opinions - Snakey
Cheers for the info.

I'm looking mainly at the lower powered diesels to keep the road tax down to band D.

Poor dealers seem to be a theme of most manufacturers these days - very much down to the individual dealership regardless of the marque.

1.9 CDTi Opinions - RB
I bought a 6-month old 1.9 150 Design a couple of months ago, and so far, so good. I expect that most people that I pass in it think it's a company car, but it's not - it's mine!

It's comfy and refined on the go. Obviously when you start it up and listen to the engine from outside, you know it's a diesel.

But, it seems to be rather "nippy" and I'm getting about 45mpg, with a mixture of fast dual carriageway and top start queueing.

The Design has a softer suspension set-up than the SRi, and "deeper" tyres, which make the ride softer - although it won't sit as firm if you're into throwing around corners at high speed.

Seats are comfy and fully adjustable up/down etc.

It's a shame that to some, these are "downmarket" compared to badge snobs - I think the interior comfort and trim is on a par with lower spec 3 series/A4s etc.

Mind you, of course, from a buyer's point of view, it makes the price right.

Hope this helps.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - TheOilBurner
If you go far a 2004 model, it won't have the troublesome DPF, unless it's an estate or an auto.

DMF can be a problem, but more of an issue is the inlet manifold swirl valve on the 16v 150 models. Hopefully this will have already been replaced, if not then budget about £800 to fix it when it does go, which it will.

Comfort: the SRI I had was OK, but the seats are a bit on the firm side for many peoples taste. I used to find my back could ache on longer journeys, but the shape of the seat and the lumbar support was reasonably OK. I would recommend trying both the SRI seats and the flatter seats in other models on a long test drive until you're 100% sure. I used to find the clutch aggravated an Achilles heel problem, but I have that problem with most clutches and wouldn't say that the Vectra clutch was heavy.

Fuel economy can be as good as the low 50s if you do lots of motorway cruising and keep the car between 60-80mph. Expect mid to high 40s in general driving. I averaged 51mpg in mine over 31k miles.

If possible, search out a model with the CD70 Sat Nav. Built-in sat nav is always handy, the TMC is very useful for traffic problems and these models get upgraded speakers and the ability to play MP3 CDs.

Go for a 120 if performance doesn't matter, I don't think these have swirl valve problems.

There is no real difference on fuel economy between the 120 and 150, the 8v 120 is only marginally better.

If you do buy a Vectra, make sure you always leave it parked in gear. The handbrakes have a nasty habit of releasing themselves! Otherwise, these are fine cars. Generally reliable, quiet and practical.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - Snakey
Excellent - thats the sort of real-world opinion I was after!

I would go for the SRi if the price was right - but the ones I'm looking at are the standard 1.9 CDTi's with lower spec.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - Roly
I have a 2003 Vectra 2.0 DT1 club. It has done 63K and has been totally reliable. It is very quiet and comfortable at motorway speeds and the standard cruise control makes it relaxing to drive. The seat has ample adjustment including lumbar support so you should be able to find a comfortable setting. It also has an excellent built in sound system. The build quality and finish are excellent and it still feels tight and solid. It averages around 47 mpg and the menu servicing costs are reasonable.

I know it is not a CDTI but you have said performance is not a major factor. The DTI is a bit underpowered in a solid heavy car but the engine is fully sorted and is capable of very high mileages. It is a chain cam engine so downstream servicing costs are less.

I can unhesitatingly recommend the Vectra as a much underrated car and I suggest you consider a DTI but avoid the very basic model and probably the SRI as the suspension is a good deal firmer You may also save yourself some money.

Try motorpoint or trade sales. I have used both and have been well pleased with the results.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - Boxbasher
Ive got a cdti 120 exclusive - low list price keeps c.c tax down! In 30K since May now getting 48-50 mpg, (mostly motorway work - cruise control gives good economy) car is v. quiet on most road surfaces, seats v comfortable. Bridgestone tyres on fronts will need replacing at about 35K. Tried 150cdti - v. quick but noisier.

downsides - for such a big car storage round driver is pathetic, what appears to be a mountain bike wheel is supplied as a spare, radio is total rubbish and there's no Long Wave for listening to cricket - people have died for less!

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 19/12/2007 at 09:49

1.9 CDTi Opinions - oldtoffee
I've done a few journeys in the SRi 120 models we had on our small fleet and would echo what others have said. I found it a bit of a mixed bag. The suspension and wheels gave it a firm sporty ride and a bit bouncy around town but it rolled excessively and the steering had very little feel - all of which discourage press on driving. On the motorways it is definitely at home and incredibly quiet and refined. IIRC we averaged in the mid 40s mpg over 2 cars, 6 months 30,000 miles. No reliability issues but the two drivers just didn't like the handling so as they were only on long term rent we got rid. I thought the interior was done quite well from a drivers perspective, bit functional but high quality. The only real negatives for me were the postbox like view in the rear mirror and the blind spot on the three quarters plus the limited amount of rear seat leg room for a big car.

1.9 CDTi Opinions - Collos25
Is it the same engine as used in Renaults ,Fiats and PAS.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - Collos25
I've seen a few 2004 model Vectra 1.9 CDTis which come into my bduget at around £6-6.5 which is what I reckon my 2005 Megane 1.6 is worth (if anyone buys it!)

05 diesels are fetching under £5k on Auto Trader
1.9 CDTi Opinions - greenhey
I have a 1.9 150 Design and would echo most of the commente here, except....

Having had my car side-window smashed in my previous car by someone looking for my week-old TomTom, I thought having my Design with the CD70 would be great as it's hard to tell from outside.
With regard to security, that has been true; but the sat nav on the CD70 is way behind the TomTom, Navman etc £150 units .It is a poor 2D display, a tedious interface and even on the 2007 software does not support full postcode search. At its original "extra" cost it's a great rip-off.
While I might get another 150 CDTi I'm not sure if I'd bother with the premium for the sat nav. Given they are less expensive/more common now, if I can find a mounting which does not have the windscreen tell-tale I might just buy one.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - Snakey
Well - cheers for the info folks - I've now arranged to swap my car for a 2004/54 1.9CDTi 120 - saves the hassle of selling/part exchanges etc.

I understand the 1.9 120 BHP doesn't have the swirl valve issue?

Also, this new car has 60k miles on it, I think the cambelt change is due at 80k, so I will probably do it at 70-75k - anyone done this? Is it a particularly easy/hard job on these?

Can't believe I'm swapping a 20k 55 plate car for an older higher mileage car but I've had enough of renaults to last me a lifetime - the damn thing wouldn't even start for 10 minutes the other day!

Quite looking forward to 50mpg though.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - midlifecrisis
Any issues with it,check out www.vectra-c.com. There is a wealth of knowledge on there.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - mk1973
>- "I'm 37 with a dodgy back and need a car with reasonable comfort."

Snakey - nothing specifically to do with Vectras I'm afraid - have you tried a McKenzie lumbar roll for extra lumbar support? Used to be mail order only but I've recently seen for sale from Halfords - £16. Sits in the small of your back so you stay sat more upright. I'm 34 with a dodgy back and wouldn't be without mine, especially on car journeys.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - Snakey
I did try one of those lumbar rolls but found it pushed me into a shape that then made my legs ache! Maybe I'm an odd shape!

I assume its becaused I was adding padding to an already padded seat.

However, I did buy a CDTI 120 and for the first few weeks it made my back even worse - now it seems fine - very firm seats but pretty comfortable.
1.9 CDTi Opinions - oilrag
" if I can find a mounting which does not have the windscreen tell-tale I might just buy one."


I have a `beanbag` type mounting for a Garmin, bought from Halfords.

1.9 CDTi Opinions - rtj70
"I have a `beanbag` type mounting for a Garmin, bought from Halfords. "

Less obvious than windscreen marks is to use one of those circular pads to stick to an area of the dash.

I'm fortunate and have a Mazda6 (well I like it) with a map pocket on the dash. I've put velcro on the lid and the suction cup and it works well. The weight of the sat nav is not really taken by the mount as it rests on the front edge of the map pocket. Close map pocket after removal of sat nav (before I arrive) and no evidence ;-)

Ask Honest John

Value my car