1.8 VVT reliability question - pablohoney
Hi there,

I am thinking about going for a cheap as possible late vectra 1.8 vvt sri as a cheap family car. I know they are not the greatest to drive but as a car to run around in and do the occasional family holiday in I think it will suffice. Frees up money to have a more interesting second car! I am put off the 1.9 diesels due to the list of what can go wrong with them.

What are the 1.8s like reliability wise? There is no mention on the car by car review of a single problem on this engine. I know they are not nearly as fast as the diesels but I am not worried about that providing it is reliable. I only will do around 7-8k miles in it so the extra consumption over the diesel won't matter either.

What I want is a car which is refined on the motorway and everything I have read about the vectra says it is up there with the best. This is more important than ultimate handling give what it will be used for.

Views and experiences would be appreciated.



Edited by Pugugly on 10/01/2010 at 21:56

Top Reply

vectra 1.8 VVT reliability - Graham567
I have a 07plate 1.8 vvti Vectra owned since new.

Right here are the good points first.

1. You get a massive amount of standard kit.Cruise control,6 airbags,electric windows,remote central locking etc for a small price(cars i've been pricing up are at least 1.5 times dearer).

2.They are fairly economical and cruise all day long on the motorway.

3.Massive boot.

Now for the bad points.

1.The 1.8 vvti's can suffer from clutch judder which Vauxhall will fix under warranty but if out of warranty then its expensive to sort.

2.The standard fit tyres(Bridgestone) are noisey.After fitting Michelins all round it made a massive difference.

3.The engine isn't as refined as it should be and can be quite noisey under acceleration.Once up to speed it quietens down.

4.The gear change can be jerky from 1st to 2nd due to the stupid electronic accelerator pedal.You have to constantly think about changing gear because if you get it wrong the car lurches forward.

Thats about it.I paid £10500 brand new in 2007 for mine and looking at replacing it now its coming up to 3 years old and the comparable cars are a minimum of between £16500(Mazda 6),£19000(Honda Accord) or £18500(Citreon C5).

So the Vectra is a massive bargain if you can put up with its niggly faults.

All Replies

vectra 1.8 VVT reliability - Graham567
I have a 07plate 1.8 vvti Vectra owned since new.

Right here are the good points first.

1. You get a massive amount of standard kit.Cruise control,6 airbags,electric windows,remote central locking etc for a small price(cars i've been pricing up are at least 1.5 times dearer).

2.They are fairly economical and cruise all day long on the motorway.

3.Massive boot.

Now for the bad points.

1.The 1.8 vvti's can suffer from clutch judder which Vauxhall will fix under warranty but if out of warranty then its expensive to sort.

2.The standard fit tyres(Bridgestone) are noisey.After fitting Michelins all round it made a massive difference.

3.The engine isn't as refined as it should be and can be quite noisey under acceleration.Once up to speed it quietens down.

4.The gear change can be jerky from 1st to 2nd due to the stupid electronic accelerator pedal.You have to constantly think about changing gear because if you get it wrong the car lurches forward.

Thats about it.I paid £10500 brand new in 2007 for mine and looking at replacing it now its coming up to 3 years old and the comparable cars are a minimum of between £16500(Mazda 6),£19000(Honda Accord) or £18500(Citreon C5).

So the Vectra is a massive bargain if you can put up with its niggly faults.
vectra 1.8 VVT reliability - pablohoney
Thanks for your really helpful reply. I think they are very good value for what you get also. For an everyday family car which will get abuse from young kids I am loathed to pay loads of money. I don't mind having a car that is not exciting as long as it is also cheap!

A family member has a 10 year old astra which gets a hard life but is going strong with very minimal repairs. Body is immaculate with no rust.

vectra 1.8 VVT reliability - Bedhead

The 1.8 Vectra has a silly wee clutch the same size as a 1 litre Corsa. it's simply not man enough for the job.
vectra 1.8 VVT reliability - lever8

Do you still own the car Graham567?

Anymore good or bad points.

Thks

vectra 1.8 VVT reliability - Peterexhaustpiper
There is a bit of a known reputation with the EGR valves & inlet manifolds regarding the 1.9 CDTi [8v 120ps/16v 150ps] engines sourced by Fiat. When I worked as quite a long-distance driver for RAC I noticed that there were considerably more Vectra CDTi's than Astra CDTi's being towed home by the likes of RAC/AA/Green Flag. I do not think that the CDTi is an unreliable engine because I started out with Fiats & have owned 4 Fiats before I bought finally saved up & got myself a Seat Leon FR TDi. Inlet manifolds are typical of Fiats to go wrong or fail in my experience as for every Fiat I've been through I've always had manifold related problems. This shows in CDTi's.

I used to be really good friends with a guy who had the old Ecotec Astra bertone 1.8 16V Twinport. I can't say I know anyone who has a VVT in an Astra or a Vectra because no one I know has bought one yet. My former friend had quite a few problems with his 1.8 TP. I've been in it a few times before I could drive going back 5 years ago & I really really wanted that car above everything else! I've always wanted a Bertone (especially the more colour-coded updated ones with the smoked headlights & tinted rear lights!) since I 1st saw one & I had a thing for Vauxhalls when I was 19/20. Having a good friend who had the car of my dreams made me want one all the more. I liked the old Bertones more than anything until I heard about the problems he suffered with his 1.8. He wasn't a brutal driver who didn't look after his machine he did keep it in good nick, immaculate inside, immaculate outside, religiously serviced, well-maintained etc.

He said it was a rubbish car, the engine was chocolate = didn't have much of a good word to say about it at all. He's said to me lots of times in a sarcastic way "you can have it for nothing" I remember it was quite new & still under Vauxhalls warranty, he told me it burned a cylinder head out x2, cracked its headgasket x1, inlet-manifold gasket blew through x1, started mis-firing (causing sudden jerks at low revs). He recalled there wasn't a day when the yellow spanner light or engine management wouldn't come up on the dashboard.

I would think they would have improved the 1.8 16V twinport in the later Astras & Vectras with the VVT by now. I must say I havn't seen any 1.8's on the backs of any tow-trucks on my journeys since I've been an RAC employee so maybe they are a bit more reliable than CDTi's.

Sorry I do talk/type far too much this is where I start yapping on about nothing...
You can ignore the bit below if you like... Or read it.... entirely up to you...
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Its a shame I went off Vauxhalls altogether because I used to be a serious no.1 Vauxhall fan as I learned to drive in a black Corsa SXi 1.2 Twinport with the cool black tinted rear lights & I passed my test in a BSM Astra. Ive always had a thing for Vauxhalls as they are really nice to drive & I love the style of them. The Vauxhalls I liked were too expensive to buy at the time I wanted them, but they are now rapidly falling in price which is a shame as
my palette has changed over the years since I was 19/20. I slowly went off Vauxhalls & onto something else as the years went by. Maybe I had a phase & grew out of liking them?

Its kind of strange that I ended up loving my Grey Leon FR TDi! because I never took a second glance at them or Cupra R's before.

- I liked 3-door cars only - especially coupés with a saloon-back, hated 5-doors especially hatchbacks -> considered it to be a bit of a "dads image"

- I liked petrol only as its quieter & revs longer I absolutely hated diesel!

- I only ever liked the colour BLACK!

One day I decided to go for a car the total opposite to what I wanted in a car...

I bought a...

Seat Leon = 5-doors

- TDi 150 - Diesel

- Grey colour

Made the complete opposite switch over a year ago & I don't know why I honestly liked Astra Bertones, petrols or 3-door cars! I'm hopefully buying another Leon MkII FR or Skoda Octavia VRS PD 170 next year! Absolutely love VAG, love my Leon too much to get rid of it. Astras are still nice cars & I still <3 the SRi sport hatch CDTi but I prefer VAG a lot more to Vauxhall now.
vectra 1.8 VVT reliability - Snakey
I had a 2004 vectra and overall it was a good car. Interior is large and comfortable and pretty hard wearing (in my LS/Life spec!)

Issues? Two snapped front springs which is so common I would budget for it if you're keeping the car over 30k miles.

Have to say it attracted a lot of negative comments but as a family car it was easy to live with and did everything we wanted. It was probably the best car I've owned for longer trips of 300 miles or so - no backache and nice and quiet at speed.

As previously said, also a bit of a bargain as well. I would have another.
1.8 VVT reliability question - TheOilBurner
I used to own a 2004 SRi with the 1.9 CDTi. I had two problems with it, an engine problem (swirl valves, fixed under warranty) and the rear shocks went at a surprisingly low mileage, about 35k miles as I re-call. Other than that, it was a very fine car.

I also have a friend who owns a 2002 LS with the older non-VVTi 1.8 petrol.

That's getting to be high-mileage now, it's had a few issues, the most expensive of which was the failure of the steering rack, at around 60k miles or so. They do hump their car up and down a kerb all the time though.

I would say, don't be afraid of the Vectra, it's no worse than most cars, but don't expect 100% reliability either.
1.8 VVT reliability question - pablohoney
thanks for all the responses. So the vectra isn't great but it isn't terrible. Any more experiences of the newer vvt 1.8 engine?

1.8 VVT reliability question - SteveLee
Late Vectras may not be that entertaining on twisties but they are superb motorway cruisers matching many executive cars for refinement. So given your requirements the Vectra would be a good choice.
1.8 VVT reliability question - sandy56
I never bought one but had a company Vectra 1.8 estate. Big comfortable car, and coped well in the Snow in northern Norway. Never had a problem with it.

1.8 VVT reliability question - TheOilBurner
BTW take the handling criticisms of the Vectra with a pinch of salt. The SRi can handle as well as 95% of the population need, IMHO.
1.8 VVT reliability question - piston power
Anyone driven the 2.8 v6 turbo?

What do you think of the car in handling with a car full and boot?

What is the mpg? if any! lol...
1.8 VVT reliability question - SteveLee
BTW take the handling criticisms of the Vectra with a pinch of salt. The SRi
can handle as well as 95% of the population need IMHO.


All modern cars handle or should I say grip well enough to ensure you won't visit the nearest hedge at the first turn and of course like ANY modern car can be hustled along pretty quickly, some cars just don't feel as nice whilst doing so and that's the valid criticism aimed at the Vectra when tested against some of its contemporaries. The Vectra is by no means bad it just isn't as sweet in the steering dept as other cars, it doesn't handle undulations mid-corner as well either. It's a very good car - light years ahead of stuff our fathers drove - it doesn't mean it's perfect and pointing out that other cars feel nicer on the twisties doesn't make the Vectra a bad car.
1.8 VVT reliability question - TheOilBurner
Yes that's all true, but I'm tired of hearing about how sub-standard the handling is in the Vectra.

I've owned many different cars of this size, and the 2004 SRI I had was one of the best handling cars I've owned, despite what the media say. It was seriously chuckable on a B-road, inspiring total confidence, which is a lot more than I can say about most other cars I've owned.

And yes, I've owned Mondeo's too... They were good, but certainly not that much better than the Vectra.

Note I'm talking about the SRI variant here, I've driven the regular Vectras too, and they were quite hopeless! :)

I agree the steering feel was a little on the light side, but I thought it was OK, no worse than any other modern car was electro-hydraulic power assist.

Edited by TheOilBurner on 11/01/2010 at 21:33

1.8 VVT reliability question - Dynamic Dave
Unfortunately Vauxhall got hold of a whole load of Goodyear NCT5 tyres and fitted them as standard for a while to the Vectra-C. If yours has these tyres fitted, then get shot of them if you want to improve the handling.
1.8 VVT reliability question - Marc
"Unfortunately Vauxhall got hold of a whole load of Goodyear NCT5 tyres and fitted them as standard for a while to the Vectra-C"

Throughout the whole production run in fact. Good in the snow though Dave and excellent longevity on the motorway too.

At 85k I'm due to replace all four soon and must admit I am toying with the idea of switching to Uniroyal Rainsport 2s...
1.8 VVT reliability question - pablohoney
I like the sound of the vectra matching exec cars for refinement. What kinds of cars do you define as exec though? A4 / 3 series or a6 / 5 series?

1.8 VVT reliability question - SteveLee
I like the sound of the vectra matching exec cars for refinement. What kinds of
cars do you define as exec though? A4 / 3 series or a6 / 5
series?

None of the above, they are all far too stiffly spung.
1.8 VVT reliability question - Dynamic Dave
Goodyear NCT5 tyres
Throughout the whole production run in fact.


Don't think so. My previous 53 reg Vectra had Bridgestone ER30's all round.
I am toying with the idea of switching to Uniroyal Rainsport 2s...


That's what I've currently got fitted. Excellent tyres, IMHO.
1.8 VVT reliability question - jetskimatty

I wouldn't be put off about the eagle nct5's. We had a Veccy from brand new years ago and they were on this. We loved it, and got 48,000 miles out of two. Well worth it. I always buy eagle nct's now and have since ive had a nova gte years ago. Smashing tyres.

1.8 VVT reliability question - jecicapapa
8< snip - go spam somewhere else. DD

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 13/01/2010 at 10:35

1.8 VVT reliability question - Marc
"Don't think so. My previous 53 reg Vectra had Bridgestone ER30's all round."

Dave - I think it would depend on spec/wheel size. From what I know all 17" wheels eg the SRis came with NCTs from early on right to the end of Vectra production.

However, a colleague of mine used to have a 53 plate Elegance back in the day and that had 16" alloys with Bridgestone tyres.

Good to hear about the Uniroyals, they get good reviews on various sites. Any issues with availability and were they cheaper than NCTs (I pay around £105 a corner)?
1.8 VVT reliability question - Dynamic Dave
You could well be right Marc. My 53 reg Ellegance had 16" alloys, but my current Elite has 17" alloys.

I got my Rainsport2's from Camskill last March. £74 per tyre delivered. Then paid a local tyre fitter £10 per corner to fit them. Last I heard though was that Camskill had stopped supplying them. They've probably got approx 4 to 5mm of tread left on them and I've done something like 10,000 miles and I have a heavy right foot if you know what I mean.

Previously I had Goodyear GSD3's on the front which only lasted 11,000 miles. The orginal NCT5's lasted something like 26,000 miles on the front. I still have NCT5's on the rear (47,000 miles and approx 2½ mm of tread left) but I'm reluctant to put them on the front to wear them out that bit quicker as I don't want to revert back to a car that understeers and gives no feedback through the steering wheel. Still having NCT5's on the rear wheels doesn't seem to affect the handling.

1.8 VVT reliability question - Snakey
I have to agree that the Vectra's refinement on the motorway is one of the best. I've been in a mates Audi and the Vec seemed quieter and more comfortable at speed.

As for handling, ignore the reviews that slate the handling. Its not a sports car, but it handled well enough around the towns and country roads for me to not end up in a ditch, whilst offering a smooth motorway ride. Can't say I want more than that!
1.8 VVT reliability question - redviper
I Have a Vectra C (06) Plate ? With the Z18XER Engine

I?m not sure if this is DMF or not however I love the car and I totally agree that it is a fantastic motorway cruiser ? very quite and very comfortable.

I only have a few gripes with the car and that is


Auto Wipers, I hate them but apparently you can have then ?teched 2?d out?
The plastic button that raises and lowers the headrest on the passenger side seat rattles when no one is in it (right by my left ear)

When it gets hot in the car (left in the sun) the gear knob comes off the stick (you just have to press it on again)


But I love the car because

It cruises motorways effortlessly
Its no more reliable or less reliable that any of its competitors (infact I would dare to say its more reliable than some makes of car)
Its big
It looks good
Its got a lot of kit (cruise, computer, DAB radio etc (depending on trim level)
Its very comfortable

Get the right colour, and I think it looks good. ? I got the silver looks brilliant
1.8 VVT reliability question - pablohoney
No horror stories have emerged over the 1.8. If I can live with the handling (which I can) it just comes down to whether the 1.8 has enough performance. Motorway refinement sounds good.

I quite like how the SRI s look too.
1.8 VVT reliability question - Marc
"I quite like how the SRI s look too"

Agreed, but make sure you like how they ride over local pot-holed roads. The SRi (and GSi)have lowered and stiffer suspension therefore giving a harder ride (but not noticeable on the motorway) than the other specs.

In retrospect I would have gone for an Elite but have been very happy with my SRi (Edition 100) over the last six years.
1.8 VVT reliability question - redviper
No horror stories have emerged over the 1.8. If I can live with the handling
(which I can)


There Really is nothing wrong with the handling, OK its not class leading but its not terrible either, i have driven cars in the same class that are just about the same

I think the Vectra C got a ribbing on Top gear when Vauxhall stuck a huge engine in it that could outrun a BMW M5! in a straight line but they didn't do anything to up rate the suspension so it could not put the power onto the tarmac through the wheels when cornering ....JC said, and I quote "there is only one way to describe this car , begins with S ends in T and ISN'T the word soot!" - But what does he know? - OK so with that huge engine yes they should have uprated the suspension but for a everyday road car its absolutely fine, i like the car the way it drives and it eats up motorways brilliantly.
I have the 1.8 and its no racer but it does cruise very well IMO and thats all that i need it for .
1.8 VVT reliability question - Marc
"If I can live with the handling"

I'm pretty sure Vauxhall improved the handling on the facelifted C in response to criticism of the original. Not driven one though so cannot be sure.

Dynamic Dave has owned both so maybe he can comment.
1.8 VVT reliability question - Dynamic Dave
Dynamic Dave has owned both so maybe he can comment.


Apparently Vx let Lotus loose on the car to improve the handling of the facelift as they have previously done with other cars (don't quote me on that though). The handling was supposed to have been improved, and therefore Vx dropped things like ESP and TC from some of the facelift models because of the "improvements". Personally speaking on day to day usage I haven't noticed much difference other than my facelift being a firmer ride - but that could be down to it having lower profile tyres than my pre-facelift model. In hindsight though it was daft of Vx to drop ESP and TC from the list of standard equipment fitted to some of the higher spec cars.
 

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