Vauxhall Vectra (2002 – 2008) Review

Vauxhall Vectra (2002 – 2008) At A Glance


+Far better than previous Vectra. Now with decent handling and an excellent ride. Plenty of safety kit. Roomy in the front. Big boot. Good looks.

-Not as sharp to drive as a Mondeo. Limited rear legroom. The 2.2DI can be heavy on the oil. Reports of parking brake failures.

On average it achieves 95% of the official MPG figure

The new Vectra is a big car for big people. It's so big in the front seats that trying to get comfortable I felt like I'd shrunk.

So that's the first piece of good news for our growing population.

Vauxhall Vectra CDTI 150 2004 Road Test

Real MPG average for a Vauxhall Vectra (2002 – 2008)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

19–58 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

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Ask Honest John

Why are my tyres cracking?
"I purchased a new set of tyres in October 2019 for my Vauxhall Vectra. I've done 1500 careful miles since then, during which I put 45PSI in them (50PSI is the max) and moved them on the drive once a week. Now they are cracking in the grooves on all the tyres. I had a problem with cracking with other premium tyres at four years and around 9000 miles but this is ridiculous. I'm guessing my low mileage doesn't help. After consulting both manufacturer and seller I am going to have to go through the painful process of getting them returned under warranty which of course involves me buying four new tyres, but what can I buy that isn't going to crack prematurely? Are there any brands/tyres less prone to cracking with low mileage? "
I think the problem is caused by the way the car is stored rather than the actual tyres. Cracking is usually caused by the fact the car is left standing outside for long periods. UV light, for example, can result in the polymers in the rubber drying up and cracking. It's a similar story with extreme heat and cold. Your mileage since 2019 suggests the car is used for less than 70 miles a month, which means your car is left for very long periods outside in the elements. I'm not sure any brand of tyre would not crack with such low mileage. It may be better to rent a garage or buy a good quality car cover.
Answered by Dan Powell
Why does my car keep kicking out lots of white smoke?
"My Vauxhall Vectra has started kicking out LOTS of white smoke. Then nothing for days and then smoke again. The water level is dropping slowly but performance is all good - the engine temp has always been either 0 degrees or 90. The oil is black and the water is clear. Any ideas?"
White smoke is indicating that the fuel being injected into the cylinder is not burning correctly (the smoke will burn your eyes). The reasons for this are: - engine/pump timing out - fuel starvation to the pump causing the pumps timing not to operate correctly - low engine compression - water/petrol in the fuel We would suggest that you carry out a compression test /sniff test to ascertain the head gasket condition
Answered by Alan Ross
My heater only works on the highest setting - can I fix it myself?
"The heater in my 2002 Vauxhall Vectra has stopped working. Also the fan only works on the highest setting. What parts do I need and is it easy to fix it myself?"
Three elements to this. One could be that there is sludge in the bottom of the heater matrix under the dash blocking the flow from the engine; another is that the valve between the engine coolant pipes and the heater matrix has failed; and the other is that the fan motor itself has failed. Do not attempt any bodgery because this is what caused Zafira Bs to catch fire. Replacing a heater matrix is a very slow, frustrating job because it can mean that the whole dash has to come out to gain access.
Answered by Honest John
Why won't my car start?
"My Vauxhall Vectra won't start when I turn the key. All I get is a ticking noise. Can you please help?"
The ticking will be the relay opening because the battery is not supplying enough power to start the car. Assuming the starter motor is not jammed, you probably need a new battery.
Answered by Honest John
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