Bargain cruiser with reliability
Front brake pads replaced at 55,000.
Brake lamp switch failed at 65,000.
Changed cam belt at 55,000 (to be on safe side) but didn't change tensioners & idler wheels. Idler wheel is now squealing when cold so I will get belt & tensioner/idlers replaced. Lesson - get the whole lot changed rather than just the belt.
I needed cheap transport after a change in employment status. Being 6'2" tall, I wanted something with space. A 1998 SX Auto came up with an LPG conversion already fitted, only 55,000 recorded miles and cost only £2,500.
The car has been very cheap to run (with LPG at only 30p/litre), even though it only returns 21MPG when running on gas.
My local garage provides good, cheap service (they changed the cam belt, oil, filter and auto-transmission oil for only £90) and are happy to work on the GM/Holden engine which is virtually identical to the UK Vectra 2.0 unit.
The car is best described as a comfortable cruiser which can eat up motorway miles without tiring. Attempts to hustle it around bends and corners result in wallowy movements and vague direction changes, but this is not what this car is about.
I originally intended to change the car as soon as I got another job, but it has been so cheap to run and reliable that I have kept it and put 20k on it in only 6 months.
The one thing I have picked up is that changing the cam belt (and tensioners!) at 24k intervals is a wise investment as the cost of failure can be substantial, not to mention the hassle of being stranded somewhere.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd November, 2003