1999 Holden Vectra GL 2.2L Ecotec from Australia and New Zealand
Good economical car with reasonable grunt for what it is!
Engine warning light "Emission Control Systems" stays on. Easy fix and DTC had showed it had a faulty O2 sensor, cam angle sensor & MAP sensor. It pays to look around and get quotes for these components as prices can vary from $15-$350 just for one sensor! I'd managed to get all the sensors I'd needed along with a crank angle sensor "for possible future use" at the cost of around $250, along with an engine service kit.
For some people, it may even pay to take their faulty Vectra into a garage and get them to put it on a diagnostic scan tool. That way you will know exactly what sensors have gone faulty.
When the ECS warning light is on, the car will basically run on limp-home mode and consume very large amounts of fuel "around 5-10L per 100km", so it's a good idea to get it sorted.
Parts took around hour to install, and since then economy has been back up to 6-7L per 100km, which is great IMO.
I don't find these any worse really than most cars on the market today. They're not quite as hard to get your hands into as a Holden Barina/Combo Van as a backyard mechanic.
I have the station wagon version and it's much like a mini version of the VT Commodore wagon.
Suspension, ride and handling is great on this little bus. Brakes are adequate, and the steering is good.
Engine is no worse than any others out there these days, as they're all computer controlled, rely heavily on sensors and are prone to failure. Engine performance however, is quite good for this car! More than acceptable throttle response, power, and the capability to do some light to mild towing. Has no problems towing my 8x5 caged box trailer around with my quad bike!
The 5-speed gearbox has quite long legs and keeps the engine at a warm idle for general cruising and driving around. I'd imagine this helps with the good fuel economy figures.
MAP sensors can foul up on these, so it can help to give them a clean out once in a while to keep the engine in good running shape.
Interior room is adequate and the station wagon is a good little bus for space and shopping, even with a small family.
If maintained, as it should be in regular intervals and looked after, they seldom give any major problems.
One thing I'd like to say though, is keep up to date with the timing belts on these. I've been told they run on an interference head and if that's the case, you'll bend valves/damage pistons if a timing belt breaks. If you do get the timing belt replaced, do replace the tensioner, cam/cranks seals and water pump. This will ensure some longevity and you'll be right for around another 100,000km in that department.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th December, 2016