2003 Holden Vectra CDX 3.2 V6 from Australia and New Zealand
Prestige quality at a Holden price
Paint blemishes on inner guards, will need to be repainted - apparently caused by the protective sealant applied to new cars as they leave the factory. This only affects a very small area however, and is only visible with the bonnet open.
Excellent performance, especially considering the size of engine vs weight of car. Really goes very well at higher revs.
Handles and steers very well and doesn't put a foot wrong, while maintaining a firm, but not harsh ride.
Leather-bound steering wheel feels great to use.
Tall passengers will be most comfortable in the drivers' seat - not enough legroom in front passenger seat and not enough headroom in the rear. Fortunately, this car is best appreciated from the driver's seat.
Visibility is poor sometimes, due to the high window line.
Classy, well-appointed interior that is put together very well.
Very solid feel to all the doors, safe and reassuring.
Clever two-stage indicator system, touch lightly for three flashes. Journalists have complained about it, but get used to it and then try living without it!
Engine sounds great under acceleration and at higher revs, but has a fairly uninspiring droning noise at 1500-3000 rpm.
5 speed auto seems unnecessary - 4 would have done the job, as you need to drop back to 3rd to get any engine braking happening downhill. Shifts well though.
Looks fantastic in silver, very much in the current German prestige style. Lucky, because the five other colour options are all awful.
On the whole though, in a league one category up from its price.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th September, 2003
The 5-speed auto means there is a tighter cluster of gear ratios with less 'gaps' between gears; this allows the engine to accellerate faster and also select a more appropriate gear for individual driving situations. 4-speed automatics generally sap a LOT of power from the same car with a manual gearbox; a 5-speed auto will still never be as quick or flexible as a manual, but its much closer.