1992 Opel Vectra GLS 1.8i from Romania
Excellent for its time, still worth buying if you are on a small budget and find a good one
Rust, rust and again rust. This is the only major issue with this car. In 10 years I had to change twice the bodywork below the doors and the rear wheel arches.
Very reliable, and when it does break down or needs something replaced, parts are cheap, easy to find and simple to work on.
I bought the car used (9 years old), and in 10 years of ownership, apart from the normal fluid and filter changes, I changed the battery (twice), spark plugs and cables, water pump and timing belt, a hose, a couple of bushes and light bulbs, brake pads and rear brake drums and the rear exhaust (twice). That's all! Granted, an average of 5000 km/year is not much at all, but given its age and the very poor condition of the roads in Romania, it was easy on my pocket.
Comfortable, with a lot of room inside, a huge boot, power steering, good to drive on longer journeys, but in summer it can get unpleasant as it has no air conditioning.
Although 19 years old, it still accelerates well - when not fully loaded. I took it to 160km/h on the highway last year and it felt it could go faster still. But the economical max speed is around below 115-120km/h.
Average fuel consumption is 7,5-8 l / 100 km - on normal Romanian roads, through villages, not on the highway. In winter, on snow covered roads and with a max speed of 50-70 km/h, it ate 9,5-10liters/100km, again not bad at all for its age and road conditions.
Safety wise it has nothing - apart from seat belts - no airbags, no ABS, no fancy electronics to help you out.
I sold it last month, and I reckon with normal use it could easily have another 5-8 years on the roads.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd September, 2011