1996 Vauxhall Omega Elite 3.0 from UK and Ireland


Comfortable fast car for not much cash


Air-conditioning compressor seized at 110000 miles. This was probably due to the independent garage not correctly putting oil back into the freon system when they topped it up, but I could not prove it. However I purchased a compressor from a breakers for 100 pounds another independent garage fitted it for 200 all in. The main dealer quoted 1075+VAT for the job.

Coil pack broke at 119000 miles, this resulted in the car not pulling above 3000rpm, however, I could still drive it gently and had to for a week, which resulted in cracking the ceramic of the 4th cylinders spark plug. Luckily no further damage was done to the engine, therefore remedied for 250 pounds all in.

121000 miles paint work was tidied up for 200 pounds. 2 weeks later a horrible person keyed it both sides.

125000 The air-con has developed a leak it is going next week to the garage. I probably wouldn't get it fixed especially in November, except the car steams up something terrible without the compressor on.

General Comments:

The engine is wonderful, creamy smooth and effortless. Very quick. I get 27 miles per gallon and I don't hang about.

The handling is very good for such a big heavy car. The suspension does a good job at keeping the ride very comfortable, yet still able to hustle the car through bends.

Comfort is very good, the seats in the Elite model are superb. Huge, heated, leather, electrically adjusted with memory facility and at 125000 miles still looking like new. The cabin has lots of toys all of which are still working (except climate control at the moment).

I would recommend one to anyone as long as you find a decent independent garage first.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2003

1996 Vauxhall Omega CDX 2.5 V6 petrol from UK and Ireland




Rust! I bought this car in 2001 when it was 5 years old. At the time there was already some signs of rusting on the rear wheel arches and along the top of the doors at the lower window seal. After just two years (and despite careful washing and waxing) the rust had spread really badly. Large chunks of metal were disappearing from the rear wheel arches and the doors were looking very scabby. I have a friend who owned a 1995 Omega which had the same problem. Apparently its common for this model. I think that is disgraceful for a manufacturer like Vauxhall to produce a car of such poor paintwork quality. My previous car, an Audi A6 was galvanised and never had such problems.

Mechanical Faults

Oil Leaks. The cam covers on the V6 engines are cost saving plastic, and according to the 3 different mechanics (including a main Vauxhall Dealer) these cannot be adequately tightened to prevent oil leaks from the head, as a result, expect permanent damage to your driveway. I spent over £120 on new gaskets to no avail.

Plug Leads. Rapidly fail, especially if contaminated with oil. To change these it's a 5 hour job, involving stripping the entire injection head, removing the wiper motor, blades etc. Mine failed and cost £160 alone never mind labour.

Interior. Sunroof switch failed, apparently a common fault. Heated seats failed, again common. Air-con system failed, yes again common. On board computer screen went haywire, need I say common.

Timing Belt, yes mine went with a £1200 repair bill, again a common fault due to the use of a cheap plastic tensioner.

Engine. 100,000 miles is all you get before you can expect repairs and wear.

Steering. The Omega uses an antiquated steering box system, a lot of joints and bushings to give problems. Mine did.

The German TUV is investigating the extreme unreliability of these cars (do a search)

Ignore the UK surveys of reliability of new cars, these might last a year or two, but don't buy anything older. Your bargain will not be what it seems.

General Comments:

Eats fuel, 26mpg is nothing respectable these days.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 2003

19th Oct 2003, 08:28

I couldn't agree more with you.

14th Jan 2004, 07:39


I can't get over the problems you've had with your bodywork.

I own an N reg (96) CD 2.5 V6 and must be honest there isn't a patch of rust on it anywhere. I will say though that the fact that Vauxhall undercoat them in WHITE paint!? is a bit of a mystery, especailly when the final color is going to be navy blue. This means every little stone chip you get on you bonnet is instantly noticeable.

Could it be that the previous owner of your car left it outside, in the elements and NEVER washed the salt off it or are lots of people having this problem?

26th Dec 2004, 16:46

Boy you've had some problems haven't you. Why though, did you buy a car with rust & incomplete service history?Let's face it, if you buy a 6 year old car it's not going to be totally perfect.

I bought an ex-police high mileage P reg Omega. No real problems had to replace water pump, I changed the timing belt & new battery.

My point is, that all cars cost money to maintain and, I've found my Omega to be pretty rapid, very comfortable and above average in reliability.

Also, big cars aren't known for being frugal on fuel especially if you're heavy footed and, with all respect, any one with common sense would know that.

26th Mar 2006, 03:53

I have an omega 2.5 v6. Wish I hadn't. The spark plug "pots" fill with water over time, which mixes with the oil released from the inferior rocker gaskets. This results in it not running on all cylinders. It's also resulted in the plug leads failing and will cost £150.00 to replace the leads alone.

I will never buy another one of these horrendous cars...