Extremely affordable luxury motoring if you buy second hand! Big and menacing but smooth, silent and confidence inspiring. Vauxhall's flagship rear wheel drive replacement to the Carlton and Senator is an effortless drive, a tranquil and relaxing environment in which to swiftly transport you and your passengers from A to B. These cars suffer huge depreciation which makes them excellent second hand buys. The 2.0 16V entry engine level combines sensible economy with sufficient performance. Here are my comments to date on having owned a diamond black 2.0 16V GLS saloon automatic.
The cabin is extremely quiet and the seats are almost armchair comfortable quality. There's a nice central armrest/storage box, fingertip door controls for the electric wing mirrors (heated too). Window controls a little awkwardly placed behind the transmission selector.
Interior materials might not be up to mercedes or bmw quality, but generally everything is solid and tidy. Glovebox is a bit small due to the airbag and doesn't have an air conditioned vent as in previous cavalier models. Multi info LCD display provides useful time, date, outside temperature and radio/cd player info.
Ventilation and heating excellent. Plenty of control with front and rear vents, individual temperature adjustment for passenger and driver side (fine click stop rotary controls), five fan speeds, air conditioning, recirculation and pollen filter. There is however not much air flow with the fan switched off and so quite often I found it necessary to have it on low speed if windows are closed.
Automatic box is smooth and intelligent, although car idles quieter in neutral suggesting some transmission noise. Sports mode takes revs almost to maximum permissible so can be a little frightening! 0-60 is obviously what you would expect from a 2.0 in this huge body, sufficient but not thrilling. However once moving, the omega doesnt require much effort to push along and accelerate, it just keeps going quicker and quicker!
Rear wheel drive is great for pulling away quickly at roundabouts and junctions though 2.0 litre auto insufficient to worry about sliding the back end out (well so far I havent experienced such!).
Fantastic brakes combined with 4 channel independent ABS makes stopping this huge motor safe and reassuring. Handbrake though has short travel and needs to be pulled up hard (not a problem with auto).
Steering is positive and tight, car soaks up bumps and potholes effortlessly and gives a smooth, but not sickening ride. Corners very well with little body roll despite huge weight, overall very reassuring and inspires confidence.
Acres of cabin room for driver and passengers. Seats are superb, but rear headrests obstruct vision, I chose to remove central headrest immediately! This car can be tricky to judge distance when reversing so I will fit reverse sensors at some point. Also I found it difficult to see the front of the bonnet unless seat height (electrically adjustable) was near its maximum (I am 6ft 2"). However there was still ample room above my head to the roof.
Adjustable steering wheel height is nice and sometimes necessary not to obstruct instrument panel. Steering wheel also leather covered which adds a nice touch! Good layout of steering controls including audio, variable speed control for intermittent wipers.
My model has dark interior, black and dark grey seats and carpets. It does sometimes feel a little gloomy especially without a sunroof, but headlining is cream and brightens things up. Doesn't show the dirt which is good, but can show up a lot of fluff and hairs.
For me the external colour makes or breaks the looks of the omega, mine is metallic black with standard vauxhall alloys and looks fantastic.. as long as you don't mind washing and waxing it on a regular basis! You also need to be quite tall to clean the bonnet as its rather huge!
Huge windscreen gives excellent visibilty, has integral sun strip at top (green) and reflects a considerable amount of heat. Dash top is quite expansive though.
Standard vauxhall sound system on this model is very good. I replaced the CAR400 radio cassette with a VDO CD/radio which still maintains the dashboard external display and steering wheel audio controls. The GLS has 8 speakers, all door mounted with separate tweeters. Parcel shelf rear speakers though would help to fill out the sound and I am considering adding some soon. Steering wheel audio controls are great! Radio can also be switched on and off independant of ignition, but has clever logic to turn it off and on when you stop the engine and then allows you to turn it back on with keys removed (turns off after an hour).
Central locking by remote has good range and features the excellent vauxhall deadlock system. Windows can also be raised (electric ones of course!) from the remote fob.
Boot space is very generous, spare wheel houses to left side and compartments for first aid box and warning triangle/jack. Lights and bulb changing easily accessible, saloon also features lights on boot lid and rear window high level brake light (LED). Rear seat (central) folding possible to extend length of storage area, also a cigar lighter/accessory socket for rear passengers a nice touch.