16th Apr 2004, 10:29

We've just passed the 10,000 mile mark since buying the car, so time for an update to my original review:

Since writing the review, and the brief follow-up, the car has now been in for its 90,000 service and more recently for a cambelt and brake fluid replacement - both carried out at the local Vauxhall dealer. Potential V6 owners, be aware! That gorgeous smooth powerful lump up front might be your best friend when you're behind the wheel on the open road, but it has a downside... the cost of servicing. Routine services are OK, but the cambelt/brake fluid change cam to just over 400 quid, ouch! At least we shouldn't need to change the belt again, unless we end up keeping the car longer than planned, or our average mileage goes up quite a bit. But high-mileage drivers may want to bear this in mind, at a recommended 40k between belt changes, you could be adding quite a bit to the total cost of ownership...

There's a slow coolant leak going on somewhere - the header tank needs topping up with a litre every month or so. Vauxhall have suggested its the oil cooler, but Googling for the opinions of other V6 owners/mechanics suggests that when the oil cooler leaks its accompanied by visible signs of oil contamination in the coolant, or water contamination in the oil. Neither of which are apparent in my case, so for the moment I'm just keeping an eye on the oil and coolant, and topping up the coolant as required. Whatever the problem is, it doesn't seem to be affecting the engine in any way - it runs as smoothly as ever, and once up to temperature it stays at a fairly constant 95-96 degrees.

One or both of the front suspension bushes have now worn, giving rise to the well-known "clunk" when going over a speedbump or pothole. I can live with this for now, since it isn't having an effect on the handling, and it's just something on the (so far) very short list of things "to be fixed before the next MOT"...

If it weren't for these few mechanical issues, I'd have to describe the car as still being perfect in every respect. It seems like the more I drive it and get ever more accustomed to the comfort and power, the shorter each journey becomes. Even heading through the centre of London - a drive I hated in any other car - is now tolerable (I don't think anyone could build a car that would make this journey enjoyable!), and for the longer motorway/A-road cruising I had in mind when I decided to buy an Omega, the miles continue to slip by so easily it's almost as if you've been teleported from A to B.

Contrary to the findings of some Omega owners, the electrics on this one are - touch wood - remaining trouble free. The computer display hasn't lost any pixels, none of the dash lights have blown, the climate control still works perfectly... it's all as good as new. I know these problems can occur - I've seen them on plenty of other Omegas/Vauxhalls - but either I've just got lucky with this car or these problems aren't as common as it might seem.

So, with 10,000 miles gone, I'm just as much in love with this car as I was the day I bought it. It's been a little more expensive to run than I'd planned, although that's mainly down to having the cambelt replacement coming up so soon after purchase - over the 3 years I intend to keep the car, the servicing and running costs should end up averaging out to a more reasonable level. Fuel consumption is around 32-33mpg on motorway journeys, dropping to 10-12mpg for the occasional short hop around town, which makes for an entirely acceptable monthly fuel bill considering all the benefits we get from running a big powerful car.

If I were in the market to buy a car today, and given my experiences so far with this one, would I be interested in buying another Omega Elite? Absolutely, without any question of doubt. It's not perfect (what car is?), but it's still one of the best bargains you can get if you're after a bit of 4-wheeled luxury.

11th Jul 2004, 08:14

I note your problems with Sat Nav. I have the Elite 3.2 Irmscher saloon (51 plate 2001) and when cold the CD of the Sat Nav ejects itself several times before it eventually runs smoothly. Have you experienced any problems like this. When it goes to the dealer they cannot find a fault. Like you I am pleased with the car, but had a lengthy battle with Vauxhall over replacing the sun roof under warranty. I eventually won, but it was tough.


Phil Sigley.