1994 Vauxhall Senator CD 24V 3.0i petrol from UK and Ireland
Please make them again!
Not much, minor rust spots here and there, but nothing major, purely cosmetic.
The timing chain has been replaced - a weak spot on these cars and must be done. Hard to find parts for now. Usual consumables - tyres, brakes, exhaust, etc.
What can I say? It's now a classic. Over 20 years old and runs like new. Had it a long time and the previous owner took care of it as much as I do. Very comfortable, and fast. Popular with the police back in the day, and it's easy to see why. Fuel consumption? Forget it - if you have to think about it, you can't afford it (high 20s at best, less if you drive fast).
Luxury - electric everything. Leather seats. Automatic is the one to have, not much slower than the manual (about 7 seconds to 60mph and 150mph top speed). This was the 80s/early 90s remember, this car was way ahead of its time. Shame they didn't replace it after the Omega - BMW, Audi and Mercedes had the same stranglehold on the executive car market even back then, so why not make another contender now? Probably because the Vauxhall badge doesn't cut it in the cool kudos department.
Vauxhall, please make this car again or something like it. I know the Omega was good, but not as good as this, and even they are rare now. The Carlton was also great, and just about as rare as a Senator nowadays.
Values have went up in recent years - used to able to get one for £300. Now it's £700 for a rough one, and anything over £2000 for a mint CD 24V top spec. If you are looking for a usable classic you could do a lot worse than one of these. You will have to contact fan clubs for parts though!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 25th April, 2015
11th Jun 2015, 16:19
The 24v was the business, agreed, but don't forget about the 3.0 12v. It did not have the timing belt issues and was almost as fast.
The 2.6 and 2.5 aren't the fastest cars in the world, but are also worth considering since this car is so rare now, and the Carlton as well like you mentioned.
Fuel economy is rubbish, but no one buys a 20+ year old executive car for daily use these days; only as a second car.
Totally agree with your review, this car was the most underrated car ever, and only the BMWs and Mercedes of the last 10 years or so come close in terms of luxury and performance.
12th Jun 2015, 09:23
I second this review and comment, it's good to hear people still talking about this car after all these years. I had a look for one years ago, but ended up getting an Omega, also a nice car, but not quite as reliable as the Carlton/Senator. A common misconception is that white manual transmission ex police cars are looked after - they are serviced on time, yes, but many have lead hard lives in pursuit. Best find a mint non police car in a nice colour, black or dark blue/red. You just don't see these cars on the road any more, or any car with character for that matter, it's a shame. Good luck finding a nice one those who are looking. There is a club called Autobahnstormers and they are probably your best bet for parts/cars.
19th Jun 2015, 09:24
As people have been saying, this car is the best. I knew someone who worked on Senator's whilst in the police, he said to this day officers say it was the best pursuit car. Sure modern cars have come a along way in terms of fuel consumption improvement, but this car was perfect in its day for performance and all round ability. Interestingly, the rival car, the Ford Granada Cosworth, also a great car, was more popular with civilians, but not as popular a car in the police force.
29th Jul 2015, 11:13
This car can do no wrong it seems. I know a mate of mine who had one and a Carlton before that. He then got an Omega, which unfortunately wasn't as reliable. He recently bought an Insignia, as it's the closest thing to a Senator that Vauxhall make nowadays. I wonder how good it will be in the long run. I bet the Senator still proves to be twice the car.