1994 Vauxhall Senator CD 2.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Relaxed cruiser


Radiator leak, and coolant pipe.

Cruise control and air con stopped working, along with two rear electric windows.

Surging on acceleration traced to faulty sensor and breather pipe.

Wear and tear such as brakes, exhaust and tyres when it needed them.

General Comments:

The 2.6 Senator is not the fastest, though it does have the same "Dual Ram System" technology that is in the bigger 3.0 24v model. So lots of torque and a relaxed rather than fast drive, though when you need to overtake, believe me this thing moved quick when it needed to effortlessly.

Comfort of the CD model is as good as it gets - all leather and electrics all round. You could not ask for more from a car of this time period. On the outside the car looked great in dark metallic blue with multi spoked alloys and a rear spoiler.

To drive the handling was sloppy, especially when compared to my previous Mercedes. But it's not as bad as you might think, and oversteer was easy to induce for fun :)

It was written off in an accident in around about 2010 when it was 16 years old and I had put serious mileage on it, and despite the problems above, I would say it was a reliable car, and I miss it dearly. Would love to have another, probably look for a 24v model, as they seem to be cared for now in the hands of enthusiasts, but there are very little of these cars left on the road.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2018

1994 Vauxhall Senator CD 24V 3.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Fast, luxurious, practical classic!


After being stored away for a while, this car had pretty much a full rebuild recently (engine, gearbox and bodywork). Before that, looking through the history, it has had the usual wear and tear items and no real faults other than the air-con stopped working and the cruise control, all of which since have been fixed.

The timing chain has been upgraded to a stronger one when rebuilt, as the 3.0 24v engine was famous for weak chains.

General Comments:

What can I say, I finally bought a car I looked at as police cars going up and down UK motorways in the early 1990s. As a kid this car fascinated me and I don't know why. It's not pretty to look at, especially the grille (think of a chip cutter), but the back and side of the car stand out like a muscular executive car typically shaped of the era. The black square cut exhaust has nice look and sound.

White in colour but NOT ex police - this one had a sunroof and auto gearbox and full electrics. I loved being in this car, very comfortable and all the electronics you could wish for (for its time). Dated interior, but I still think it looks nice inside.

It is awful on fuel but who cares; I'm going to use it as a second car to play about in during the summer. I've heard 30 MPG is possible, but the best I had was 27, and the worst was 18. But the car makes up for that with great acceleration and top speed; the manual states a little over 140 MPH but I've heard they can touch 150 MPH, and 0-60 takes somewhere between 7 and 8 seconds. To be honest these performance figures are average by today's standards for an executive car, but remember this car was designed in the 80s.

What makes this car stand out when compared to rivals at the time like the BMW 5 series and 7 series and so on, was the price when new it undercut rivals by a large amount. Ironically, keeping a Senator nowadays would probably be as dear as you average BMW or Mercedes from the same era, but when new they were much cheaper to run. The only real rival was the Ford Granada Cosworth.

When considering a car of this type do your research and be prepared to wait for parts. Do not take it to a Vauxhall dealer - they will not have a clue what it is. Even back in the day I heard of people having trouble at dealers with these cars - that's not to say all Vauxhall dealers are bad, they are not, some are OK, but you need an independent specialist that knows these cars well to take care of them!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st December, 2017

24th Dec 2017, 08:47

I would not buy one; at this age it is a money pit. Far better off with an old Lexus barge; better reliability and performance.

24th Dec 2017, 15:10

All 80s and 90s executive cars are money pits now :) And they were not exactly cheap when new either. Try looking for a mid 90s BMW 750i. V12 engine. Now there's a liability :) Nice cars though, I do agree I like Lexus's as well, I'll stick with the old Vauxhall for now though; maybe going to try a late 90s BMW 525i Sport next, or a Mercedes E Class (if I can find one without rust), who knows.