1996 Vauxhall Vectra 2.0GLX Estate 2.0 petrol DOHC from UK and Ireland


Good, reliable company car, and it would be OK as a private choice, too


Engine mounting fell off complete with PAS pump assembly, and was re-attached under warranty.

General Comments:

Reliable and well made car, and quite economical at 31mpg whilst being pushed hard. Overall, less competent than a Mk2 Cavalier owned earlier. Manual gearbox rather unpleasant and was only starting to bed-in at the time the car left me.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th April, 2002

1996 Vauxhall Vectra SRi 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A seriously flawed motor vehicle - don't buy


Front brake discs and pads were replaced as a result of an oil seal failure (under guarantee).

Engine control unit failure resulting in a £700 repair bill.

Numerous crankshaft electronic failures.

Inexplicable random inoperability of the remote locking/unlocking.

General Comments:

Numerous software upgrades have failed to correct flat spots in the erformance which is good if kept within the productive power band - I just don't like driving between 5 and 7 thousand RPM to have predictable power output!

The gear change on this car is the worst of any experienced in over 30 years of driving - it has been so since an oil seal failure drained the gearbox, the dealer tells me it's normal.

Servicing menu prices seem cheap, but add on the parts replacement needed at each service and the costs of running this vehicle are well beyond a mass produced family car.

Dealer service is POOR.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st January, 2002

1996 Vauxhall Vectra Premier 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Poor to average


The air con system on the car has had to be rebuilt by the dealer after they were unable to fix it after eight attempts. The tail lift struts both leaked grease after two years.

The radio display packed up.

A severe water leak developed in the boot and was begrudgingly repaired by the dealer under warranty after much arguing.

General Comments:

The car is an adequate one, but is let down by bad build quality and poor dealership backup.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th December, 2001

1996 Vauxhall Vectra LS 1.6 16v from UK and Ireland


Dull, boring, average at best


I've only just got this car and I'm starting to regret buying it.

Engine management light came on after 5 days of ownership. Crank sensor bracket had failed. Sensor and bracket need to be replaced, and will cost £100.

Central locking doesn't work on boot. Lock also sticks making it very difficult to open the boot.

Left and right hand ends of dash make horrible "cracking" sounds when driving over bumpy roads.

Remote central locking doesn't always work.

Just noticed a minor oil leak from the gearbox.

General Comments:

For a 1.6 16V it goes quite well given the size and weight of the car.

Fuel economy looks quite promising at around 45MPG.

I like the look of the car, even if it is common!

Handling is quite safe but not particularly good. Driving the thing is no fun. Engine makes a nice-ish noise though when revved hard. Boring overall.

Suspension isn't great either. It wallows over bumpy roads and there's a lot of body roll when cornering. I find myself sliding around in the seat when cornering.

Build quality is reasonable. Shame about the annoying rattles from the dash.

I've only had the car a week but it's already showing a tendency towards unreliability. I don't see myself keeping it long. My Cavalier is a much better car and gave less trouble in 2 years than the Vectra gave in 5 days! I'm keeping an open mind and don't want to condemn the car just yet. But first impressions get a big thumbs down! I just don't have any confidence in it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th December, 2001

5th Feb 2002, 13:41


Now on 82,500 miles. I've had the car 2 months and I'm not warming to it at all. It really is the pits! I hate the way it rides, handles and performs. The seats are squeaky and uncomfortable. The dashboard squeaks like a family of mice and it has more rattles than a nursery. It's the most frustrating car I've owned. It still feels lumpy on tickover and it kangaroos when pulling away from rest and there are just so many flat spots! IT'S CRAP!!! I'll be selling it soon... buying German or Japanese this time. I'll never touch another Vauxhall. Which is a shame because the Cavalier was a damned good car. What went wrong, Vauxhall?!

16th Nov 2002, 10:37

Update 16/11/2002.

Now on 98,000 miles and as big a pile of crap as ever.

To be fair to the car, it has been reliable. Just replaced a section of the exhaust (original) at a cost of £70. That's the first real outlay since buying the car a year ago.


The boot fills up every time it rains. The interior rattles are getting worse. Remote locking is playing up again. The full beam lights flash when indicating left (the switch is at fault here.) It misfires badly and drinks loads in damp weather.

Summary: I still hate it. Getting rid very soon! Yeay!

29th Dec 2002, 17:30

A few days after writing the update the cambelt snapped. The result was 8 bent exhaust valves. The belt had been renewed before I bought the car (22,000 miles ago.) Scanning other reviews on this website show an alarmingly high incidence of cambelt failure and problems relating to the tensioner and rollers on the ECOTEC engine range. Due to these weaknesses I will never buy another Vauxhall. The cambelt on my Cavalier also failed. Is it my driving style? Or is it a design related problem?!