1997 Vauxhall Vectra GLS 2.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


It's really not that bad...


Sticky electric windows, door trim peeling away, ABS sensor and engine management lights on, plus consumables - servicing, exhaust parts, etc.

General Comments:

A decent car that I didn't get my hopes up about; however it turned out to be better than the famously negative reviews it got upon release. The argument back in the 90s was that the Ford Mondeo was a much better car and this is true because I can say that I have owned both cars from that time period, however the Mondeo only beats the Vectra on one strength - handling. The handling of this car is nowhere near as good as the Ford, however being a family car you should not expect it to corner like a race car.

Reliability was great until the engine management light came on and a lack of power was noticeable. It was near its MOT test time and was needing new brakes and other stuff so I decided to scrap it as it was likely uneconomical to keep on the road. The 5 years I had the car previous to this however it gave very little trouble. It was already high on the miles, but performed as new, even though I took a chance on a slightly rough example (estate car, previously owned by a joiner I think as the rear seats and luggage area were a mess with sawdust!). Generally the interior was pretty dull after I cleaned it up, but again, no sports car so what do you expect? With that said, the feel of the materials were not too bad and I found it a comfortable and equipped enough car to be in for long journeys.

Still lots around from the 90s, however most people have moved on to the newer Vectra (2002 onwards) or the Insignia, both of which fine cars I've heard, but still the same problem with regards to handling. But if you're looking for a cheap 90s car on a budget and have the choice between an old Mondeo or Vectra, to be honest at the age and mileage they are likely to be at, take a chance with either and you should have a decent car for a year or two's reliable motoring.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st May, 2016

1997 Vauxhall Vectra SRi 5-dr 2.5 V6 24v from UK and Ireland


A modern TDCi rep's nightmare!


Engine management light comes on.

Cuts out at low speed with no warning.

Very occasionally poor starting with a warm engine.

General Comments:

This car is probably one of the most annoying I've ever owned for two reasons, why, because I like it!

Firstly, it has a habit of cutting out completely unexpectedly, with no seeming pattern as to why it's doing it. It would go for a few weeks and be absolutely fine and then on, say, a 30 mile journey to work, cut out at least 4-5 times, each time at low speeds, such as approaching a junction.

Sometimes the engine management light would come on first, but others it wouldn't come on at any time. On one occasion after it kept doing this I revved the nuts off it for about 2 miles and afterwards it was fine for nearly 4 wks!

Secondly, this has to be one of the most uncomfortable cars I've owned. The driving position, for me at least, is awful. I find the seat has no under thigh support and I feel like I'm suspending my leg in mid air, and get cramp in it. To try and make it as comfortable as possible, the best position for me is to have the seat as far back as I can get it whilst still just about being able to operate the clutch, not ideal, and also leaves me feeling too far away from the steering wheel, which really needs reach as well as rake adjust. I'm 5ft 7ins and average build, not exactly out of the norm!

Got to say though, the rest of it is great. The engine is fantastic, really flexible, pulls from 20mph in 5th, does nearly 100 mph in third, quiet, sounds throaty, and is one of the best cars for in gear overtaking and 70-90 acceleration in 5th I think I've had, and I've owned some quick cars. (I love taking out BMW d and Mondeo TDCi driver's in it)

It handles far better than I was expecting (they were always knocked for handling by the magazines in their day), steering feel is OK-ish, the traction control comes in handy, and it rides reasonably well, a bit thump, bump after my last car, a Laguna, but not bad.

Also built very well, no real rattles, it's built better than my other car, a 55-reg Saab 9-5, has a good size boot for the dog, and I still think these things look half sharp, especially in Star Silver with everything colour coded, I still prefer this shape to the current Vectra.

One other thing, it consistently hits 30 mpg, despite some hard driving, not bad for 0-60 in 7.7 seconds and nearly 140 mph.

If I have another, it'll be a facelifted version with the better seats and the pull out seat squab, and hopefully an engine that doesn't cut out!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th April, 2008

9th Apr 2008, 07:57

I had the same problem with my vectra. Get some carb cleaner and give the idle control valve a good clean. That should start it.

10th Apr 2008, 13:59

There would be something very wrong if your 2.5 V6 petrol couldn't "take out" a 2.0 diesel.

10th Apr 2008, 18:05

Not really, some 2.0 litre diesels now are putting out around 170 bhp and god knows how much torque, the Vectra puts out 167 bhp.

13th Apr 2008, 15:46

True, but most are 130-140 bhp like the Mondeo TDCi mentioned in the review.

BMW do a 2.0 with 204 bhp.