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.

1997 Vauxhall Vectra CDX 2.0i 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


A lot of quality car for the money


Hydraulic boot arms leaked, resulting in the boot either not staying up or coming down unexpectedly on my head when unloading the shopping. Easily repaired, two new arms from the Vauxhall were £18 and 15 minutes for me to fit.

Required a new idle adjuster and hose a week after purchase due to engine cutting out and high fuel consumption, returned to where it was bought, who sent it to Vauxhall for the repair free of charge.

Recently the revs just began to drop off when changing gear, resulting in the car cutting out; problem identified as mass air flow filter, £300 to repair - ouch!! But now running like a dream.

Other than that the car has been an excellent purchase and is proving to be reliable thus far.

General Comments:

This car is built for cruising long distances, and having been on holiday in it a couple of times, it has proved to be a relaxing and comfortable journey, with one of its many gadgets (cruise control) proving its worth with good fuel economy. Town driving is also not a problem with the car handling well, but not so economical with the fuel.

It has a spacious cabin that is very comfortable and has plenty of room both front and back for a family of four. It has also been built to a high standard, with all knobs, switches and dials still working 11 years on.

This is solidly built good quality car that has so far served me well. When it is washed and polished with its alloys, spoiler, metallic paintwork and front fogs (as standard on the CDX) it looks stunning. Although not my first choice, as the car was bought out of necessity after my Celica was stolen and was intended as a stop gap, I must admit I have enjoyed owning this vehicle and intend to keep it for the foreseeable future.

If you are going to by a second hand Vectra of this era, go for the CDX; it seems to have a superior build quality to other models, bearing in mind it was £22,500 brand new.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2008