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.
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