1998 Vauxhall Vectra LS 1.8 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Complete and utter crap!


Where do I start??

- Cambelt fell off when tensioner disintegrated, requiring a new engine at 40,000 miles!

- Passenger electric window refused to lift.

- ECU warning light kept coming on.

- Erratic idle, and kangarooed so badly in traffic it was almost undriveable.

- Flat spots.

- Failed to start on 9 separate occasions.

- Starter motor packed up.

- Immobiliser packed up.

- Wiper linkage fell apart.

- Stereo packed up.

- Information panel for radio / outside temperature / clock kept displaying complete garbage.

- Appalling seats and driving position caused a serious upper back and neck injury requiring £500 worth of chiropractic treatment.

General Comments:

I took this car over from a previous employee when I started a new job. I went into it with an open mind, and decided to ignore everyone's comments on what crap these cars were. Unfortunately, the catalogue of disasters I faced over the next 20,000 miles proved them all right.

The car was acquired new by the company, and was serviced on the button, regardless of cost. Yes, it was driven hard, but all the other cars on the fleet seem to take this okay. The Cavaliers on the fleet at my last company suffered much greater abuse, yet were much more resilient as well as quite enjoyable to drive.

The way I see it, the Vectra isn't built - it's chucked together using the cheapest possible components, and without a care for the poor sod who ends up buying it or driving it. There's no care gone into it, no sparkle, no love. It's just the ultimate example of the car as a domestic appliance, appealing on paper to corporate bean counters, and trading heavily on the good, solid reliability that the Vauxhall badge normally carries. The finished product is an underdeveloped, terminally unreliable dog of a car which, sweet engine apart, is fit only for the crusher.

To drive, it suffers from the usual Vauxhall syndrome. The 1.8 engine is sweet (when it is running properly), and punchy beyond what you would normally expect from a car of this size, but it rides terribly, understeers like a pig in the wet, and the steering has no feel whatsoever. The gearchange is notchy and clunky, and the long travel clutch is heavy. Even the brakes feel wooden. Did any human being ever drive this car during its development? If so, what kind of weird anatomy did they have to pass off these upholstered plank seats, and neck cricking driving position. I have a medical certificate to prove their failure in any case.

Plus points? Engine apart, it's a fast, quiet motorway cruiser which will sit at 85 mph seemingly forever. It's reasonably economical too. However, in this day and age, it should be capable of more, and it just isn't.

An almost criminal atrocity. Avoid at all costs!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th December, 2001

19th Jan 2002, 13:56

Well said! I agree with all of the above! The Vectra is a pile of crap! It's OK to look at but driving is another thing. The steering is wooden, as are the brakes. The suspension could make the smoothest of roads feel like a rough farm track. It kangaroos when pulling away from rest and has loads of flat spots. Well mine does anyway.

I've had mine nearly 2 months now and am sick of it. The worst thing for me is the rattly dashboard. The interior feels like it was thrown together. The central locking doesn't always work. The paintwork is soft and it's starting to rust around the rear wheel arches.

To summarise the Vectra, it's a dull, boring soulless car that delivers zero satisfaction. I'll never buy another Vauxhall. That said my previous Cavalier was great. Much better than the piece of crap that replaced it.

1998 Vauxhall Vectra LS 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Cheap, refined, boring


Squeaky drivers seat - VERY annoying!

General Comments:

A very boring but reliable and comfortable car - with no outstanding features, but no horrendous faults.

I bought a Vectra 1.8 LS 5 door with 9000 miles on the clock, and was impressed with it's refinement, especially on the motorway. The car had reasonable performance and economy, and the handling is not as bad as many people would have you believe. The car was reliable, only visiting the garage for a service, although the squeaky driver's seat was annoying. The only real grumble I had about the car was the depreciation - over £3000 in one year.

Overall a no-thrills car that is comfortable, refined, but ultimately boring.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th December, 2001

19th Jan 2002, 13:59

Does anyone know how to stop the seats from squeaking? And how to stop the dashboard from rattling and squeaking continuously?