2004 Vauxhall Vectra SXi 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Disappointing, and not built to last


We have had complete handbrake failure. Fortunately no one was hurt.

We have had suspension problems, stereo problems, central locking not working, alarm going off for no reason several times; normally requires a drive round the block to stop this.

The seats and carpet are also not wearing well for the amount of use that the vehicle gets.

Ski hatch lock sticks.

The boot lining is not fitted correctly.

General Comments:

Nice sized car.

Good boot.

Handles well.

Difficult to park due to the highness of the rear.

Indicator sticks are a complete nightmare as they do not always stay on when you have put them on.

Juddering of the clutch when the car is started from cold.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th January, 2008

2004 Vauxhall Vectra SRi 2.0 turbo from UK and Ireland


Astonishing value, great engineering, enjoyable to drive


Notchy gearchange 1-2, 2-3rd.

Interior a little uninspiring.

Audio system lacks midrange.

Handling a little distant.

General Comments:

After having the old Vectra this is a totally different car. I was looking at an Alfa 156 but this genuinely won me over. Obviously not as inspired as the Alfa and doesn't sound as good, but from an engineering point of view wins hands down.

It's quicker than all the Audi/VW 2.0TDI's and 2.0 FSI's out there, the BMW 320's and Mondeos (less the ST220), handles crisply and solidly, benefits from great brakes and is really well put together. (it is made in Germany!)

The gearchange has been a let down however, notchy and unwilling when chaning gear quickly - however this is an understood issue on early gearboxes and Vauxhall are currently replacing gearbox and clutch under Network Q warranty, just becuase of a notchy gearchange.

Motorway driving is brilliant, relaxing and 35-40 MPG. You'll also love it on the country roads, where it feels slick, firmly poised and reassuring to throw into bends thanks to it's direct if slightly uncommunicative steering, excellent brakes and huge grip.

Also lower the windows and those compression and dump valve noises from the turbocharger might appeal to your inner boy racer!

I'd never buy a new Vauxhall (sorry!) as the depreciation is plain silly, but a 3 year old one of these with 30k on the clock, full Network Q warranty for £7k is just excellent value.

If you can live with having a Griffin on the front of your car rather than a blue propeller, a three pointed star or a few rings then this makes a lot of sense. It's a well engineered car, handles great, 0-60 in 8.1 seconds and if you can get one with one of the new gearboxes you'll not be disappointed.

My major gripe would be the audio system - it mushes up all your midrange. Something like Amy Winehouse sounds fine, stick Oasis on and it's terrible!

Still don't you still have to pay extra for a radio in a BMW?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2007

15th Nov 2007, 09:25

The standard stereo is not so great, the NAV versions of the SRI (with the CD70 unit) get uprated speakers. You could try getting some of those from the parts dept to see if that helps?

I have the CD70 in my SRI, and it is awesome. Not exactly Bose standard, but very fine indeed.

The speakers are at least half of that solution! I doubt the stereo would make that much difference as the CD30s (etc) are all reasonable power outputs.

2004 Vauxhall Vectra SRi NAV 1.9 CDTI 150 from UK and Ireland


Great all round family car with a bit of go


So far, nothing has gone wrong with the car at all.

I have had to buy one new back tyre due to getting a nail in the side edge of the tyre - not really the cars fault! The standard tyre size is relatively uncommon, so quality tyres are quite expensive at around £150 a corner.

I'll report back as the miles mount and we'll see how it goes...

General Comments:

I love this car so much. The performance is very good once you are past the initial turbo-lag. After that point the car pulls strongly to any speed.

Economy is spot on. I average around 48mpg on regular diesel and around 51mpg on BP Ultimate. Nothing to complain about there!

Refinement from this Fiat sourced engine is great. Even at cold idle, engine noise is rarely anything more than a background thrum. When moving along it would be easy to forget the car is DERV powered if it were not for the huge lump of torque low down in the rev range. There is very little, if any vibration transmitted to the cabin.

Comfort isn't perfect, the SRI suspension means some surfaces can be unpleasant to drive on, worn concrete sections of motorway are probably the worst. However, the good side of this set-up is handling that is very sure and confident. Corners can be taken quickly without any body roll or other dramatics.

The seats are a little firm, but I appreciate the good lateral support that keeps me firmly sat in place on B-road blasts. Shame that the steering feel is a bit lacking at those times though.

The interior layout is great, the look and feel of materials is especially praise worthy. The quality of fit and finish is fine too. Things that move (e.g. glovebox, arm rest) all have a nice damped quality to them. Switches feel industructable and yet nice to touch and good to look at.

My only complaint is that some equipment is missing from this 2005 Model Year car that appeared as standard on eariler models, e.g. rain sensitive wipers, passenger seat lumbar/height adjustment and auto-dimming mirrors.

On the plus side, the standard fit Sat-Nav with MP3 support (on this NAV edition) is easy to use and the excellent diesel engine doesn't make me regret going for this later model.

It's the little touches on this car that makes me love it so much. The auto-locking doors, twin trip computers, thumbwheel controls, gas bonnet struts and back wiper that activates on reverse (with the front wipers) are just a few of the little things that make the car feel much more expensive than it really is.

Little niggles? The handbrake is positioned poorly and there is no rear interior light (easily sorted with the help of the parts department, a ten pound note and a craft knife!).

I would buy another without a second thought - but only if Vauxhall stop penny pinching on the specification. There is a very long list of equipment missing (as said before, plus traction control, rear air vents, bonnet struts etc etc) from the latest cars which benefit from no more than a facelift and better handling. Unless you really have to have the facelift, 1.9 CDTI or newer cars, try to source an older Vectra - the late 2002, early 2003 cars are fully loaded in comparison.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th April, 2006

30th Aug 2006, 05:18


Sorry about any confusion. My model is a late 2004 build, therefore a 2005 model year.

The specs were generally best when the Vectra C first arrived in 2002. Then, in early 2003 some little touches were dropped like door puddle lights, dash coin tray and other minor stuff.

By late 2003, the lower models had lost things like rain sensitive wipers and auto-dimming mirrors.

By early 2004, only the top models retained the luxury features and even they lost things like electric memory seats and the like. The entire range was missing previously standard features like overhead storage boxes, and passenger 8 way manual adjust.

The facelift models (late 2005 onwards) then lost further features like gas bonnet struts, traction control (except V6 models), centre rear air vents, etc.

It's not all bad news though. The facelift cars handle much better and some new equipment has improved the cars, like Sat Nav on some SRI models, neat thumbwheel steering controls and auto-locking of doors. The new rear wiper on some models is very stylish too.

The new features (aside from handling improvements) started appearing in early 2004.

The things the later models do offer though is a range of generally better engines. The 1.8 VVT is far better than the old 1.8, the 2.2 direct is better than the old 2.2 and the 1.9 CDTI 120/150 is a whole world better than the old 2.0/2.2 DTIs. The 2.8 V6 turbo seems to have won more praise than the old 3.2 V6 too.

So, some good things, some not so good! ;)

I like you'll love the car regardless. :)

As for road noise, not a major problem. The 17s do generate a little roar, but it's not been a problem for me at all. The Vectra cabin is very well sound insulated so it's not a big deal.