Yes it's a fine review and while I agree the current Vectra is a fine car, the old one was... OK to poor. It's not like people want to be like Jeremy Clarkson at the Vectra, it's because the old Vectra wasn't the evolution over the Cavalier as Vauxhall claimed with their "Designed for the next millenium" motto at the time.
Mind you, the old Vectra (Vectra B) is a re-shelled Cavalier Mk3 (Vectra A).
Agree with all the comments regarding the Vectra.
I owned a 1.8LSi Vectra for 5 years before swapping it for a Ford Focus in April. Unfortunately I managed to drop the Focus in a ditch a couple of weeks ago and wrote it off, which in a way is a shame because it was a great car, but it did give me the opportunity to go back to the Vectra.
I've now got a 2001 (Y) Vectra 2.2 CD, with 88,000 miles on the clock. However, you wouldn't know it had done that many miles as it still runs extremely smoothly, and when I stop I can't hear the engine its so quiet (I keep thinking I've stalled). It's very quick, comfy, and roomy. Unlike the Focus I can fit my daughters pushchair in the boot and still have room for several bags of shopping, which is, as has been stated on here, the point of a family car. The only issue I have at the moment is the air con that isn't working, hopefully this will be a simple re-gas job.
The last Vectra I had was extremely reliable, just the usual exhaust, brakes etc. needed replacing. Though saying that, it was very thirsty for oil, I kept forgetting to check the level and would find it dry at least every couple of months - nobody could find any leaks, and it wasn't burning oil, apparently it was just a high consumption engine. But apart from that, great car.
Lets hope this Vectra is as reliable, I'm sure it will be.
I am a Volkswagen man. I have had them for years and have found them to be very well made, refined dependable cars. Obviously depends though on your experiences, but if I couldn't have a VW, I would get a Vauxhall hands down. I love these Vectras. They can't be that a bad car, the police love them, and they can have anything they want. I drove a 1.8 Vectra a few months ago and I was surprised at its refinement and quality. The doors made such a lovely noise when you close them. They are tough cars; GM products usually are.
Like you say, very underrated cars. I know Vauxhall were upset and annoyed at Clarkson for slandering the Vectra when it came out. It back fired on him obviously because they sold by the bucket load. Glad you liked yours. The new Vauxhalls look so nice. Would have one over a Ford any day.