24th Aug 2004, 15:45
Update! We are now several months down the line and over 7000 miles added. I am still enjoying this car every bit, always eager to find an excuse to go out! Nothing gone wrong whatsover, fuel consumption is still amazing - I am now averaging 650 miles between fill ups with about 80% motorway driving. I've also noticed that the car feels and sounds smoother, quieter and more refined when its cold and wet! I guess all british cars are tuned for this climate though. I've fitted the Siemens NCDC2013 sat nav unit with the mono display and its very impressive, amazing accuracy and the rest of the audio setup sounds superior to the standard radio cd fitted. Too bad that Vauxhall don't offer this as an extra after you've bought the car (I got mine from ebay via Germany and fitted it myself).
I haven't tried the newer 1.9 common rail diesels, but I have the feeling that this 2.2 DTI has better low down torque. Infact round town if your gentle on the gas you can keep the revs under 1000rpm almost all the time! Even on the motorway its very rare to exceed 2000 rpm in this car, so I am expecting this engine to last a long time!
I have to say that getting comfortable in this car can take a lot of time, so be patient and constantly tweak the seat settings as you drive. There are so many adjustments that it can take some time to find the best position. I now travel 100 miles every day of the week and never get any back ache or otherwise. Cruise control is great, lots of feet space and a solid feel to what is a great driving position.
Complaints? Well, if I had to be picky I suppose there's a few things I could bring up...
First the heater controls are rather low down and you need to take your eyes off the road to use them. Also the fog light buttons are obscured by the steering wheel without moving your head. Seats feel a bit too firm at first, but with time you get used to it and it feels right. First gear is very low, so don't expect frantic grandprix starts with it, but you could probably pull a bus! On the other side, 5th is very tall and gives great cruising at very low revs (about 2000rpm at 70mph). There's still ample torque to overtake. 4th can take you from about 20mph to licence losing figures in a very short time, with the rev counter hardly moving!
Another thing is the tyre noise is sometimes quite noticeable, still hoping that some miracle tyres might solve that, but I am getting used to it and it's very acceptable.
This car is really nice through winding B roads, great body control and plenty of torque for those bends. Infact it seems to offer the best of all worlds!
Everytime I fill up, its always a challenge to see what range I can achieve before the next top up. With about 20% urban and 80% motorway mileage, I can average about 57 mpg if I am gentle. I'm sure with full motorway driving you could better that.
17th Jun 2005, 09:16
Update on my review... One year on!
It's been a year now since I bought the Vectra SRI 2.2DTi and in that time I've clocked up over 25,000 miles. So far nothing at all has gone wrong, has started straight away every time even in -5C conditions (excellent for a diesel!). I did once have the engine management light come on whilst cruising on the motorway and noticed a substantial lack of power, but upon restarting the engine the fault cleared and never returned! Must have been a glitch I suppose in the electronics or sensor.
I drive about 90 miles a day to work and back, virtually all motorway and average about 54-56 mpg. That means I can go about 650 miles on a full tank of diesel, probably a bit more if I ease of the throttle! Replaced the front tyres a few months back and they seem to be wearing well, always a worry for a FWD. I do sometimes feel the car though isn't quite as taught as I would expect through twists, the back feels as if its not as stiff on the road as it could be.. but maybe that's just me! Never had any problems with traction and all pressures of the tyres are fine. Extremely reliable and always fun to drive!
The 2.2DTI isn't common rail technology so can be a bit noisy and rattly when cold, and you can feel a bit of vibration at the lights... I guess the new ones are better and I'd like to test drive a CDti 1.9 sometime, I do miss the silky smooth quietness of a petrol at low speed, but on the other hand I enjoy the mid range acceleration and torque, the amazing economy and the quiet motorway cruising experience.
I think my next car would be another vectra, maybe the new model coming out late this year... I'd probably skip the sports models though and go for a elite or elegance, softer suspension and would like a sunroof too for a bit more light in the cabin! I also understand theres a beige interior, that sounds nice!
It's the best car I've had so far, solid and when clean it looks the part.. shame there's so many others on the road, but there again.. that shows its good!
30th Jan 2006, 06:59
Excellent, clearly written reviews.
Thanks Simon! :)
I'm confident that the 2004 1.9 CDTI SRI (with Nav!) that I'm picking up on Wednesday will be a great car!
Nearly 60mpg? Now that's a challenge...
22nd Feb 2006, 14:35
Simon, (and all)!
Nice to read your reviews.. and so well written.
I hope my supportive comments here do you justice!
I have the latest model Vectra 2.2 Direct (petrol,) SRI, and I have never been so pleased with a car.. I truly love it!.
I agree with all your comments, but would add, having come from a Saab 9-3 Tid 150, that the mid range power I was expecting to loose on balance for out right acceleration, low speed quietness and top speed etc, is suprisingly matched.
(95mph at just over 3000 revs)..6 spd box is fantastic.
The improvements and "tweaks" to the steering and handling characteristics make this 2006 model an absolute joy to drive and, in my opinion, better than the 9-3.. for £5k less!
The levels of equipment, build, quality, ride, comfort, cabin environment, audio and Nav in this car equal the quality expected from more premium executive marketed cars.
(and it looks awesome too, subtle body kit, lowered sports suspension, 17" alloys.. and dual branch tail pipes)!
The Vectra has won the long term battle with the Mondeo in most of the critical areas, and deserves some better general press.. and did I mention better than a 9-3?!.. the tarted up Vectra?.. hummmm.
I find the seats excellent on a long journey. firm yes.. but well supported and no complaints after a one hit 500 mile trip.
OK.. don't quite get the 60mpg mark.. but hey,38-45mpg on average is not such a bad trade off when out accelerating the majority of common boy racer stuff and not waking up your neighbours at 6.00am in the morning!
If you get the opportuniy to own the latest model, reading from the previous comments, will conclude your driving pleasure and expectations.. and will probably lead to weekly update positive reviews.