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Buying a second hand car: Opel / Vauxhall Vectra B

Detailed information about Buying a second hand car Opel / Vauxhall Vectra B - pros, cons, consumer opinion and prices

Vectra B used car
Second hand car buying guide: Opel / Vauxhall Vectra B

Buying a used car is never easy as there is always a risk of not making a successful purchase. Many consumers find it very hard to make their choice when choosing their next used vehicle because of the uncertainty - if the car is going to be in good shape or the seller provided misleading information, if the choice they made would suit their need etc.

Today in our second hand car guide I am going to present you one of the most successful midsize automobiles of the late 90's - Opel / Vauxhall Vectra B. I personally was proud owner of two of these vehicles and I can say that Vectra was the benchmark car in its class back that and there are some pretty good reasons for that. 

First impressions
The production of the Opel Vectra B started in the late 1995 and stopped in the mid 2002 where the last facelift of the model was released. I owned both the initial model from 1996 and a facelifted one from late 2000 and there wasn't really a major fault with any of these two. Basically I replaced them because I just needed a newer vehicle as I am making lots of highway mileage and a newer car felt safer and more cost efficient.

Opel / Vauxhall Vectra B used car

The first car I owned was 1.6 (101 bhp) petrol, silver hatchback and I have to admit it really looked stunning back than. When parked to a equivalent aged Mercedes C-class the Opel looked like it came from a different era, with modern curves and aerodynamic design that was totally liked by young customers and also one of the top choices for corporate fleets.

The second one I owned was an estate with the more powerful 1.8 (115 bhp) petrol engine which was extremely practical with the advantage of having an enormous boot that easily fitted two of my bikes. I have to admit that the bigger petrol engine fitted this car much better, there was always power on demand and highway cruising happened on much lower RPM which improved the comfort when travelling on long distances. 

Vectra C - second hand car for the masses

Used car Opel Vectra B - silver hatchback


Vectra B was offered with variety of petrol and diesel engines, each of them having their own pros and cons. For family vehicles probably the 2.0 DTI (101 bhp) diesel engine was the most successful one as it return and average of 5-6 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers which 15 years ago was a huge achievement. I personally liked the 1.8 petrol engine best as it was punchy enough but still performed well on fuel economy. I have no impressions from the sportiest V6 petrol engine as I have never tested it but I think it would be way to nose heavy for such a light chassis (about 1350 kg overall weight).

When constructing the Vectra B Opel's engineers had in mind that this car will be a huge seller in countries where potholes are something quite common  (like Eastern Europe) so they designed one really tough suspension. Probably we can rate the ride of the car a bit on the firm side but it was never uncomfortable.

The comfort provided by the Opel / Vauxhall Vectra B was on a good level. I can't say that was the most comfortable car in its class but it definitely was above the average ratings - extras like climate control, electric windows, multifunction steering wheel with adaptive steering column, cruise control, ABS, heated seats, useful armrest and extremely good sound systems all added value for the overall good impressions for the comfort in Opel Vectra.

The rusting issue

It is not a secret that many of the Opel-s of the 80s and 90s had the 'quality' to rust pretty badly. Thankfully, Vectra B has a good rust protection and only a few owners complained from any rusting issues with their cars.


My opinion is that Opel / Vauxhall Vectra B was one of the successful GM models for the European market. It achieved pretty good sales and remained a trusted second-hand purchase for many years. You can still see 15+ years old Vectra-s running smoothly on the road but you have to be really careful when purchasing one - please make sure that it was serviced and maintained on time and there are no hidden issues with the engine, the gearbox and the electronics. 

My recommendation is to always test the car you liked on completely cold engine as engine faults don't show up on already warmed engine. 

If you have any concerns or questions about the Vectra B don't hesitate to leave a comment below, I will be happy to address them. 

I would also recommend you to check our used car guide for the Opel / Vauxhall Astra H where you can find more useful information about another of GM's successful compact cars in Europe.