Consumer tests and product reviews

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Buying used car - Opel Vectra C

Opel Vectra C is reliable and very cheap car to service - great second hand choice

Vauxhall Vectra C - second hand
Opel / Vauxhall Vectra C - top second hand choice

Today at our consumer blog we will review one of the very popular on the used cars market vehicles - the Opel Vectra C (also known as Vauxhall Vectra in UK). For today's review I have chosen the 1.8 petrol engine version in a hatchback body style (known as GTS in its sportier variation which comes with lowered suspension).

Opel Vectra C is offered with various engines, including petrol and diesel in 4 and 6 cylinder block. Here are the ones that I know that I have feedback about:

What car to buy in 2018?

Petrol engines:

  • 1.6 16V (102/105 hp) - the smallest of the petrol engines, really not fit for the 1350 kg heavy car, not enough power and the fuel consumption is good only at urban driving, on the highway it is as thirsty as a 3.2 V6. Vectra C with this engine variation was mostly used for company fleet vehicles.
  • 1.8 16V (115/122 hp) - a bit better compared to the 1.6 engine, adequate performance and fuel consumption under mixed driving conditions, not many problems reported with it.
  • 1.8 16V variable valve timing engine (140hp)
  • 2.2i (147 hp) - powerful enough and pretty strong engine, mounted in the initial and the facelift versions of the car, mostly preferred when adding LPG to Vectra C
  • 2.2 Direct (155 hp) - Direct-injection engine. For the first time direct-injection engine is mounted in Vectra so there are some flaws with it.
  • 3.2 V6 (211 hp) - the sportiest of all, used for the OPC version as well. I personally wouldn't recommend it since the car becomes a bit nose-heavy and understeers a lot due to its weight and front-wheel driving.

my Vectra C review
My Vectra C hatchback has a very sleek profile and looks great in black

Diesel engines

  • 2.0 DTI (101 hp) - strong and reliable engine but not enough power. Very popular with its fuel economy.
  • 2.2 DTI (125 hp) - powerful enough for Vectra C with decent fuel consumption
  • 1.9 CDTI (101, 120 and 150 hp) - this engine was manufactured in cooperation with Italian car giant Fiat and was offered in three different versions with different power and performance specs. The 150 hp version is popular with great dynamics figures but reliability is not on the bright side.
  • 3.0 CDTI V6 (177/184 hp) - engine delivered by Isuzu, with great dynamic and performance figures but expensive to run and service. This engine was mostly used for the Estate version of Vectra C as well as for the bigger Signum.

Buying a used car: Opel / Vauxhall Astra H

For these engines Opel used manual and automatic (regular tiptronic Japanese automatic gearbox or semi-robotic Easytronic) gearboxes that are pretty reliable under regular maintenance.

1.8 16V 140 hp petrol engine - the best choice for your Vectra C

It is a bit rear to find since this engine was planted in Vectra C only for couple of years. It is a variable valve timing engine with good performance and economy under mixed driving cycle. Under regular maintenance the 1.8 petrol engine proves to be hustle free experience.

Vectra C - the good
  • Cheap to buy second hand and cheap to run, lots of spares
  • Good looks and styling - still looks fresh and modern after more than 10 years
  • Roomy interior
  • Variety of petrol and diesel engines for any taste
  • Premium list of extras - climate control, ABS + EBD, ESP/Traction control, Cruise control,dynamic xenon, heated leather seats and interior, athermic windscreen and tinted windows, electrically operated windows, mirrors and seats, alarm system with interior sensors, parking sensors (front and rear), DVD/Navigation system with AUX and many others.

Vectra C - the bad
  • Some reliability issues in certain versions (manufacturing plant in UK...)
  • Noisy engines - petrol and diesel
  • Unsettled independent suspension (bigger wheels and lowered suspension make this a bit better, on good surfaces only)
  • Interior plastics

I hope you find the information about useful but feel free to comment in the section below in case you have questions about Vectra C, I will be more than happy to answer. Meanwhile, I will be happy to hear your opinion about this Opel or any other you have driven recently.