Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There’s a wide choice of engines and trims available in the Vectra starting with the entry-level 1.8-litre. This originally had 120bhp but was quickly replaced by a VVT version which boasted 138bhp and was more economical too. It’s one of the most popular engines in the Vectra and quiet enough but can feel strained with four people on board. The 2.2-litre Direct has 150bhp and is smoother but with an average economy of 34mpg it makes little sense.

If you’re after a performance Vectra there’s an excellent 2.0T model with 172bhp that’s enjoyable to drive and far more comfortable than the VXR. The other petrol engine is the 2.8-litre V6 (originally with 225bhp but later uprated to 250bhp in 2006) but while this engine is smooth and sounds good, it’s very thirsty and seems pointless in the Vectra.

It’s no surprise that the diesels are more popular and the excellent 1.9 CDTi available with 120bhp or 150bhp is the best engine in the line-up with strong in-gear pace. Both versions boast 50mpg economy and emissions of 154g/km of CO2 so it’s best to go for the 150bhp which has noticeably more pulling power. The other diesel is a 3.0 V6 CDTi with 181bhp but although this is quick with a 0-60mph time of 8.2 seconds it’s not worth the premium over the 1.9-litre diesel.

The Vectra had started to look and feel dated before these revisions in 2005. Facelifted models were extensively reworked under the skin and on the move the Vauxhall feels composed and controlled with good comfort levels thanks to a smooth ride. It’s far more engaging than the version it replaced, which extensive chassis honing carried out in the UK to differentiate the Vauxhall from Opel versions of the car sold elsewhere in Europe.

The steering still lacks a little of the feel offered by cars like the Ford Mondeo and Mazda6, but to many drivers the Vectra will seem just as good. Sportier SRi models some with lower suspension for more reduced body roll and increased stability in sudden direction changes, although the ride is rather firm on its larger wheels.