This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Vauxhall Vectra Saloon (05-08) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Best petrol engines are the 2.2 and 2.5/2.6 V6. These are swift and responsive; 16-valve 1.8 and 2.0 litre units are quiet, fairly lively and good cruisers, but the 1.6 is underpowered and best avoided. Diesels are unstressed, 2.0 and 2.2 DTi models are quick with a 0-60 time of under 10 seconds, and are preferable to the noisy old 1.7 TDS and lacklustre 2.0 D.

Engines upgrades in October 2000 saw output of the 1.8 16v raised to 125 bhp, the 2.0 16v replaced by a new 2.2 16v petrol engine, and a more efficient 2.6 V6 to replace the old 2.5. A 125 bhp 2.2 DTi turbo-diesel was also introduced, although some 2.0 DTi models continued.

You'll find that it's happiest and most refined on motorway; less so on twisty roads where handling and ride lack poise and polish; but always safe and predictable; later versions with tauter chassis are better. Vectra has independent suspension with rear multi-link layout, anti-roll bars and gas dampers.