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Vauxhall Omega 2.2 CD estate



DESPITE the fact the Omega's image has suffered at the hands of so-called 'quality' manufacturers such as BMW and Audi, 1998 was the best sales year for Vauxhall's flagship. 16,297 units found homes - 33% up on 1997 - and year to date in 1999 more than 11,000 cars have been sold, making the Omega this year's executive best seller. For 2000, Vauxhall's marketing emphasis with the Omega will focus on the sporting MV6 derivative and the estate car, backed by a ú100 million investment that updates the car for the millennium.

The fruits of that investment are plain to see: a new nose with prominent grille, revised body detailing with new rear lights and side mouldings, reworked suspension settings and an all-new interior. There's also a new engine, a 142bhp 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit with balancer shafts that, for the time being, supplements the existing 134bhp 2.0-litre unit which, with CD trim, accounts for the bedrock of Omega sales. In time - probably by early next year - this engine will replace the 2.0-litre. It's enough, Vauxhall hopes, to give the new Omega fresh impetus and greater impact in a sector that's becoming increasingly dominated by brands such as Audi and BMW.

Vauxhall wants to raise the Omega's profile as a voluminous estate, especially now that many high-profile users, including several police forces, have switched out of the Omega in favour of other manufacturers' products - notably Volvo. With prices starting at ú20,705 on-the-road for the 2.0 GLS manual estate, value is key to the revised Omega, and a vast range encompasses six trim levels - GLS, CD, CDX, MV6 and Elite. Five engines include 2.0 and 2.2-litre fours, 2.5 and 3.0 V6s and a 2.5-litre turbodiesel giving comfortably the biggest range of any large estate car: it's the 2.2 CD we test here, at ú22,105 OTR.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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