The ‘widget’ – or, in technical terms, ‘lug holder’ – has finally been fully restored after more than four months of waiting.
Back in November, the car had the plastic casing on the rear seatback locking mechanism repaired but the lug holder, which secures the rear seatback in place, was put on order. The part finally turned up in March and is now firmly in place after a quick visit to our local dealer. Although a missing lug holder doesn’t affect the performance of the car, four months is quite a wait for a relatively insignificant part.
The Vectra has been a firm favourite among the team – its practical load-bearing capabilities mean it is often borrowed to ship bulky items such as bikes, furniture and plants across the country.
Although it is one of the largest estates in its class, our model doesn’t come with standard parking sensors. I class myself as quite competent at parking, even when backing into tight spots, but sometimes the Vectra’s sheer rear-end bulk has me beaten.
Even after two months of driving it, I occasionally have to get out of the car when reversing to see how close the wall/hedge/car is behind me. Just £400 will add this option and it’s well worth the money.
We have, however, got the optional £850 adaptive front headlights, and they’re great.
When the car turns a corner, the headlights swivel round too. I’ve found this useful when turning into my drive at night – and it gives next door’s cat a chance to escape.
The electronic opening tailgate is another plus point and one I think should be standard on all vehicles. Approaching the car with bags of shopping or some of the numerous bulky items the Vectra can carry, a quick push on the key fob opens the boot lid gracefully before you’ve even reached it.
Another thing I love about the Vectra is its massive fuel tank. It holds 61 litres and means I only have to fill up once a fortnight. Even though I’m not reaching Vauxhall’s claimed combined economy figure of 46.3mpg, I’m averaging a decent 41.1mpg.
Model: Vauxhall Vectra estate SRi 1.9 CDTi 150
Price (OTR): £20,965 (£24,415 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 165
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 40% tax-payer: £154 a month
Combined mpg: 46.3
Test mpg: 41.1
CAP Monitor residual value: £4,975/25%
HSBC contract hire rate: £434
Expenditure to date: Nil