Fleet News

Vauxhall Vectra 2.0 CD

Vauxhall

Review

NEW chassis and suspension tuning for a tauter and more comfortable ride and handling balance, improved steering, modified engines for greater economy and driveability, a restyled interior and visually enhancing body styling job have added new life to the 1999 Vectra. The changes form a much-needed mid-life refresher for the troubled Vectra which has received more than its fair share of industry brickbats since it was launched in 1995.

The larger sports-styled bodycolour bumpers give the most immediate clue to the changes, while jewel-effect one-piece headlamp and indicator units generate 20% more light for a clearer view at night. Body colour door handles go with door mirrors increased in size by 12% to cure one of the Vectra's worst failings. The most radical suspension changes affect 2.0-litre Vectras - which account for some 30% of Vectra volumes: all models get the 2.5 V6's firmer settings for tauter ride and handling, while the 2.0-litre engine also receives twin balancer shafts for smoother running. Along with individual model changes, the range has been realigned to give a more understandable model line-up.

Previously a limited edition model, the Arctic has now been incorporated into the range, priced just above the lead-in Envoy. The cheapest Vectra remains the 1.6 Envoy at ú14,810 on the road, but extra equipment means all models are now better value. ABS, Trafficmaster, driver and passenger airbags, lumbar support, remote audio controls, tilt steering, a rev counter and tinted glass are standard across the range. Envoy and LS now have 15in steel wheels as standard, while the GLS and CD (tested here) models now come with alloy wheels as standard.

But the burning question is do the changes make a real difference to the Vectra's perception in the industry? The 2.0 CD at ú17,705 on the road in either four or five-door form, with the estate ú800 more at ú18,505 ready to go.

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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