The New Vectra Estate | Part Four

Vectra Estate’s versatility doesn’t end on the inside. Externally two new features, which will both be available from next spring, should make life with the new model even easier.

The first of these is a powered tail-gate which can be operated from one of three places – from the key-fob, from a button inside the cabin or a separate switch underneath the number plate. A key safety feature of the tail-gate is a sensor which will stop it automatically if any movements around it are detected. The power tail-gate will be available as an option on all models next year.

And whether you are taking the boat out for the weekend or just taking the garden rubbish down to the tip in the trailer, a retractable tow-bar will be a welcome addition. This is a tow-bar which can be easily and safely stored out of sight, horizontally behind the rear bumper. The bar is released by using a simple release mechanism from inside the boot, so can be operated without getting the hands dirty!

Adaptive Forward Lighting

Vauxhall is the first manufacturer to offer the Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL) system in this segment. AFL is a technology which combines ‘dynamic’ curve lighting when negotiating narrow bends and static ‘junction’ light when at junctions, to give a wider range of vision in the dark.

A third safety function of AFL is the highway or motorway light; at motorway speeds and when travelling in a constant straight direction, the headlights will automatically raise themselves so the driver has the perfect long distance view ahead. At the same time the automatic levelling system prevents any dazzling of oncoming traffic.

Exterior design

With its long wheelbase, high belt line and relatively short overhangs the Vectra Estate looks elegant and proportionately well-balanced. At 4822mm in length, it is approximately 226mm longer than the Vectra hatchback, though they share the same width.

A 2830mm wheelbase however gives it 130mm more space between the axles.

From the side, accentuated wheel arches and the large wheels – available in up to eighteen inch diameter – give the Estate a powerful profile, while at the rear the car is distinctive with its widely placed tail-lights.

continues... | Part Five
Published 10 November 2003 Melanie Carter

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