Car buyers’ bible What Car? has loaded the New Vauxhall Vectra with praise, naming the freshly-facelifted model as its estate car of the year.
Judges at the highly-influential monthly magazine were not just won over by the Vectra’s 1,850-litre carrying capacity, which is the largest in its class, but also by the new car’s impressive driving dynamics.
Writing in the March issue, the What Car? testers said: “We never had any quibbles with the Vectra’s cargo-carrying capacity….. However, it’s under the skin where the most impressive changes have taken place. In addition to the cosseting ride of the old car, sharper steering and retuned suspension have transformed the Vectra.”
It’s praise which will come as welcome relief to Vauxhall’s suspension engineers, who went to the trouble and expense of actually tuning the New Vectra’s chassis specifically for the UK’s unique selection of roads. Rather than being a pan-European compromise, each Vectra destined for the British market is fitted with special suspension and steering parts to make sure it can be fun-to-drive on a bumpy B-road and still be a supremely refined motorway cruiser.
It wasn’t just the chassis which drew praise from the judges. They described the 1.9-litre turbodiesel engine - which is chosen by almost 80 per cent of all Vectra estate buyers - as “mightily impressive”. They said: “There’s none of the constant chatter that blights some diesels, with engine noise fading into the background at motorway speeds. This, together with impressive road and wind noise suppression, makes the Vectra an extremely refined and comfortable long-distance cruiser.”
The magazine chose the new Exclusiv model as its pick of the Vectra Estate range, with prices starting from £15,750 for the 1.8-litre petrol and £17,050 for the 1.9-litre CDTi diesel. For those who want a little more performance, the Vectra Estate VXR is now on sale. Despite having the same 1,850-litre carrying capacity as the rest of the range, the VXR has a top speed of 158mph, making it the fastest estate car on sale in Britain.
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