Vauxhall Vectra


Vauxhall's all-new Vectra is the most driver-focussed model ever – with pioneering technology, an innovative new chassis system, an imposing and distinctive design, high comfort and safety levels and a particularly spacious interior.

Prices start at £14,645 for the 1.8 LS model, rising to £20,980 for the top of the range GSi 3.2 V6. Like the car it replaces, prices for the 5-door hatch are the same as the 4-door saloon.

The full model range has been reduced and now consists of six different trim levels. Model names have also changed to be consistent with the rest of the Vauxhall stable. So with new Vectra, customers have a choice of LS, SXi, Elegance, Elite, SRi and GSi.

Vauxhall’s new mid-size car has a range of technical features previously found only in the premium and executive class. It is also setting new standards in the class for build quality.

Production of the Vectra began in April at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire following a £200 million investment, while with an investment of over £500 million production of the saloon began at the start of the year at Rüsselsheim in Germany.

Three petrol and two diesel engines with power outputs from 122 to 211PS are available. Topping the range is a new 3.2 litre V6 211 PS engine, also built at Ellesmere Port.

The upper medium sector has always been a strong one for Vauxhall, and in the UK the outgoing Vectra topped the segment in 1999 and 2000 as well as leading the all important retail segment in 1997 and 1998. Over 500,000 Vectras have been registered since 1995.

Safety And Comfort Detailing

All models have improved front seat active head restraints, full-size front and side airbags, full-size curtain airbags in the front and rear, three-point belts for all seats, Vauxhall’s Pedal Release System, four-channel ABS with Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and brake assist.

An enhanced electronic stability program, ESPPlus, is available across the range as an option and standard on the GSi.

Entry-level equipment includes radio-controlled central locking for the doors and tailgate, eight-way adjustable driver and front passengers seats, electric front windows, a steering wheel with reach and rake adjustment, and heated mirrors. Additional features available include climate control and electric seats with memory function.

A comprehensive range of extra kit is available to suit individual requirements - front and rear park assist, cruise control, tyre pressure monitor, rain sensors and a wide range of audio and infotainment systems.

The striking new design and the larger frontal area of the new Vectra, have produced an aerodynamic Cd value of 0.28, better than its predecessor by a full two one hundredths.

Interior Space And Quality

New standards are set in terms of passenger space. Front leg and head room have been increased, making the new Vectra among the most spacious in its class. An increase in the width of the shoulder area makes new Vectra more spacious than the Mondeo.

Special attention has been paid to the quality and fit of materials used for the interior. Many interior features such as the door pockets, glove box and lower part of the dashboard have been given a special, pleasant, ‘soft-touch’ surface, while high-gloss chrome is used on functional features like door openers, handbrake lever and gear knob.

And the Vectra is just as practical as ever – with a comprehensive system of storage compartments to keep even the untidiest of drivers and passengers well organised.

Engines And Transmissions

The three petrol and two diesel engines are combined with two different gearbox concepts. In addition to a standard five-speed manual gearbox, there is a new five-speed auto. Two more engines will join the range next year, one petrol and one diesel.

New Vectra features a flexible service indicator, which provides information on when servicing is required depending on how the car is used. Petrol engines require an oil change at 20,000 miles (or up to two years) while the diesels are up to 30,000 miles (or two years).

All the petrol engines comply with Euro 4 emissions legislation and range in output from 122 PS to 211 PS.

Common features are four-valve technology and an advanced engine management system for injection and ignition, including knock sensor and electronic throttle.

Petrol Engines

1.8-litre / 122 PS. The entry-level 1.8 litre 16v has a maximum engine torque of 170 Nm @ 3800 rpm. With a five-speed gearbox, top speed is 129 mph and 0-60 mph in 10.0 seconds.

2.2-litre / 147 PS. The all aluminium 2.2 litre 16v has a maximum engine torque of 203 Nm @ 4000 rpm. Mated to a manual gearbox, 0-60 mph takes 9.0 seconds. Top speed is 137 mph.

3.2-litre V6 / 211 PS. The 3.2 litre V6 is the biggest engine ever fitted into a Vectra in the UK. Maximum engine torque is 300 Nm @ 3800 rpm, while 60 mph takes only 7.5 seconds. Top speed for Vectras fitted with the 3.2 V6 is 154 mph.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 28/10/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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