Advantages good looking car, low servicing costs
Disadvantages regular expensive repair costs
Bought an 8 month old Vectra SRI 2.2DTI estate (2001 Y reg) for a fraction of the new cost. Thought I'd got a good deal. It's not a bad looking car, and has enough power when required, but can average (at first) 50+mpg (55mpg@70mph on a motorway).It has been looked after and driven carefully, (I wanted a diesel estate car, not particularly an SRI to drive fast), and has a full Vauxhall service history.
At first, oil consumption was high (approx 1/2litre every 1000 miles), but gradually reduced to almost nothing as the car got older. Servicing costs have been very low, with a 20000mile/1year service interval, and the average cost being approx £150 at a Vauxhall main dealer.We were happy with the car at first, but became more despondent each time it developed a fault or broke down.
It came with the balance of the manufacturers 3 year warranty. We had several faults repaired under warranty, including power steering failure and engine management problems. The service was ok with a courtesy car provided and no cost to myself.At each visit to the garage an "upgrade" to the engine management had been installed. This generally means more power/performance, but also more fuel consumption. It now averages 42mpg. The Vauxhall garages refuse to reset the engine management to give the better fuel consumption.
Then the warranty ended. I should have traded it in for another car. At nearly 4 years/60000miles, it developed engine an Engine Management fault - at a steady 50-70mph in top gear the EM light would come on and switch to "limp home very slowly" mode. It took a Vauxhall dealer 2 months & 6 visits to diagnose the fault as a cracked valve, during which time they replaced the fuel injection pump, turbo (twice), various engine sensors, and even blamed a slightly damaged front bumper! This cost me approx £750, even though Vauxhall agreed to pay most of the costs (the car was nearly 1 year out of warranty),A few weeks ago (at 4.1/2 years old and 68000 miles) the power steering failed again. This has cost me £453 to have repaired (not at a Vauxhall garage this time as I have lost all faith in them).
I suspect that the ABS now has a fault, as the anti-lock occasionally activates on a completely dry road at low speeds. This also sounds expensive.I have calculated that what this car is now costing me to keep running would finance a brand new car, so sometime next week, it is being replaced with a Hyundai Trajet, which is a much bigger car, comes with more gadgets, a 5 year warranty, 3 years breakdown cover & 3 years servicing, for much less money than most new Vauxhalls. I will write a review on the Hyundai when we have owned it for a while.
The Part Exchange value of this car is only £3000 (the best offer I have had) which is rather disappointing.I would not recommend this particular model if you ever use the back seats: the extra hard lowered suspension gives a very child unfriendly bumpy and uncomfortable ride. It does however give reasonable handling when the power steering actually works.
Because of my experiences with this car, it is very unlikely that I will ever buy another vauxhall.
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