Here's another ""review""
Not a lot of people considered the first Vectra to be an exciting car but is it a good and worthy sedan for everyday use?
The Vectra was first released in 1988 replacing the older Opel Ascona, designed by American car designer Wayne Cherry and based on the GM2900 platform it came in a 5-door liftback or a 4-door notchback sedan guise. No estate version was produced, The car received a facelift in 1992 with new grilles and new bootlid fascia. The car was produced until 1995 when the Vectra B came along, the Vectra A in the UK was badged as the Cavalier, don’t ask me why it could be just marketing reasons I suppose, this car was used as an safety car for F1 for the San Marino Grand Prix in 1994 and was used by Opel and Vauxhall’s works team in their respective touring car championships until 1995, some privateers continued using the cars as late as 2008.
The Vectra isn’t a huge looker; I mean it’s your bog-standard family car, but this car has some curvy look to it even looking surprisingly different to it’s more boxier Ascona predecessor. Then again this is the late 80s, carmakers started moving towards more curved styling then like the Audi 80 B3 first released in 1986 or the VW Passat that shared the same platform as the 80 and released in the same year as the Vectra or even the Ford Sierra released in 1982 and released a facelift in 1987. In 1992 the Vectra received a facelift with a more exposed grille and a new bootlid fascia thing with the faux rear light styling bezels (I actually have no clue what they are tbh). It’s a bit of a quick sleeper when it comes to the Turbo and Turbo 4x4 but not as fast as something like the RS2 Avant or an M5 and there’s not much else to say about the styling really.
There’s a lot to choose from. You’ve got the 1.4 L and 1.6 L engines Base, LS and bottom-range GL and GLS models, 1.8 L and 2.0 L Ecotec engines for the mid-range GL and GLS, CD and CDX models, a top-range 2.0 L & 1.8L engines for the GT (called the SRi in the UK), GSi and GL 4x4, a punchy turbocharged 2.0L for the Turbo 4x4 models and lastly a 2.5L V6 for the CDX model for some luxurious autobahn cruising. The car is coupled with either a 5-speed manual, 6-speed Getrag manual or a 4-speed automatic, if you want a diesel there’s a couple of 1.7 L engines if you want to make that kind of choice.
Versatility and practicality:
Depends on the model but the liftback has more space than the sedan model for obvious reasons. There was pretty much no estate model until it’s successor came along so if you want some space for the dog and/or your shopping you might have to choose the liftback, however if you’re content with just putting the dog in the back seat or don’t have one at all then the sedan might be right for you.
For our homies in mainland Europe good condition Vectras can be found from around €700 to €5,000 but prices may vary between sites and countries (I used OOYYOO) and for the UK you can find some Cavaliers in good condition for around £800 to £1,200. Expect the more top-spec SRi and GSi models to hover around £3,000-£3,500 mark while Turbo 4x4 will mark up nearer the £10k mark. These cars are still fairly common and some top-spec models could be future modern classics like it’s older Omega/Carlton and Kadett/Astra brothers.
The Vectra is a reliable bulletproof car and even if it doesn’t look interesting to some people then it’s reliability and it can be effective as a daily driver, funnily enough there is a small tuning potential in the car (you might have to find some parts on eBay most of the time) but the car also has a good racing pedigree as a touring car so there’s that as well. Overall you want a car to daily or just throw around like an idiot in a dirt course, track or some abandoned airfield/factory/warehouse? Then be my guest. The more basic models are cheap as chips and replacement are readily available.
Final score: B
Really good sedan that won’t let you down. Styling might not be for everyone though.
Would I buy it?: Of course, maybe two; a Turbo 4x4 for normal driving, and a pre-facelift 1.6 or 1.8 for general abuse.
No upcoming review for now. I need a break this Easter.
See you after Easter!